Father Maximilian Kolbe

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On January 8, 1894, Raymond Kolbe, a truly remarkable and strong man, was born in Poland. At age sixteen, Kolbe became a part of the Conventual Franciscan Order and traveled to Rome where he studied and was finally ordained a priest eight years later. The next year, Kolbe returned home and eventually established the "City of the Immaculata." The City became the largest Catholic religious house in the world in 1939 with its 650 friars. These friars continued to spread the Immaculata throughout the world using the most advanced printing and administrative techniques of the time. The city expanded to different areas all over the world and Kolbe envisioned missionary centers in these different places. One of Kolbe's greatest achievement was enhancing the Church's understanding of Mary and the Trinity. (Consecration.com)

However, Father Maximilian's most impressive actions, although they did not have a worldwide effect, were those in the Auschwitz death camp. In 1941, Kolbe was captured and put in prison by the Nazis. Even in an environment that would have caused many to become selfish Kolbe continued to put others before him. When a doctor came, Kolbe ensured that they were all treated before he was. He continuously sacrificed himself for others and was truly put to the test, God's test, when a man in his bunker escaped. To set an example, the Nazis selected ten men to be tortured to death. One of these chosen men, Franciszec Gajowniczek, broke down and cried out about his wife and children. Father Mazimilian was moved to step in for this man because he had no family and, although he would be missed by some, he would not be hurting anyone. He stayed strong and fought to the very end of his life which aggravated the Nazis even more. Father Maximilian should set an example for everyone today as to how to live a truly Christian life. (Auschwicz.dk)
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