Palm Beach, Fla., Jan 9, 2018 / 16:57 pm
More people need to know about the Dutch priest Blessed Titus Brandsma and his heroic death in a Nazi concentration camp, according to a Florida priest who says Brandsma's intercession led to a miraculous healing from cancer.
"He was bold. He was brave," Father Michael Driscoll, 76, told CNA. "He knew when he was in the pulpit preaching that there were people in the congregations taking notes for the Nazis about what he would be saying. Yet he continued."
Driscoll has faced his own struggles. He was diagnosed with advanced melanoma in 2004. Shortly after that, 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, the Boca Raton Sun-Sentinel reports.
Still, his cancer had a very poor survival rate, of only 10 to 15 percent after ten years.
"Doctors have stated Fr. Driscoll's cancer is now gone and have said his good health over the past 12 years defies all odds," the Diocese of Palm Beach said Dec. 13. "They have stated his healing and recovery from Stage 4 cancer cannot be explained medically."
Driscoll recounted his doctor's words three and a half years ago: "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."
The apparent miracle could lead to the canonization of Bl. Titus Brandsma. The Palm Beach diocese, where Driscoll serves as a retired priest, sent its findings and evidence to the Vatican in December 2017.
Brandsma, a Netherlands-born Carmelite priest, was a professor and a journalist. He was a strong critic of Nazi ideology. After the Nazis occupied his country in May 1940, they persecuted Jewish citizens and laid increasing restrictions on others.