Skip to comments.August 14 - Memorial, St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe
Posted on 08/14/2003 7:38:44 AM PDT by Pyro7480
St. Maximilian was born Raymond Kolbe in Poland, January 8, 1894. In 1910, he entered the Conventual Franciscan Order. He was sent to study in Rome where he was ordained a priest in 1918.
Father Maximilian returned to Poland in 1919 and began spreading his Militia of the Immaculata movement of Marian consecration (whose members are also called MIs), which he founded on October 16, 1917. In 1927, he established an evangelization center near Warsaw called Niepokalanow, the "City of the Immaculata." By 1939, the City had expanded from eighteen friars to an incredible 650, making it the largest Catholic religious house in the world.
To better "win the world for the Immaculata," the friars utilized the most modern printing and administrative techniques. This enabled them to publish countless catechetical and devotional tracts, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 230,000 and a monthly magazine with a circulation of over one million. Maximilian started a shortwave radio station and planned to build a motion picture studio--he was a true "apostle of the mass media." He established a City of the Immaculata in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1930, and envisioned missionary centers worldwide.
Maximilian was a ground-breaking theologian. His insights into the Immaculate Conception anticipated the Marian theology of the Second Vatican Council and further developed the Church's understanding of Mary as "Mediatrix" of all the graces of the Trinity, and as "Advocate" for God's people.
In 1941, the Nazis imprisoned Father Maximilian in the Auschwitz death camp. There he offered his life for another prisoner and was condemned to slow death in a starvation bunker. On August 14, 1941, his impatient captors ended his life with a fatal injection. Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian as a "martyr of charity" in 1982. St. Maximilian Kolbe is considered a patron of journalists, families, prisoners, the pro-life movement and the chemically addicted.
This biographical data is a condensation derived from the Polish Knight, Rycerz Niepokalanej, September, 1982
1894 January 8: Raymond Kolbe is born at Zdunska Wola, the second son of Julius and Marianne (Dabrowska) Kolbe. The same day he was baptized in the parish church.
1902 June 29: Raymond receives his First Holy Communion in Pabianice, where the family had moved, looking for better work as weavers.
1907: Under the influence of the preaching of Fr. Peregrine Haczela, OFM CONV., during the parish mission in Pabianice, Raymond and Francis Kolbe enter the preparatory seminary of the Conventual Franciscans in Lwow.
1910 September 4: Despite the uncertainties about his calling Raymond receives the Franciscan habit from Fr. Peregrine Haczela, the Minister Provincial, and his name in the Order, Maximilian, at the novitiate in Lwow.
1911 September 5: Friar Maximilian professes his first, "simple" vows.
1912 November: Friar Maximilian is sent to the Order's international seminary in Rome and begins the study of philosophy at the Jesuit Gregorian University.
1914 November 1: Friar Maximilian professes his "solemn" vows of poverty, chastity and obedience at the seminary of the Order in Rome.
1915 October 22: Friar Maximilian earns his doctorate in philosophy and begins his study of theology in the Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure in Rome.
1917 January 20: On the seventy-fifth anniversary of the appearance of Mary to Alphonse Ratisbonne, during his meditation in the seminary chapel, Friar Maximilian resolves to establish a Marian organization.
1917: During a ball game Friar Maximilian suffers a hemorrhage indicating tuberculosis.
1917 October 16: Friar Maximilian establishes the Militia of the Immaculata with six other student friars of the Order's seminary.
1918 April 28: Friar Maximilian is ordained a priest by Cardinal Basil Pompilii, in the Church of Sant' Andrea della Valle, Rome.
1918 April 29: Father Maximilian celebrates his first Mass in the Church of Sant' Andrea della Fratte at the very altar where Our Lady appeared to Alphonse Ratisbonne in 1842.
1919 March 28: Pope Benedict XV blesses the MI by word of mouth at the request of Archbishop Dominic Jaquet.
1919 April 4: Fr. Dominic Tavani, Vicar General of the Order, bless and confirms the MI in writing.
1919 July 22: Fr. Maximilian obtains his doctorate in theology.
1919 July 29: He is assigned to the Order's seminary in Krakow to teach Church history, beginning in October.
1919 December 20: Cardinal Adam Stephen Sapieha grants permission for diplomas (certificates) of the MI to be printed in Polish.
1920 August 10: Father Maximilian journeys to the Tatra Mountain village of Zakopane for treatment of tuberculosis of the lungs and functions as chaplain for the "Climatic" Hospital. He is discharged on April 28, 1921.
1922 January 2: The MI is approved in Rome as a "Pious Union" by Cardinal Basil Pompilii, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Rome.
1922 January: There appears the first issue of the Knight of the Immaculata with a press run of 5,000 copies.
1922 October 20: Father Maximilian is transferred to the friary of Grodno, where he continues as editor of the Knight and begins printing with the help of two brothers.
1926 September 18: He returns to Zakopane for treatment of tuberculosis again and remains until April 13, 1927.
1926 December 18: Pope Pius XI grants indulgences to the MI which is canonically erected in the International Seraphic College, San Teodoro, Rome.
1927 June and July: Father Maximilian meets Prince John Drucki-Lubecki to examine the possibility of obtaining land from the prince for a new friary and publishing house.
1927 August 6: Father Maximilian blesses a statue of the Immaculate Mother of God at Teresin near Warsaw in the land of the future friary.
