“That night, I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me, a Child of Faith. 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.” – St. Maximillian Kolbe
Hey guys sorry this is so late in the day, but I couldn’t let the day go by without telling you all about one of my favorite saints. Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Maximillian Kolbe, a martyr who was killed in the World War II German concentration camp of Auschwitz.
I don’t know how many of you know the story, but St. Maximillian Kolbe was a Conventual Franciscan Priest living in Poland during WWII. He used his friary to shelter Jewish refugees from the Nazis after Hitler invaded Poland. Eventually he was arrested by the Nazi secret police and sent to Auschwitz, which is historically known to be the most brutal and deadly of the German concentration camps.
One day three prisoners escaped from the camp, and as punishment, the Nazis would choose 3 out of the remaining prisoners to starve to death. As they picked 3 random people, one of the chosen men begged for mercy for the sake of his wife and children. When Maximillian heard this he volunteered in his place. While in isolation and being starved, he gave the other prisoners hope. Finally when he would not die, the Nazis killed him through lethal injection.
Throughout his life St. Maximillian Kolbe had an incredibly strong devotion to Our Lady, entrusting his priesthood and life to her for the glory of her Son. What is more is that St. Maximillian Kolbe was actually killed on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Maximillian consecrated his life to Mary, and in doing so followed in her footsteps in accepting and embracing all that God gave him in life and in death. I always hear about how Mary is the perfect example of how we are to follow Christ, and it really showed in St. Maximillian Kolbe’s life. In a supreme sacrifice, St. Maximillian Kolbe laid down his life so that another might live. While some of us may not be called to this extreme, as the summer draws to an end and the new school year begins, how can we die to ourselves for the greater glory of God. Maybe it is through the Blessed Virgin. Look to her for an example just as St. Maximillian Kolbe did because there is no faster way to Christ than through His mother.
Since most of you won’t read this til tomorrow, Happy Feast of the Assumption! Totus Tuus!
And now for my favorite St. Maximillian Kolbe quote:
“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.”