Message from the Prior General of the Carmelite Order
The First Anniversary of the Canonization of St. Titus Brandsma
The 15th of May marks the first anniversary of the canonization of our brother Titus Brandsma, canonised along with nine other holy men and holy women, by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square in 2022. The memory of that celebration and the days that surrounded it still live in the minds and hearts of thousands of people all around the world. It was particularly moving for all of us who had the blessing of being in Rome when the event was taking place.
Now one year later, we are aware of the good feeling that the memory, experience, and teaching of Titus has generated. The work of translating his works into English continues, paving the way for many other translations in many other languages in the future. It is not that we want to be carried away only by this most recent to our long list of saints. It is rather that in these troubled times we take from Titus an assurance and a challenge. The assurance is that the way of life embraced by Carmelites in many different ways is “good and holy” (Rule Ch. 20). The challenge is to follow it in the selfless and knowledgeable way that Titus did.
At this time, when war and violence are so much part of the headlines of every day, Titus reminds us of the awfulness of war, the awfulness of any kind of violence committed against the human person and the stark reality of a society that has lost the sense of any need of knowing God and his mercy.
Here again is the challenge to Carmelites, following the example of Mary our Mother, and of Elijah our disturber, and inspired by the life and example of Titus Brandsma, we will witness to the great desire of God for peace and unity in the world, a peace that comes from God, and that only God can give to those who are willing to receive it.
May we see the end of all wars in our time and together build a world environment in which men and women of every age and nation and background will see that their dignity is respected and that with God’s grace they will grow to maturity, giving generously of their gifts for the building up of that world in which everyone can live a full and dignified life.
Miceal O’Neill, O. Carm.Prior General May 14, 2023
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