The relic of St. Titus Brandsma is displayed at the Marzon Hotel in Kalibo, Aklan where bishops gather for their 126th plenary assembly on July 8, 2023. CBCP NEWS

By CBCP News

July 10, 2023

Manila, Philippines

A relic of St. Titus Brandsma has accompanied Catholic bishops from across the country gathered for a three-day plenary assembly in Aklan province’s Kalibo town.

The relic, taken from St. Brandsma’s Carmelite habit, remained with the bishops from Saturday until Sunday afternoon when it was transferred to St. Joseph the Worker Parish in the nearby town of Malinao.

During the first day of the assembly on July 8, Carmelite Br. Lester Hallig also addressed the bishops on the life of the journalist and World War II martyr.

This visit is part of a year-long national pilgrimage of the relic and image of the Dutch priest, which began on July 28 of last year.”

Organized by the Order of Carmelites in the Philippines, the pilgrimage aimed to increase awareness of the saint among the faithful, highlighting his life and mission as an educator and journalist dedicated to defending the truth.

Throughout the year, the pilgrim relic visited over a hundred communities and schools in various dioceses.

During the visits, there were catechism sessions on the life, works, and advocacies of St. Titus, as well as veneration of the relic and a pledge for truth.

The Carmelites carry with them the advocacy of defending the truth, combating fake news, and countering historical revisionism, just as St. Titus did during the Nazi Era.

The pilgrimage will culminate with a Mass at the Minor Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Quezon City on July 27, the Feast of St. Titus Brandsma,

Born in 1881, St. Brandsma was a theologian and journalist who was canonized by Pope Francis in May 2022.

Revered as “martyr of press freedom,” the saint was executed at the Dachau concentration camp on July 26, 1942, for his staunch refusal to publish Nazi propaganda in Catholic newspapers.

There are no first-class relics of St. Brandsma because his body was cremated immediately after his death, and the ashes were scattered.


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