Tuesday, August 14, 2007

St. Maximilian Kolbe

Today is the feast day of one of my most favorite saints, Maximilian Kolbe. Founder of the Militia Immaculata, he was killed in Auschwitz in 1941. Before that he started the largest religious community in the world "Niepokalanow: City of the Immaculata". He traveled to Japan to start a similar community. He was a man of stunning intellect, yet possessed the utmost humility. Suffering from tuberculosis, the Franciscan brothers gave him a fur coat. He asked "Do the other Brothers have such fur coats?" But they did not give up: they made a warm, leather-lined jacket. When he asked they told him that they had made similar jackets for all the sick, and so he had to accept it. An excellent book about St. Maximilian called "A Man for Others" by Patricia Treece. It consists mainly of reminisces of those who knew him. His holiness and goodness just leaps off the page. He wanted to win all souls for Christ through Mary Immaculate. He considered the Miraculous Medal to be a "bullet" against the enemy of souls. His death was the same as his life, giving to others. When a prisoner of his cellblock had escaped, the guards chose 10 men to die in the starvation bunker. One of those chosen began to weep for his wife and children. St Maximilian stepped forward and offered himself to replace that man. It was accepted. After two weeks in the death bunker, only 4 men were still alive, St. Maximilian was one of them. He was injected with carbolic acid on August 14th, the Vigil of the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady.
I could go on and on about how much I love St. Maximilian. And it gives me such joy to know that he is in Heaven now, praying for me. St. Maximilian Kolbe. ora pro nobis!

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