Today I am blogging about St. Maximilian Kolbe. As a 10-year-old Raymond Kolbe was a very mischievous boy. One day Raymond’s mother was collecting chicken eggs when Raymond snuck up and unlocked the gate. After his mother punished him Raymond heard his mother say “Raymond what will become of you”. After that, the boy became more calm, loyal and holy which confused his parents. Raymond would weep and pray for several hours a day and one day in prayer Raymond had a vision of Our Lady who asked him “Raymond, here I have two crowns, a white one which means you will remain pure forever, and a red one which means you will give up your life for God as a martyr” and Raymond answered “my lady I accept them both” then the lady smiled and faded away.
In July 1914 Raymond was ordained a priest and took the name, Maximilian. In 1927 Fr. Kolbe and his brother arrived at the estate near Warsaw Poland to begin their work of the printing plant. It was a huge hit. It converted much of Poland. But Father Kolbe didn’t just rest, he went to Japan and did the same thing there.
On December 9, 1940, the Nazis arrived in front of the printing press and took them to the terrible concentration camp called Auschwitz. In the evening of July 13, 1941, the Nazis discovered a prisoner escaped and ten men would die of starvation. The man standing next to Father Kolbe was weeping. “I’m going to die,” he said. I have a wife and children in Poland.” “They have no one to support them.” Fr. Kolbe suddenly said, “I want to take this man’s place.” The Nazi’s eyes opened with surprise. “It shall be as you wish.” Late that night the other prisoners of block 14 heard beautiful music, “Hail Holy Queen”. The dying men were singing! Fr. Kolbe survived for 2 weeks in the Hunger Bunker, and Francis Gawikowski lived for 70 more years. In July 1941 St. Max died. On October 10, 1982, St. Maximilian Kolbe was canonized a Saint.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.