‘Do not be afraid to speak what is right’

Rev. Fr. Christopher Labrador, O. Carm. celebrates the Votive Mass in honor of St. Titus Brandsma, martyr of press freedom, at the Santisimo Rosario Parish last Jan 28, 2023. Photo by Gaebriele Gutierrez/THE FLAME

A CARMELITE priest has urged Catholics to tell the truth even if it costs them their lives, citing the life of St. Titus Brandsma, the press freedom martyr who criticized the Nazi ideology during the Second World War.

In his homily for the votive mass for St. Titus last Jan. 28,  Rev. Fr. Christopher Labrador, O.Carm. noted that the Carmelite martyr was vocal against Nazi ideology in a number of his sermons.

After the invasion of the Netherlands, Titus was among those who intervened to stop Nazi propaganda materials from being printed, he added. The act caught the attention of German authorities and led to the Dutch Carmelite saint’s arrest.

“Do not be afraid to speak what is right…Even when it costs our lives. If we truly believe and hope that our lives will be good, do not fear. Speak truth. Do not be afraid to speak what is right,” Labrador said.

According to Labrador, Titus was also known as a ‘reconciling figure’ and a promoter of Christian unity by those who knew him.

“Ecumenism came naturally to him together with an ability to break down barriers and enter dialogue,” he said.

St. Titus Brandsma was canonized on May 15, 2022, and is recognized as a martyr of press freedom.

The image and relic of Brandsma, which arrived at the Santísimo Rosario Parish on Jan. 27, was open for public viewing until Jan. 30. A holy mass and a farewell rite were held before the relic’s transfer to Mary Help of Christians Chapel in Cubao, Quezon City. F – K. Chan


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