Thursday, August 13, 2009

Saint of the Week - Maximilian Kolbe

Saint of the Week

Maximilian Kolbe was born in 1894 in Poland and became a Franciscan. He contracted tuberculosis and, though he recovered, he remained frail all his life. Before his ordination as a priest, Maximilian founded the Immaculata Movement devoted to Our Lady.

After receiving a doctorate in theology, he spread the Movement through a magazine entitled "The Knight of the Immaculata" and helped form a community of 800 men, the largest in the world.

On July 31, 1941, in reprisal for one prisoner's escape, ten men were chosen to die. Father Kolbe offered himself in place of a young husband and father. And he was the last to die, enduring two weeks of starvation, thirst, and neglect. He was canonized in 1982.