1927 November 21: Father Maximilian and his brothers move with their equipment from Grodno to Niepokalanow, the "City of the Immaculata."
1927 December 7: The Minister Provincial, Fr. Cornelius Czupryk, blesses the new foundation, which consists of two priests and eighteen professed brothers and candidates, of whom Father Maximilian is named guardian (superior).
1929 June 2: The Minister Provincial gives permission for the establishment of a minor seminary in Niepokalanow.
1930 February 26: Father Maximilian, prompted by a chance meeting with young Japanese, sets out for Japan to found another City of the Immaculata. He is accompanied by four Brothers, Zeno Zebrowski, Hilary Lysakowski, Sigmund Krol, and Severin (John) Dagis. He makes plans in Shanghai to found another City there.
1930 April 24: They arrive in Nagasaki, where Bishop Hayasaka permits them to publish a magazine on the condition that Father Maximilian teach philosophy at the diocesan seminary.
1930 May 24: One month after their arrival the first issue of the Japanese Knight, Seibo no Kishi, is published with a press run of 10,000 copies.
1930 June and July: Father Maximilian returns to Poland across Siberia to attend the Provincial Chapter.
1930 July 24: He is reappointed superior of the Japanese mission and his brother, Alphonse, the guardian of Niepokalanow and editor of the Knight.
1930 December 3: Fr. Alphonse Kolbe, blood brother of Father Maximilian, dies in Warsaw hospital.
1931 March 4: Father Maximilian purchases land for a new friary in the poor district of Nagasaki-Hongochi at the base of Mt. Hikosan.
1931 May 16: The friars move to the new facility, which is named Mugenzai no Sono (Garden of the Immaculata).
1932 May to July: Father Maximilian voyages to India to arrange for another City in the near future.
1933 April and May: He returns to Poland for the Provincial Chapter after a stopover of three weeks in Rome.
1933 July 17-20: He attends the Provincial Chapter in Krakow, during which he remains as editor of the Japanese Knight and the general administrator of the MI for the whole world. The ex-provincial, Fr. Cornelius Czupryk, is named superior of the Japanese mission.
1936 April 16: A minor seminary is opened in the Japanese Garden of the Immaculata.
1936 May and June: Father Maximilian leaves Japan for good, returning for the Provincial Chapter in Krakow, where he is appointed guardian of Niepokalanow on July 16.
1936 December 8: At the urging of Father Maximilian the Conventual Franciscan Order consecrates itself to Mary Immaculate.
1938 February: At Niepokalanow he publishes the first issue of the Knight of the Immaculata, Miles Immaculatae, in Latin; this quarterly is meant to propagate the MI among the clergy.
1938 December 8: They inaugurate the radio transmitting station with a sermon by Father Maximilian on Station SP 3 RN.
1939 September 1: Poland is invaded by Nazi Germany and soon the 772 professed and candidate members were caught up in the war.
1939 September 19: Father Maximilian is arrested for the first time with thirty-five brothers, another priest and a Korean seminarian.
1939 December 8: Father Maximilian and the friars with him at Ostrzeszow are set free and return the next day to Niepokalanow.
1940 November 21: After several requests Father Maximilian is allowed to publish one issue of the Knight of the Immaculata with a press run of 120,000 copies, dated December 1940 - January 1941.
1941 February 17: He is arrested and taken to Pawiak Prison in Warsaw by the Gestapo where he is cruelly treated.
1941 May 28: Father Maximilian is transported in a trainload of prisoners to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) where is is tattooed with the number 16670.
1941 July 28 - August 1: Between this five-day period Fritsch, the Commandant, sentences ten prisoners from Block 14 to death by starvation in retaliation for an escaped prisoner from their block. Father Maximilian's offer to die for one of the condemned, Francis Gajowniczek, is accepted. The condemned are placed in the basement bunker of Block 13.
1941 August 14: Father Maximilian is killed by an injection of lethal acid.
1941 August 15: His body is burned in the crematorium and according to his prediction, dispersed to the wind.
1969 January 30: Pope Paul VI declares Father Maximilian practiced heroic virtue and is worthy of the title "Venerable."
1971 June 14: The two miracles attributed to Ven. Maximilian are confirmed by Pope Paul VI and he is beatified on October 17 in St. Peter Basilica in Rome, by Pope Paul VI. (July 1948 Angela Testoni cured of tuberculosis of the intestines and August 1950 Francis Ranier cured of calcification of the arteries/sclerosis)
1982 October 10: Pope John Paul II, in a huge ceremony in St. Peter's square, declares his compatriot a "Saint," a martyr of charity.
The Knights, which are now called the "Militia of the Immaculata" (to reflect their international initials, MI), do have a website. You can access it by click on the link at the top of the thread. I am a first degree member of the MI. I consecrated myself on the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on June 27, 2003.
This was the case with me also, until recently. I must admit that I was subconsciously dismissive, assuming that he was canonized merely for being killed by the Nazis. But when I read about his early life and work, and his devotion to the Blessed Virgin, then I realized what a great saint he really was. Oddly enough, not only was he involved in the European theater of the war, but he also established a monastery in Japan near the site of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.
BTTT for August 14, 2004
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.
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
|Reading||A letter of St Maximilian Kolbe|
|We must sanctify the whole world|