‘A Person I Admire’ Conor Duffy 11 (4)
The person I admire is Saint Maximilian Kolbe. He was born on 8th January 1894 and died on 14th August 1941.He was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in Poland. He was canonized on 10 October 1982 by Pope John Paul II, and declared a martyr of charity. He is the patron saint of drug addicts; political prisoners; families; journalists; prisoners; amateur radio; and the pro-life movement. Pope John Paul II declared him "The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century". Maximilian Kolbe was born Rajmund Kolbe on 8 January 1894 in Zduńska Wola, which was part of the Russian Empire at the time. Kolbe’s father was an ethnic German and his mother was of Polish origins. In 1907, Kolbe and his elder brother Francis decided to join the Conventual Franciscans. They illegally crossed the border between Russia and Austria-Hungary and joined the Conventual Franciscan junior seminary in Lwów. In 1910, Kolbe was allowed to enter the novitiate. He professed his first vows in 1911, adopting the name Maximilian, and the final vows in 1914, in Rome, adopting the names Maximilian Maria, to show his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Kolbe would later sing hymns to the Virgin Mary in the concentration camp. In 1918, Kolbe was ordained a priest. In 1919, he returned to the newly independent Poland, where he was very active in promoting the veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, founding and supervising the monastery of Niepokalanów near Warsaw; a seminary; a radio station; and several other organizations and publications. During the Second World War, he provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews whom he hid from Nazi persecution in his friary in Niepokalanów. On 17 February 1941, he was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison. On May 28, he was transferred to Auschwitz as prisoner #16670. At the end...
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