Skip to comments.St Maximilian Kolbe-Priest, Martyr, Saint
Posted on 08/14/2003 7:22:50 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
When KolbeNet was started, it was due to inspiration from St. Max. The miracles in his life, his love for the Blessed Mother, and his militant love for Catholicism. His mission was to win the world for the Immaculata as quickly as possible. Life in Christ, the life of every Catholic, is found modeled in St. Max. A man who gave everything for our Lord, including his life. Faithful priest, apostle of the media, and martyr of charity, St. Max leads us into the coming times with the light and the passion of Jesus.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us!
This is the story of St. Kolbe's life. As much care as possible has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The images are images that represent the stages of his life and the situations and environments that he was exposed to. Please take the time to read this amazing story of a remarkable Saint and martyr.
The story of Raymond Kolbe, the son...
On January 8, 1894 in Zdunska-Wola, Poland, Raymond Kolbe was born to a very holy Catholic family. His mother, Maria, and his father, Julius, were poor working class people who loved the Church and their family. They were both third order lay Franciscans, and very devoted to raising their children in the Church.
Raymond was a "wild" young boy. His mother often worried about the direction of his life because of his constant mischief. He wondered himself what he would become.
After praying before a statue of the Blessed Mother, Raymond told his mother that he had seen Mary. She handed him two crowns, a white and a red. The white crown represented purity, the red represented martyrdom. She asked which he would take. Raymond asked for both and she left.
The story of Raymond's vocation
Raymond's love for math and science, especially astronomy and space flight, lead him in the direction of becoming a scientist. His brilliant sketches of space rocket designs were sent to be patented. However, his designs were not openly accepted by the scientific community.
His love for the faith and seeing those who are against the Church, especially the Mason's demonstrations against the Holy Father, helped him to make his decision to give up any desires to be a scientist and astronomer. He found interest in the Franciscans.
Raymond was worried, however, that he was called to be a soldier and not a priest. Fortunately he saw God's call in his life. On September 4, 1910, he entered the Conventual Franciscan Order. He was sent to Rome for his studies where he was ordained a priest in 1918.
Father Maximilian Maria Kolbe, the story of a holy priest
Father Kolbe's mission in the priesthood was to be a spiritual soldier. Many people at that time were speaking out against the Catholic Church, especially the Masons. The Masons held demonstrations convincing people to stay away from Catholicism. Father Kolbe witnessed these demonstrations and had to do something to counter them.
The Militia of the Immaculata was born in Poland on October 16, 1917. A group of priests, and eventually laymen, would consecrate themselves to Immaculate Mary, to be used by her to lead others to Jesus and His Church. Their work would be educational and spiritual. Through their work and their prayer, they would lead a spiritual formation that would bring others to Jesus.
The Militia's members would wear the Miraculous Medal as their habit as a spiritual soldier. The medal was the result of an apparition to Sister Catherine Laboure in the Chapel of the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in Paris. Mary showed Sister Catherine an image. The image contained Mary, with her arms stretched out and rays of grace coming from her hands, with stars around her head. She told Sister Catherine, "Have a medal struck on this model. All who wear it will recieve great graces."
The members would say a prayer every day. They would repeat the prayer on the medal three times, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee," followed by the prayer, "And for those who do not have recourse to thee, especially the enemies of the Church and those who are recommended to thy intercession."
The Militia was given the status of a Primary Union by Pope Pius XI in 1926. In 1927, Father Kolbe established an evangelization center near Warsaw called Niepokalanow, the "City of the Immaculata." By 1938, the City had expanded from eighteen friars to an incredible 650, making it the largest Catholic religious house in the world.
Father Kolbe's Use of Technology
Father Kolbe planned to start a printing house where information could be mass produced and sent to millions of people. However, he had only half of the necessary funds. He trusted the Immaculata to help, praying that she would supply them with the needed funds to complete the work and print their publications. During his prayer before a statue of the Blessed Mother, he noticed an envelope. On the envelope, it said, "For you, Immaculata." Inside, the exact amount needed to complete the project.
Father Kolbe and the other priests developed a monthly magazine with a circulation of over 1 million, and a daily newspaper with a circulation of 230,000, as well as countless catechetical and devotional tracts. The friars used the latest printing and administrative technologies to print and distribute their publications.
Father Kolbe also started a radio station and planned to build a motion picture studio. All of this was used to teach and spread the Catholic faith and to teach the whole world about the Church.
