SAINT Maximilian Kolbe was born on January 7, 1894 in Poland and became a Franciscan. He got tuberculosis and, though he recovered, he remained frail all his life.Prayers
Father Kolbe founded the Immaculate Movement and helped form a community of 800 Franciscan men, the largest in the world.
He went to Japan where he built a monastery and then on to India where he spoke about the Immaculate Movement. In 1936, he returned home because of poor health. After the Nazi invasion in 1939, he was imprisoned and released for a time. But he was arrested again in 1941 and sent to the terrible concentration camp at Auschwitz.
On July 31, 1941, in reprisal for one prisoner's escape, ten men were chosen to die. One of the 10 that was chosen to die, was a young husband and father. Father Kolbe offered himself in his place. He was the last of the 10 men to die, enduring two weeks of slow death through starvation, thirst, and neglect. He died as he always wanted - in service.
Heavenly Father, You inflamed Maximilian the Priest with love for the Immaculate Virgin and filled him with love for his neighbors. Through his prayers, grant us to work strenuously for Your glory in the service of others and so be made conformable to Your Son until death.
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