St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, Priest and Martyr


St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan friar and Catholic martyr. He was born in Zduska Wola, Poland, on January 8, 1894. Known for his efforts to spread the Christian faith, he became a symbol of sacrifice and bravery during World War II.

St. Maximilian Kolbe entered the Franciscan Order at an early age and was ordained a priest in 1918. He formed the Militia of the Immaculata, an organization dedicated to fostering devotion to the Virgin Mary and combating evil in the world.

During World War II, St. Maximilian Kolbe's monastery in Poland housed and protected numerous refugees, including Jews. He was seized by the Nazis in 1941 and sent to the Auschwitz prison camp. Despite the tough circumstances, he continued to minister to his fellow captives and boost their spirits.

St. Maximilian Kolbe volunteered to take the place of another prisoner who had been chosen for execution in a noble act of sacrifice. His offer was accepted, and he died in the Auschwitz death chamber on August 14, 1941. He remained calm and prayed for his captors and other inmates till his final breath.

On October 10, 1982, Pope John Paul II canonized St. Maximilian Kolbe as a saint. He is a patron saint of prisoners, the pro-life movement, and those suffering from addiction. In the face of evil, his life teaches us the value of faith, love, and sacrifice.

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