Friday, August 13, 2010

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (1894-1941)

He was born Rajmund Kolbe in Poland in 1894 to a large family.  His father and mother worked hard to care for their children.  His father, part of the resistance, was captured and executed by the Russians who occupied partitioned Poland. As a child, he had prayed and asked Our Lady for guidance.  In a vision, she offered two crowns, one for purity and one for martyrdom, he accepted both.  He entered the Conventional Franciscan Monastery at 16 and was ordained at 24. He dedicated his daily life to Mary and founded the Knights of the Immaculata, a magazine to preach the "Good News" and the City of the Immaculata which would house up to 700 Franciscans.  He also established a monastery outside of Nagasaki, Japan.  He was arrested by the Nazis in 1941 and sent to Auschwitz.  After a prisoner escaped, 10 men were order executed..  The prisoners were being lead to the death house and St Maximilian Mary Kolbe asked the commandant if he could take the place of one of the men who was a husband and father.  The commandant asked, "who are you?" He answered, "A priest."  He was canonized in 1982 by Pope John Paul II as a martyr of charity.  Franciszek Gajowniczek, the man he replaced in Auschwitz was in attendance. 
This week pray a Rosary in his honor, his feast day is August 14th.

Heavenly Father, Your loving servant Maximilian Kolbe spent his life in service to others, using technology to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. You crowned his life with the grace to give his life for another, in imitation of Jesus who said, “There is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend.” Through the intercession of St. Maximilian Kolbe, may we always use technology for Your glory and to draw others close to You and to your Blessed Mother, Mary.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, please pray for us!

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