Pope Francis has recognized a miracle attributed to Titus Brandsma, an outspoken opponent of Nazism martyred at Dachau concentration camp in 1942.
The pope authorized Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, to issue a decree on Nov. 25 approving the miracle.
The decision paves the way for the Dutch Carmelite friar’s canonization.
Titus Brandsma was born Anno Sjoerd Brandsma in Oegeklooster, in the province of Friesland, on Feb. 23, 1881.
His efforts to counter Nazi ideology led to his arrest following the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940.
He was transferred to Dachau, once described as “the largest priest cemetery in the world,” on June 19, 1942. He died on July 26, 1942, following a lethal injection.
He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in November 1985 as a martyr for the faith.
A Catholic priest in Florida told CNA in 2018 that he attributed his miraculous healing from cancer to Brandsma’s intercession.
Fr. Michael Driscoll, O. Carm, was diagnosed with advanced melanoma in 2004. Shortly afterward, someone gave him a small piece of Brandsma’s black suit, which the American priest applied to his head each day.
He underwent major surgery, with doctors removing 84 lymph nodes and a salivary gland. He then went through 35 days of radiation treatment.
Doctors said that his subsequent recovery from Stage 4 cancer was scientifically inexplicable.
Driscoll said that his doctor told him: “No need to come back, don’t waste your money on airfare in coming back here. You’re cured. I don’t find any more cancer in you.”
A congress of theologians recognized the healing as a miracle on May 25 this year. A group of cardinals approved the canonization cause on Nov. 9, submitting their decision to Pope Francis.
Pope Francis advanced several other causes on Thursday.
He recognized a miracle attributed to the intercession of Bl. Carolina Santocanale (1852-1923), known as Maria of Jesus, the Italian founder of the Capuchin Sisters of the Immaculata of Lourdes. She was beatified in 2016 and will now be canonized.
The pope also acknowledged the martyrdom of Enrico Planchart, Ladislao Radigue, and three companions, priests killed in hatred of the faith on May 26, 1871, at the time of the Paris Commune, a revolutionary government in the French capital.
The pope also recognized the heroic virtues of the Italian Bishop Antonio Bello (1935-1993), who he recently described as “a prophet in the land of Puglia,” the region at the southeastern tip of the Italian Peninsula.
In addition, he approved the heroic virtues of:
— Juan de San Pedro y Ustarroz (1564-1615), known as John of Jesus Mary, a Spanish Discalced Carmelite.
— Giorgio Guzzetta (1682-1756), an Italian Oratorian priest known as the Apostle of the Albanians of Sicily.
— Natalina Bonardi (1864-1945), founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Santa Maria di Loreto.
— Maria Dositea Bottani (1896-1970), superior general of the Institute of the Ursuline Sisters of the Immaculate Virgin Mary of Gandino.
— Odette Vidal Cardoso (1931-1939), a Brazilian girl who died in Rio de Janeiro at the age of nine.