|Birth: ||Apr. 20, 1908|
|Death: ||May 9, 1966|
Former Bishop of the Diocese of 's Hertogenbosch (Bois-le-Duc), Mgr. Wilhelmus Marinus Bekkers was born in Sint-Oedenrode, Netherlands, on April 20, 1908, to Willem Bekkers and his wife Barbara Krol.
Ordained to the Priesthood at 25 years of age on June 10, 1933, Bekkers was named Parish Priest in 's Hertogenbosch, where along the years, he served as Rector of numerous institutions.
At 48 years of age, Bekkers was named Coadjutor of 's Hertogenbosch (Bois-le-Duc), by Pope Pius XII, receiving his Episcopal Consecrstion with the Titular See of Thasus on February 12, 1957, from Archbishop Willem Pieter Adrian Maria Mutsaerts, assisted by Archbishops Joseph Wilhelmus Maria Baeten and Johannes Petrus Huibers.
Succeeding to the See of 's Hertogenbosch following the resignation of the named Msgr. Mutsaerts on June 27, 1960, Bishop Bekkers was a very popular and respected figure in the Netherlands, gaining national fame following his participation on the current affairs program "Focus", featured on the Dutch television.
A simple, pious, farmer's son, he argued modernist views in different moral issues. With his way to spread his words, particularly on TV, his catch phrase "Caritas Pro Armis" - which means "With Love As A Weapon" - Bishop Bekkers had a lot of attention for vulnerable people, like people with a intellectual handicap and their parents. Bishop Bekkers had become known by his modernistic views in several moral issues. According to Bekkers the Church mustn't prescribe a strict moral, but must respond to the needs of the believers. His early death in 1966, shocked the Netherlands.
Suffering from a brain tumor, he passed away in Tilburg, on May 9, 1966, aged 58. His Funeral, presided by Bishop Johannes Willem Maria Bluijssen at the Bossche Basilica saw the participation of numerous of Prelates, including that of N.K. van den Akker (1917 - 2000), marking the years of ecumenical friendship between the two. On the occasion, Van den Akker shared a personal prayer, the first time since the Reformation, four centuries before. In the presence of his mother and thousands along the side of the road, Bishop Bekker was interred in his hometown, St. Oedenrode, in a prominent section behind the Sint-Martinuskerk.
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Nov 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61239491
It Was You, O God, Who Made Your Servant Bishop Bekkers, A Successor Of The Apostles By Raising Him To The Episcopal Order. May He Also Be Associated With Them Forever. We Ask This Through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen.|
Added: Nov. 7, 2010