Thursday, August 14, 2014
When he was ten years old, Maximilian Kolbe had a dream or a vision. He saw the Blessed Virgin Mary holding out two crows for him to choose. One was white for purity, the other red was for martyrdom. Instead of choosing only one, the boy chose both. He went on to enter a Franciscan monastery in Poland. Then he started the Knights of the Immaculata: men devoted to Mary Immaculate. He began a magazine which reached thousands of people with the message of the gospel. He went from Poland to Japan where he began the same work--using the press to spread devotion to Mary Immaculate. Due to health issues he returned to Poland, just as the Nazi regime was taking over his home country. He seen became a target of the Nazi occupiers. They arrested him. Eventually he was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. There he fulfilled his dream of becoming a martyr. He became a martyr of charity when a prisoner escaped and ten men were rounded up to be sent to a starvation bunker as punishment. Kolbe stepped out of the line of prisoners and offered to replace a man who had cried out that he was married with children. Kolbe's offer was accepted. After 14 days in the bunker where he had prayed and encouraged his fellow prisoners, Kolbe was injected with poison. May he intercede for all of us as the world faces new and brutal forces intent on wiping out Christianity and other religions.