Carmelite priest. Ordained in 1905 in Rome, he taught philosophy for fifteen years, founded a Catholic newspaper and a secondary school, and translated the works of Theresa of Avila into Dutch.
He was appointed Professor of Philosophy at Nijmegen in 1927, and gained an international reputation as a writer on mysticism.
In 1935, he protested against Hitler's restrictions on Jewish marriages. In 1940, Hitler invaded Holland and Brandsma was arrested. He was moved to Dachau concentration camp where, in spite of being beaten regularly, he distributed hosts consecrated by German priests. The hard physical work he was obliged to do caused a breakdown after five weeks, and he was moved to the prison hospital where he was subjected to medical experiments and finally killed by lethal injection. His prison works were published after his death.
He was beatified in 1985 and canonized in 2008. Feast: 26 July.
P. Burns, B.T.A., pp. 344–5.