St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe
Feast: August 14
7 January 1894 at Zdunska Wola, Poland
August 14, 1941, Auschwitz concentration camp, Poland
10 October 1982, Rome, Italy by Pope John Paul II
Basilica of the Immaculate Mediatrix of Grace, Niepokalanów, Poland
20th century, Pro-Life Movement, drug addiction, drug addicts, families, amateur radio
He was ordained in Rome on 28 April 1918.
On 16 October 1917, with six companions, he founded the Crusade of Mary Immaculate, with the aim of 'converting sinners, heretics and schismatics, particularly freemasons, and bringing all men to love Mary Immaculate'.
On 21 November 1927 the Franciscans moved from Grodno to Teres,in and on 8 December the friary was consecrated and was given the name of Niepokalanow, the City of the Immaculate. 'Niepokalanow', said Fr Maximilian, 'is a place chosen by Mary Immaculate and is exclusively dedicated to spreading her cult. All that is and will be at Niepokalanow will belong to her. The monastic spirit will flourish here; we shall practise obedience and we shall be poor, in the spirit of St Francis.'On 17 February 1941 he was arrested and sent to the infamous Pawiak prison in Warsaw. On 28 May Fr Maximilian was with over 300 others who were deported from Pawiak to Auschwitz.
When three prisoners escaped, ten prisoners were be picked in reprisal from the blocks in which the fugitives had lived and would be assigned to the Bunker (the underground starvation cell).' 'After the group of doomed men had already been selected, a prisoner stepped out from the ranks of one of the When the sentence of doom had been pronounced, Gajowniczek had cried out in despair, 'O my poor wife, my poor children. I shall never see them again.' It was then that from among the ranks of those temporarily reprieved, prisoner 16670 (Kolbe) had stepped forward and offered himself in the other man's place. 'In the cell of the poor prisoners there were daily loud prayers, the rosary and singing, in which prisoners from neighbouring cells also joined. Fr Kolbe was given an injection of carbolic acid in the vein of his left arm. Fr Kolbe, with a prayer on his lips, himself gave his arm to the executioner.
Edited from: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/M/stmaximilianmarykolbe.asp