|"Anno, do you know what?"|
"You are a very bright boy!"
The speaker was a Dutch Franciscan friar; the bright young man, a student at the Franciscan minor seminary in Megen, the Netherlands.
"You are too bright to be a Franciscan," the priest continued.
"There are many bright Franciscans, Father."
"I am talking about you, Anno. You should be a Jesuit . . . not a Franciscan."
This conversation took place just before the turn of the 20th century. And, as happens in every century, the young man took none of his elder's advice. He joined neither the Franciscans nor the Jesuits; he became a Carmelite priest. His name was Anno Sjoerd Brandsma. He was born in Friesland, a province in the northwest corner of the Netherlands on February 23, 1881.
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