Oh where do I begin? There is so much I want to share about St. Maximilian Kolbe with you.
By now most of us know that Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish priest, a Franciscan. He was imprisoned in Auschwitz one of the notorious Nazi death camps and ultimately gave his life to save the life of a fellow prisoner. Note: With his love and devotion to our blessed Mother it is of no surprise that God chose to take him on the vigil of the Feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother.
"Francis Gajowniczek, the man for whom Maximilian Kolbe gave his life, survived the war and was present at the 1971 beatification (blessing) ceremony of Father Kolbe. Gajowniczek died in 1995".Source: My Hero
Through a Jewish website I found the following website dedicated to Father Kolbe. Click Here
One book I would highly recommend is a dual biography of a saint and a Nazi. Kolbe and the Kommandant: Two Worlds in Collision The following is from the book's introduction:
A most amazing story that not only reveals the life of a Saint - but the last days of none other than Auschwitz Kommandant Rudolph Hoess.There is so much more to know about this amazing saint. One of the things that was of interest to our family because of Joey's nationality, is that Fr. Kolbe went to Japan to bring Christianity to the Japanese people.
As a dual biography of a great saint and of one of the greatest criminals ever to scourge mankind, this book accomplishes what separate biographies of the two men could only suggest.
It shows the inevitable deadly collision of the two worlds that each represented, a collision that also produced unexpected atonement, conversion and healing.
In the process, this double biography reveals mankind's last real hope for deliverance from the crazed, satanic forces that still afflict it. Rarely has the conflict of the two opposing worlds been so dramatized and epitomized as in the stories of Maximilian Kolbe and Rudolph Hoess.
What elevates the story of Kolbe and Hoess to the level of an epic, is that both men were strikingly alike in their early lives and ideals. Both later became leaders who radically changed the lives of countless millions of people.
For most of us, it is hard to appreciate and believe that tremendous power of Kolbe's faith, love and life until precisely we see something of the "inconceivable darkness" that they overcame.
He also started a magazine and organization (really soldiers dedicated to Mary Immaculate) in honor of the Blessed Mother, to whom he had a great devotion. That organization is the Militia Immaculata is not only still in existence but is currently flourishing. As I have mentioned on many occasions, our family has been a member of the Militia Immaculata for many years now. I hope you considering enrolling and consecrating yourselves and your family to Mary Immaculate through the Militia Immaculata.
Militia Immaculata Prayer of Marian ConsecrationBTW, did you know that St. Maximilian also had a devotion to the Divine Mercy? That is why he along with St. Faustina and John Paul II are always mentioned by our family's in a little litany at the end of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
(Composed by St. Maximilian Kolbe)
Source: Women for Faith and Family
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
And lastly, a very happy 11th birthday to my nephew Carlos, who was blessed to be born on this great saint's feast day.