Wittem: Van Rossum's favourite Redemptorist place in the Netherlands
In the years 1874-1880 Willem van Rossum lived in Wittem, where he was a student at the Scholasticate of the Redemptorists. A couple of years later, in 1883, he became a professor in Dogmatics in the same house. Ten years later, as the Rector of the monastery, he became the man in charge. Under his leadership the house was renovated and a splendid library was built. After he had moved to Rome in 1895, he visited Wittem every time he was in the vicinity. Here, the day before his death, on August 29th, 1932, he celebrated mass for the very last time.
"Cardinal van Rossum was buried in Wittem on the third of September, the day that he would have become 78 years of age. His remains are lying in the church of Wittem’s convent. Looming large in the church is Van Rossum’s memorial statue, carved in 1939 from exquisite white Carrara marble by the official sculptor of the Vatican, Enrico Quattrini. Directly below the statue is an inscription in memory of his prefecture: Vir bonus, Fidelis super multa, qui Christum annuntiavit in Gentibus: “A noble man, faithfully in charge of many things, he revealed Christ to the nations.” His immediate successor as Prefect of Propaganda Fide, Cardinal Pietro Fumasoni-Biondi, came from Rome to be present for the reburial and dedication of the memorial." (Joop Vernooij in Life with a Mission.)
Read more on the Dutch site of the Redemptorists
Design: Frank G. Bosman