On the joyous feast of candles

English translation of the poem ‘Op ’t blijde feest der kaarsen

by Marcin W. Polkowski


On the joyous feast of candles

– Today is Candlemas –

I’ve been a silent witness

To a grand question here:


When all the candles were burning

– Light branching out from light –

I saw in the nuns’ hearts likewise

A fire lit by God.


Then two of the sisters

Repeated their vows aloud,

But the sisters’ Bridegroom found

In all of them His Bride.


And when they all had prayed

That they, from the Eternal Light,

Ignited like a candle,

Would be light of the Light,


Then I could give them Him,

Who answered this prayer

For Unity: look, my Flesh,

Gives that Unity to Thee.


And they are all candles now,

Standing around the altar,

Whose wax, melting as they burn,

Melts with the blood of Christ.


The light from all those candles

Was a joy to my eyes.

And I prayed to the God of Goodness

That it would stay that way.


Rijkevoort, February 2, 1932

Father Titus Brandsma O.Carm.


  1. Poem in the guestbook of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood (CPS), Rijkevoort. Preserved in the convent of the sisters in Aarle-Rixtel.


Translation: Marcin W. Polkowski

© Titus Brandsma Instituut 2024