Titus in Boxmeer

On the Titus Brandsma Square in Boxmeer, a memorial of Titus, created by artist Juul Baltussen, has stood since June 17, 2020.
A profile of Titus made of metal, standing on a suitcase symbolizing Titus’ many travels.

The Artist: Juul Baltussen
Date: 17 juni 2020
Place: Boxmeer

The Artwork

On Wednesday, June 17, 2020 – the day Titus Brandsma was ordained a priest at St. John’s Cathedral in Den Bosch in 1905 – the memorial was placed on the square named after Titus Brandsma in 2018.

A steel sculpture of the profile of Titus Brandsma, with the text on it being the conciliatory words Titus wrote at the end of his defense plea in Scheveningen prison. The other text on the memorial “war comes from two sides, peace too” is also attributed to Titus Brandsma.

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

The objects and other features on the memorial are: the suitcase symbolizes Titus Brandsma’s many travels; the Nazis returned the suitcase with personal belongings after his death in Dachau at the request of his family; the books and fountain pen indicate that he wrote a lot; martyrs are also sometimes depicted with a martyr’s branch, visible here on the back of the silhouette.

On the front of this is Titus Brandsma’s signature. The Carmel crest has been given a place on the spine of one of the books.

Titus Brandsma Boxmeer Memorial Foundation

The Titus Brandsma Boxmeer Memorial Foundation was established in 2019 to create a lasting memorial in honor of Titus Brandsma on the square named after him.

The board:
Hans Lucassen chairman
Riek Hermans secretary
Henk de Best treasurer
Falco Thuis board member †
Toke Lucassen ambassador

After several months of patient waiting in this corona crisis, the memorial in honor of Titus Brandsma on the square in Boxmeer named after him has been officially placed.

Onthulling Titus Beeld in Boxmeer

The board of the Titus Brandsma Memorial Foundation has chosen a modest placement in these times of all kinds of restrictions. On June 2, work began to give the statue, made by Juul Baltussen, a beautiful spot provided with new paving and greenery.

During an appropriate gathering on Wednesday, June 17 – the day he was ordained a priest in 1905 at St. John’s Cathedral in Den Bosch – the memorial was given a fitting place near the monastery on Steenstraat where Titus Brandsma entered.”

The Titus Brandsma Boxmeer Memorial Foundation, Hans Lucassen
Source: http://www.nepomukboxmeer.nl/

Juul Baltussen, born in 1958 in Oploo, married to Mia Baltussen-Schoenmakers. For more than 36 years they have lived in rural Westerbeek. There he also has his forge, exhibition space and sculpture garden.

Baltussen is a blacksmith and metal artist. He makes robust sculptures of Corten steel. The work of Hieronymus Bosch is an inspiration. Just like the surrealists. He lives from his art. His works can be seen throughout the Netherlands.

Stainless steel, corten steel, damask steel, for Juul Baltussen these materials have no secrets. He has been working with them for 35 years. A large number of his works can be found at government institutions and public spaces.

Many institutions not only have a figurative “Baltussen” in their homes, because of its surprising design and creative use of materials. The work is approachable, maintenance-free, hufterproof, is to touch, is between people and not somewhere far away in an inaccessible place.

His work is widely appreciated. Not only in the Netherlands. In 2005, Juul Baltussen participated in the Biennale Internazionale dell “arte contemporanea in Florence, Italy. Two years later he showed his sculptures in Switzerland during the Europ’Art Geneva. Throughout the year he regularly exhibits in the Netherlands during art events.

Titus Brandsma (1881-1942), resistance hero and defender of free speech, was born in Friesland. He became a Carmelite in the monastery at Boxmeer (see also: www.karmel.nl/titus-in-boxmeer/). After his ordination to the priesthood, he received his doctorate in philosophy in Rome. In the Netherlands he taught young Carmelites in Oss. He made himself deserving locally for the development of education and culture. He became a professor at the Catholic University in Nijmegen. In his lectures he took a stand against national socialism.

As a spiritual advisor, he became involved with national newspapers and journalists.

He personally traveled to the boards to convince them not to publish Nazi propaganda.

Bij thuiskomst in Nijmegen werd hij gearresteerd. De Sicherheitsdienst besloot tot gevangenhouding van deze “gevaarlijke monnik”. Via Scheveningen, Amersfoort en Kleve kwam hij terecht in concentratiekamp Dachau. Tijdens zijn gevangenschap waren veel medegevangenen onder de indruk van de rust, de hartelijkheid en het diepe Godsvertrouwen die van hem uitgingen.
Hij stierf in de ziekenbarak van kamp Dachau op 26 juli 1942.

Na de oorlog werd hem postuum het verzetsherdenkingskruis verleend. Paus Johannes Paulus II heeft hem in 1985 zalig verklaard als heldhaftig geloofsgetuige. En op 15 mei 2022 heeft paus Franciscus hem heilig verklaard.

(Meer informatie over het leven van Titus Brandsma vindt u op deze website onder Titus Brandsma / levensweg.)

Other Works by Juul Baltussen