Peter Donders in the midst of – the other Brabant Saints, Blesseds and Venerables

St Bavo Cathedral in Haarlem

Today is 27 October, the birthday of the Blessed Peter Donders, which is traditionally celebrated in Tilburg with a mass and, for several years now, with some other activity, such as the opening of a new temporary exhibition in the Pavilion in the Peerke Donders Park. Due to Corona closure, the two previous exhibitions had been extended, as a result of which the exhibition “Blesseds and Saints of Brabant” can only be seen a year later than planned. This exhibition not only sheds light on the life and meaning of Saints and Blesseds who have their roots in the province of Brabant (or just across its border), but also introduces a number of persons for whom the process of canonization is less well advanced or even has been prematurely concluded.

The seventh-century Saint Oda is the oldest of them all and one of the two women introduced. The second woman is the martyr Sr. Marie Adolphine (Kaatje Dierkx). It is she who is depicted next to Blessed Peter Donders in the apse of the new St Bavo Cathedral in Haarlem, North Holland. There, both represent the emancipation of the Catholics in the Netherlands.

St John’s Cathedral in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

The exhibition also pays attention to the Blessed Eustachius van Lieshout, who was also born in the nineteenth century, and whose statue in St John’s Cathedral in ‘s-Hertogenbosch stands next to that of Blessed Peter Donders. He worked as a missionary in South America 80 years after Peter Donders and was beatified in 2006.

For the celebration of the birthday of the Blessed Petrus Donders, special invitations were extended to representatives of the many religious institutes in Brabant from which had come many of the persons presented in the exhibition.

C. Peters,