Dutch priest killed in Nazi concentration camp to be declared a saint


VATICAN CITY, Nov. 25 (Reuters) – Pope Francis will canonize Titus Brandsma, a Dutch priest, scholar and journalist who was assassinated in the Dachau concentration camp in 1942 for preaching against the Nazis, the Vatican said Thursday.

Brandsma, who was a member of the Carmelite religious order and was president of the Catholic University of Nijmegen, began speaking out against Nazi ideology even before World War II and the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940.

During the Nazi occupation, he spoke out against anti-Jewish laws. As an advisor to Catholic newspapers in the Netherlands, he urged their publishers not to publish Nazi propaganda.

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He was arrested in 1942 and held in Dutch prisons before being taken to Dachau, near Munich, where he was subjected to biological experiments and killed by lethal injection that same year at the age of 61.

The Vatican said Francis had approved a decree attributing a miracle to the intercession of Brandsma, who was beatified – or declared “blessed” – by Pope John Paul II in 1985.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that only God works miracles, but that the saints who are supposed to be with God in heaven intercede on behalf of those who pray to them.

Miracles are usually medically inexplicable healing. Details of the miracle were not disclosed and no date has been set for the canonization ceremony.

Several other Catholics killed in Nazi concentration camps have already been declared saints. Among them, the Polish priest Maximilian Kolbe and Sister Edith Stein, a German nun who converted from Judaism. Both were killed in the Auschwitz camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

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Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Kevin Liffey

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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