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Monday, August 13, 2007

St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe - August 14th

On August 14th we mark the Feast Day of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe. Known for his great love and devotion to Our Lady under the title of the "Immaculata", St. Maximilian Kolbe received the crown of martyrdom on this day in Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp.

His heroic death is recorded as follows:

"One day a prisoner escaped. The penalty for such a crime was the starvation of ten prisoners. Mercilessly, the men were rounded up and made to stand beneath the sweltering sun for hours. Then the commander “naturally selected” the ten men. When the last man was chosen he began screaming, weeping and pleading with the Nazi leader, “My poor wife! My poor children! How will they survive?” Watching the scene, Fr. Maximilian knew that his time had come. Now he was to advance down the road and receive his final crown. Walking fearlessly, for Our Lady and Lord walked with him, St. Maximilian stood before the commander and requested to starve in place of the man. Learning that he was a Roman Catholic priest, the leader eagerly complied.
Days passed, St. Maximilian and the nine other men remained in the starvation bunker. Yet, prayers and hymns to the Immaculata resounded from the barren cell. In the face of the cruelest death, Fr. Maximilian sang of the most wondrous life. For like St. Ignatius of Antioch who loved the Blessed Sacrament so dearly and constantly told the people that it was really the Body and Blood of Jesus they received, “he gave his flesh to the lions for love of Jesus,” dying finally by a lethal injection (Rev. Daniel A. Lord, S. J.)."

My own dear son Maximilian, is quite devoted to good St. Maximilian and we look forward to celebrating his name-saint.

Here are a few lovely quotes on the Eucharist, from St. Maximilian:

St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe Eucharistic Quotes:

"God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar."

"He remains among us until the end of the world. He dwells on so many altars, though so often offended and profaned."

"The culmination of the Mass is not the consecration, but Communion."

"You come to me and unite Yourself intimately to me under the form of nourishment. Your Blood now runs in mine, Your Soul, Incarnate God, compenetrates mine, giving courage and support. What miracles! Who would have ever imagined such!"

"If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion."

"Let us give ourselves to the Immaculata. Let her prepare us, let her receive Him in Holy Communion. This is the manner most perfect and pleasing to the Lord Jesus and brings great fruit to us."

"Niepokalanow is a home like Nazareth. The Father is God the Father, the mother and mistress of the home is the Immaculata, the firstborn son and our brother is Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. All the younger brothers try to imitate the elder Brother in love and honor towards God and the Immaculata, our common parents, and from the Immaculata they try to love the divine elder Brother, the ideal of sanctity who deigned to come down from heaven to be incarnated in her and to live with us in the tabernacle...

"The whole world is a large Niepokalanow where the Father is God, the mother the Immaculata, the elder brother the Lord Jesus in all the tabernacles of the world, and the younger brothers the people."

"My aim is to institute perpetual adoration," he said, for this is the "the most important activity."

"My aim is to institute perpetual adoration," spoke St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, Franciscan priest and founder of the Knights of the Immaculata. For he said that this is "the most important activity," and "if half of the Brothers would work, and the other half pray, this would not require too much."

"God dwells in our midst in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar"

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