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Maximilian Kolbe

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Saint Maximilian Kolbe
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Image:StMaximilianRaymond.jpg

Martyr
Born January 7, 1894, Zduńska Wola, Poland
Died August 14, 1941, Auschwitz concentration camp, Poland
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified October 17, 1971
Canonized October 10, 1982
Major shrine Basilica of the Immaculate Mediatrix of Grace, Niepokalanów, Poland
Feast August 14
Attributes Either a Franciscan friar's habit or a Nazi concentration camp prisoner's uniform, a rosary or a medallion with Virgin Mary in his hand
Patronage 20th century, power workers, journalists, political prisoners, drug addicts
O Lord Jesus Christ, who said, "greater love than this no man has that a man lay down his life for his friends," through the intercession of Saint Maximilian Kolbe whose life illustrated such love, we beseech you to grant us our petitions...

Through the Militia Immaculata movement, which Maximilian founded, he spread a fervent devotion to Our Lady throughout the world. He gave up his life for a total stranger and loved his persecutors, giving us an example of unselfish love for all men - a love that was inspired by true devotion to Mary. Grant, O Lord Jesus, that we too may give ourselves entirely without reserve to the love and service of our Heavenly Queen in order to better love and serve our fellow man in imitation of your humble servant, Saint Maximilian. Amen.
Novena to St. Maximilian Kolbe

Maksymilian Maria Kolbe, real name: Rajmund Kolbe (1894-1941) was a Polish Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a family father in the Nazi Auschwitz I concentration camp. He is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Maximilian Kolbe.

Before World War II, Kolbe was active in promoting the veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, founding and directing several organizations and publications. Kolbe was active as a radio amateur with Polish call letters SP3RN, vilifying Nazi activities by reporting the truth. In 1939, the friary he supervised and founded near Warsaw provided shelter to Polish refugees, including Jews. In May 1941, he was arrested and imprisoned in the Auschwitz I camp.

In July 1941, a man from Kolbe's bunker had vanished, prompting the Nazis to pick 10 men from the same bunker to be starved to death to deter further escape attempts. (The man was later found drowned in the camp latrine.) When one of the ten cried out, lamenting about his family, Kolbe asked to take his place, and the wish was granted. After two weeks of starvation, only four of the ten men were still alive, including Kolbe. The cells were needed, and Kolbe and the other three were executed with an injection of carbolic acid.

In July 1998 the Church of England unveiled a statue of Kolbe on the west door of Westminster Abbey in London, UK, as part of a monument to the memory of ten 20th-century martyrs.

See also

Holocaust theology

External links

et:Maximilian Kolbe it:San Massimiliano Maria Kolbe ja:マキシミリアノ・コルベ pl:Maksymilian Maria Kolbe sv:Maximilian Kolbe

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