HAPPY FEAST DAY OF ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
Unique medal honoring St. Maximilian Kolbe.
Maximilian Kolbe was born in 1894 in Poland to a poor but pious Catholic family. His father Julius who fought for Polish independence from Russia was hanged by the Russians in 1914. His mother Marianne later became a Benedictine nun. He was a mischievous and wild child but at the age of twelve when he received his First Holy Communion a vision of the Virgin Mary changed his life.
"I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. the white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both." -Saint Maximilian Kolbe
He took his final vows in 1914 and became a Franciscan. Devoted to his faith, he founded the Militia of Immaculate Mary for conversion and dedication to the Virgin Mary. In 1922 he began publication of the magazine 'Knight of the Immaculate' to fight religious apathy. In 1927 he founded a new monastery of Niepokalanow. In 1930 Maximilian and four brothers left for Japan and founded a monastery in Nagasaki which survived the war and still serves as a center for Franciscan work today. He then went to India but returned to Poland because of his poor health. He continued to work in the monastery but was arrested in 1939 during the Nazi invasion of Poland. He was let go soon after and went back to the monastery to continue his work. They housed 3000 Polish refugees of which two-thirds were Jewish. In 1941, the monastery was shut down and Maximilian was imprisoned again. Transferred to Auschwitz, he was branded as prisoner 16670. He was beaten in prison and left for dead. He was smuggled into the camp hospital where he recovered and continued ministering to the prisoners saying Mass and giving them communion with smuggled bread and wine. In July of 1941 Maximilian volunteered to take the place of a married man with young children. He gave his life in exchange for this man as he had promised the Mother of God so many years ago when he accepted the red crown.
St. Maximilian Kolbe is the patron of families, journalists and against addiction. His feast day is celebrated on August 14th.
NOVENA PRAYER TO ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
O Lord Jesus Christ, who said, "greater love than this no man has that a man lay down his life for his friends," through the intercession of St. Maximilian Kolbe whose life illustrated such love, we beseech you to grant us our petitions...
(here mention the requests you have).
Through the Militia Immaculata movement, which Maximilian founded, he spread a fervent devotion to Our Lady throughout the world. He gave up his life for a total stranger and loved his persecutors, giving us an example of unselfish love for all men - a love that was inspired by true devotion to Mary.
Grant, O Lord Jesus, that we too may give ourselves entirely without reserve to the love and service of our Heavenly Queen in order to better love and serve our fellowman in imitation of your humble servant, Maximilian. Amen.
(Say 3 Hail Marys and a glory Be)