Father Kolbe's Life as a Saint and a Martyr
When World War II started, the printing apostolate that Father Kolbe had started was a target of hatred from the Germans. Father Kolbe was arrested by the Gestapo and released in December, 1939. In February of 1941, he was arrested again and imprisoned in Warsaw. While in Warsaw he suffered from an inflammation of the lungs and was confined to the infirmary. On May 28, 1941, Father Kolbe, in a group of 320 prisoners, was transferred to the concentration camp at Auschwitz.
During his time there, he would share his meager rations of food with those around him who were hungry. He would secretly hear confessions and hold Mass for others in the camp. His work, even under these terrible conditions, continued. He would comfort the prisoners, saying, "Hate is not creative. Our sorrow is necessary that those who live after us may be happy."
Father Kolbe would plead with the prisoners to forgive their persecutors and overcome evil with good.
A Protestant Doctor who treated the patients in Father Kolbe's block, Block Twelve, said that Father Kolbe would not let himself be treated before any other prisoners in that block. Father Kolbe sacrificed himself for the prisoners.
"From my observations, the virtues in the Servant of God were no memoentary impulse such as are often found in men, they sprang from a habitual practice, deeply woven into his personality," the doctor said.
Father Kolbe had gotten better, well enough to be transferred to Block 14. One day, a man in Father Kolbe's block had escaped. All of the men from that block were brought out into the hot sun and made to stand all day with no food or drink. At the end of the day, the man that had escaped had not yet been found.
Commandant Fritsch, the guard who was in charge of this group, told the men that ten would die in place of the the one that had escaped. The guard called out the names. One man, Polish Sergeant Francis Gajowniczek, begged to be spared because, worried about his family on the outside who would not survive without him when he finally got out.
Father Kolbe silently stepped forward and stood before Commandant Fritsch.
The commandant asked, "What does this Polish pig want?"
Father Kolbe pointed to the polish sergeant, saying, "I am a Catholic priest from Poland; I would like to take his place, because he has a wife and children."
The commandant stood silent for a moment, then allowed the sergeant to take his place among the other men while Father Kolbe took his place. He was then sent to the starvation chamber. The secretary and interpreter for this bunker was so impressed by Father Kolbe's heroic actions that he kept an exact record of his last days, more detailed than the job required.
Each day the guards would remove the bodies of those who had died. The sounds of screaming and crying were not heard from the starvation bunker. Instead, the sounds of Father Kolbe leading the Rosary and singing hymns to the Immaculata with the other prisoners in the bunker could be heard. While the guards were away, the secretary would go into the bunker to speak with and console the prisoners. When Father Kolbe could no longer speak from his hunger and lack of energy, he would whisper his prayers.
After two weeks, the cell had to be cleared out for more prisoners. Only four prisoners were left, Father Kolbe was one of them. They injected a lethal dose of cabolic acid into each prisoner. Father Kolbe, the last prisoner left to be killed, raised his arm to the guard. On August 14, 1941, the eve of the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven, Father Kolbe was martyred. The next day, his body was cremated.
Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe, Apostle of the Mass Media
The man whose place Father Kolbe took was present for the beatification of Blessed Kolbe, a confessor, by Pope Paul VI on October 17, 1971. On October 10, 1982, Pope John Paul II canonized him Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe, a martyr.
Continuing the work of St. Kolbe
Today St. Kolbe's work still continues through the members of the Militia of the Immaculata. This work is obvious still throughout the world. KolbeNet's purpose is to carry out the work of St. Kolbe, to continue to bring Catholics together, to educate them, to get them to work together as one to win the world for the Immaculata, and as soon as possible.
We will do whatever it takes, just as St. Kolbe has done, to fight the spiritual battle and to win the world for the Immaculata. We are not alone. Other sites that are run by members of the MI include CatholiCity and Catholic Goldmine. CatholiCity's Bud MacFarlane, Jr., a member of the MI, also writes Catholic novels and produces Catholic audio tapes.
|If you would like to find out more about the Militia of the Immaculata, please visit our online version of the Militia of the Immaculata pamphlet. You can also find out about Knights at the Foot of the Cross from our online version of the pamphlet.|
I pinged you early so you wouldn't work so hard! LOL!
To: All; Pyro7480; Lady In Blue
BTTT on 08-14-04
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|