Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Auschwitz Saint

From the Hermitage

Maximilian Kolbe

O St. Maximilian Kolbe, faithful follower of St. Francis, inflamed by the love of God you dedicated your life to the practice of virtue and to works of the apostolate. Look down with favor upon us who devoutly confide in your intercession. Having consecrated yourself to the Immaculate Virgin Mary, you inspired countless souls to a holy life and various forms of the apostolate in order to do good to others and to spread the kingdom of God. Obtain for us the grace by our lives and labors to draw many souls to Christ.  Amen.

In your close conformity to our Divine Savior you reached such an intense degree of love that you offered your life to save a fellow prisoner. Implore God that we, inflamed by such ardent charity, may through our living faith and our apostolic works witness Christ to others, and thus merit to join you in the blessed vision of God. Amen.

Today we celebrate, truly celebrate, the wisdom and the spirituality of a man of modern times.  To read the short version of his life noted above is to encounter a unique individual.  Certainly we celebrate his charity:  to give up his life for a fellow prisoner in Auschwitz because the man had a wife and children.  But look at all this man did through out his life.  So much study to deepen his knowledge of Jesus Christ and our Church.  So much effort to spread the Good News through a variety of print materials.  Imagine how active St Maximilian would be today with all the Social Media outlets he could use to familiarize Catholics and many others with the realities of life.  An author, a public speaker, a visionary, and apparently the recipient of an appearance by the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Maximilian Kolbe is certainly a saint who life is worthy of the time to come to know him.  What a topic for conversation around the dining room table at dinner tonight, particularly if there are young adults and children there.  His is a story that would make a movie.  His life is the kind that shine with challenge, excitement and enthusiasm.   Likewise, it might be an interesting conversation topic "around the water cooler or coffee machine" at work today.

Let his story bring a special joy and thanksgiving that our Church had such a man committed to his Baptism and Confirmation.  Indeed Fr. Kolbe was a Soldier of Christ.