Skip to comments.The Man Who Stepped Out of Line (St. Maximilian Kolbe and Christian Masculinity)
Posted on 08/10/2006 6:42:26 PM PDT by Pyro7480
The Man Who Stepped Out of Line
In this post-feminist age where men are still learning remedial masculinity, we have a model of manhood lived heroically which we would do well to emulate. In the early twentieth century Poland gave us that manly priest, John Paul II, but also his hero, Maximilian Kolbe, priest, missionary, spiritual father and martyr of brotherly love. St. Maximilians feast day is August 14th, the vigil of his beloved Virgin Marys Assumption and the day which commemorates the conquest of virile love over the totalitarian creeds of his generation.
As men, we could all learn a simple lesson from Maximilian Kolbe in a fundamental area of virtue: namely, chastity. Men today dont connect chastity with manliness because they are indoctrinated by a sexualized society against the sacrifice it requires. But chastity is the proof of a mans virtue, not its destruction. Whether it is pre-marital chastity to respect women, periodic abstinence in marriage to respect wives, or permanent celibate chastity for Gods kingdom, a man must learn it or live in a state of perpetual adolescence. Indeed, even as a child Kolbe was asked by Our Lady to choose between a white crown of purity and a red crown of martyrdom, and he showed his penchant for magnanimous sacrifice by choosing both! Men will be chaste not just when women demand it of them but when they see it as a heroic way to prove their manhood, and Kolbes example stands out for any of us who have eyes to see.
Upon this foundation of chastity St. Maximilian built a veritable kingdom for Christ. This kingdom was not the raw expression of ego that so many men flaunt but a kingdom of love to which he devoted his life and all his vital energies. He was not yet a priest when he formed an organization for the conversion of all Freemasons in the worldno minor project there. He then established the largest monastery of religious men in the world and gave them all the task of bringing souls to Christ. After that he learned Japanese and went there because he saw that the mainly un-christianized Japanese had souls to save too and someone had to do it. He identified himself as that someone. Nor was he known to have ever accepted a benefit or privilege beyond what his men received, even when he was technically entitled to it as their superior. He ate with them, prayed with them, slept on the floor like them and then went to several Nazi prison camps with them. He was first but made himself the last and the servant of all. This was a mans man.
If the real identifying mark of a man is his ability to forgo his own desires for the good of others, then the sacrifice of ones life for another surely qualifies as the highest measure of manhood. This saint did not even know the man who lamented about the destitution of his wife and children if he would have died in that concentration camp, but Kolbe stepped out of line right then and there and took his place as if it never occurred to him that he had just agreed to the most horrible death imaginable, death by starvation, or to having his veins shot through with carbolic acid to finish off the devilish deed. His act of selflessness was so spontaneous that it seemed as just another sacrifice in his day, but in reality it was the ultimate sacrifice. Im just a priest, he told the Kommandant of the camp. Ill go instead of him.
Will todays men learn from this man about manhood? Woe to us if we do not! In a world where feminist dogmas and intimidations shame men from living the heroism to which all of us are called, Kolbe beckons men to stand up, throw off this present totalitarianism and step out of line for those who need men most.
St Kolbe our first family saint/Christian Heroes!
Very inspiring! Thank you for posting this :)
Indeed. How different would our culture be today if the feminists of the sixties & seventies, in seeking equality, would have demanded of men the same chastity that had always been expected of women? The old double standard did in fact exist, but what if they had raised behavioural standards for men, instead of lowering them for women?
Great points made by a great life.
Thanks much. Hadn't known of him.
It is hard to conjure a more emasculating exercise than witnessing men blaming women for their failures.
"It's YOUR fault I am weak. It's YOUR fault I chase skirts. It's YOUR fault I am so indecisive. It is YOUR fault I am a sodomite"
Perhaps that is true with the older generations, but with the post-1960s generations, the indoctrination and influence of the feminists is doing its damage, particularly on boys in public schools.
It started with Adam, so why should we be surprised now?
I agree, though, that a first step toward any improvement has to be taking personal responsibility, instead of collapsing.
If you get a chance, read, "Forgotten Survivors"...excellent.
God calls each one of us to be a saint.
August 14, 2006
St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe
I dont know whats going to become of you! How many parents have said that? Maximilian Mary Kolbes reaction was, I prayed very hard to Our Lady to tell me what would happen to me. She appeared, holding in her hands two crowns, one white, one red. She asked if I would like to have themone was for purity, the other for martyrdom. I said, I choose both. She smiled and disappeared. After that he was not the same.
He entered the minor seminary of the Conventual Franciscans in Lvív (then Poland, now Ukraine), near his birthplace, and at 16 became a novice. Though he later achieved doctorates in philosophy and theology, he was deeply interested in science, even drawing plans for rocket ships.
