The feast day of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe is celebrated on August 14. He was born in Poland in 1894. His father ran religious book store before enlisting in the army. His mother later became a Benedictine Nun. St. Maximilian is the patron saint of drug addicts, prisoners, families, and the pro life movement.
At the young age of 12, Maximilian experienced a vision from the Virgin Mary.
“That night I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both.”
Maximilian entered the minor seminary of the Conventual Franciscans in Lviv (formerly Poland, now the Ukraine) becoming a novice at 16. He studied science as well as philosophy and theology. He was ordeained a priest at the age of 24. His mission was to fight against indifference towards God. He founded the Militia of the Immaculata which fought evil and promoted prayer, work and suffering. He became known as the Apostle of Consecration to Mary.
When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, Kolbe and his friars were arrested and then released after 3 months on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
He was arrested a second time in 1941. After three months a prisoner escaped and ten men were ordered to be executed. St. Maximilian Kolbe offered to take the place of a man about to be executed. When asked who he was he replied ” a priest”. The commandant allowed the exchange. He was stripped naked and given no food. The prisoners sang. On the eve of the Feast of the Assumption the jailer came to inject the remaining prisoners with a needle with carbolic acid. The bodies of the prisoners were burned.
Maximilian Kolbe was canonized in 1982.
No one in the world can alter the truth, all we can do is seek it and live it.
Quote of St. Maximilian Kolbe
August is the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary