Father Kolbe, a Polish Saint: Maximilian Kolbe was born in Poland on January 8, 1894. The two crowns on the right recall his vision of Mary, who appeared to him when he was a child and offered him the choice of the red crown of martyrdom or the white crown of purity – but he chose both and later entered the religious life and became [a priest of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual], ministering to Christians and Jews alike. Auschwitz concentration camp: Maximilian was arrested by Nazi forces and put in prison Feb. 17, 1941. On May 28, 1941 he was transferred to Auschwitz, Poland and branded prisoner 16670 He was beaten many times. He ministered to other prisoners and said mass using smuggled bread and wine. Fr Kolbe sacrifices his life to save another: In July 1941, there was an escape from the camp. When a prisoner escapes, ten other prisoners are killed. The guards chose Francis Gajowniczek, a married man with young children to die for the escape. Maximilian volunteered to take his place in the starvation bunker. Maximilian died as he had wished, in service to others. The background shows the bunker building in Auschwitz where he was imprisoned. Maximilian Kolbe’s feast day is August 14. He is the patron saint of prisoners.
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In other publications we read of an event in Maximilian’s own words:
They placed the black standard of the “Giordano Brunisti” under the windows of the Vatican. On this standard the archangel, St. Michael, was depicted lying under the feet of the triumphant Lucifer. At the same time, countless pamphlets were distributed to the people in which the Holy Father was attacked shamefully.
This is what inspired Saint Maximilian to found the Militia Immaculata!
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So, might I ask ye all once again to prayer the Saint Michael prayer once for my intentions and once for all of ye praying this prayer? Thank you so very much!
Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio;
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,
satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute in infernum detrude.
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
UPDATE: In choosing both crowns, of purity and martyrdom, we come to understand something: purity is a martyrdom and martyrdom can only be accomplished with the agility of soul had with purity. And that can be granted even at the time of martyrdom. Blessed John Paul II had a great insight in calling him a martyr of charity. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. God is love. God is truth. The Nazis took the life of this lover of the truth of God’s love for us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3,16).