Ordained at 24, he saw religious indifference as the deadliest poison of the day. His mission was to combat it. He had already founded the Militia of the Immaculata, whose aim was to fight evil with the witness of the good life, prayer, work and suffering. He dreamed of and then founded Knight of the Immaculata,, a religious magazine under Marys protection to preach the Good News to all nations. For the work of publication he established a City of the ImmaculataNiepokalanowwhich housed 700 of his Franciscan brothers. He later founded one in Nagasaki, Japan. Both the Militia and the magazine ultimately reached the one-million mark in members and subscribers. His love of God was daily filtered through devotion to Mary.
In 1939 the Nazi panzers overran Poland with deadly speed. Niepokalanow was severely bombed. Kolbe and his friars were arrested, then released in less than three months, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
In 1941 he was arrested again. The Nazis purpose was to liquidate the select ones, the leaders. The end came quickly, in Auschwitz three months later, after terrible beatings and humiliations.
A prisoner had escaped. The commandant announced that 10 men would die. He relished walking along the ranks. This one. That one. As they were being marched away to the starvation bunkers, Number 16670 dared to step from the line. I would like to take that mans place. He has a wife and children. Who are you? A priest. No name, no mention of fame. Silence. The commandant, dumbfounded, perhaps with a fleeting thought of history, kicked Sergeant Francis Gajowniczek out of line and ordered Father Kolbe to go with the nine. In the block of death they were ordered to strip naked and the slow starvation began in darkness. But there was no screamingthe prisoners sang. By the eve of the Assumption four were left alive. The jailer came to finish Kolbe off as he sat in a corner praying. He lifted his fleshless arm to receive the bite of the hypodermic needle. It was filled with carbolic acid. They burned his body with all the others. He was beatified in 1971 and canonized in 1982.
|The Man Who Stepped out of Line
|In this post-feminist age when men are still learning remedial masculinity, we have a model of manhood lived heroically which we would do well to emulate.
|In This Article...
Purity and Martyrdom
Servant of All
Im Just a Priest
Purity and Martyrdom
Servant of All
Im Just a Priest
BTTT on the Memorial of St. Maximillian Mary Kolbe, August 14, 2007!
Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe,
Priest & Martyr
St. Maximillian was born in the Poland in 1894. He entered the novitiate of the Conventual Franciscans in 1910. In 1914 and three years later help organized the association The Militia of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. He was ordained in Rome in 1918. In 1922, he began publishing the magazine, "Knight of the Immaculate," first in Polish and then in other languages.
In 1927, he began building a whole town with property donated by a wealthy nobleman, called the "Town of the Immaculate," outside of Warsaw. There he began training people with vocations among the laity and prospective Religious and Priests, to become apostles of Mary. The first Marian Missionaries to Japan were trained in the "Town of the Immaculate." In 1930, Maximillian opened a Marian publication apostolate in Nagasaki, Japan one of the two cities in Japan which would later be ravaged by a nuclear bomb during the Second World War. As popes have been saying ever since, God chose His most faithful people as a sacrifice to insure future peace in the world.
In 1939, Maximillian was arrested by the Nazis who had taken over Poland and sent to Auschwitz. Two years later, in July of 1941, at Block Fourteen, where Saint Maximilian was being kept, revealed that a prisoner had escaped. The policy was to assemble all the prisoners from the block in the yard where they would stand at attention the whole day. If, by the end of the day, the escapee had not been recovered, ten others would be chosen at random to die in his place.
By three o'clock the prisoner was still not found. One of the ten chosen to die was Francis Gajowniczek. Mr. Gajowniczek cried out, "My poor wife, my poor children! What will happen to my family!" That is when Fr. Kolbe came forward, asked to exchange places with Gajowniczek and took the place of the condemned man.
Father Kolbe was sent to the starvation bunker. He lead those with him in prayer. After two weeks, he was still alive. On the morning of August 14, 1941 a lethal dose of carbolic acid was injected into him.
He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 10, 1982.
you filled your priest and martyr,
St. Maximilian Kolbe,
with zeal for souls
and love for his neighbor.
Through the prayer of this devoted servant of Mary Immaculate,
grant that in our efforts to serve others for your glory
we too may become like Christ your Son,
who loved his own in the world even to the end,
and now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
First Reading: Wisdom 3:1-9
But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be an affliction,
and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace.
For though in the sight of men they were punished,
their hope is full of immortality.
Having been disciplined a little,
they will receive great good,
because God tested them and found them worthy of Himself;
like gold in the furnace He tried them,
and like a sacrificial burnt offering He accepted them.
In the time of their visitation they will shine forth,
and will run like sparks through the stubble.
They will govern nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord will reign over them for ever.
Those who trust in Him will understand truth,
and the faithful will abide with Him in love,
because grace and mercy are upon His elect,
and He watches over His holy ones.
Alternative First Reading 1John 3:14-18
We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Any one who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But if any one has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.
Gospel Reading John 15:12-16
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Militia Immaculata Prayer of Marian Consecration
(Composed by St. Maximilian Kolbe)
O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.
If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world." Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin
R. Give me strength against your enemies
I read A Man For Others which focused on St. Kolbe's life based on interviews and testimonials from people who knew him. What an insightful read - I would highly recommend it!