Today’s the feast of the martyr Saint Maximilian Kolbe (January 8, 1894-August 14,
1941), the Apostle of Consecration to Mary. Pope Benedict reminded us recently that the death of Kolbe was a witness of the love which “defeats the darkness of egoism and hatred.” The Holy Father recalled words attributed Saint Maximilian Kolbe: “Hatred is not a creative force: only love is.” On August 14, 1941, the saint died in place of Franciszek Gajowniczek.
When Pope John Paul II canonized Kolbe in the presence of Franciszek Gajowniczek he said that Saint Maximilian Kolbe was not a confessor, but a martyr. He is one of ten 20th-century martyrs from across the world who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, London.
Saint Maximilian is the patron saint for those living with drug addictions, the imprisoned people, journalists, political prisoners, prisoners, and the pro-life movement.
Kolbe is a special saint for me because from my school days his image and story were imprinted in my mind and heart by the Nazareth sisters. How could the story of Fr. Kolbe not move you? When I visited the Nazi concentration camps in 1996, and prayed in Kolbe’s cell, his offering was very present to me. Through Kolbe’s intercession before the Throne of Grace we ask for world peace and peace in our hearts.
118 years ago the Venerable Servant of God Michael J. McGivney died at the age of 38. A diocesan priest of the Hartford Diocese and founder of the Knights of Columbus, McGivney urged holiness and missionary activity with the Knights and his parishioners. The only way to manage this is to adhere 100% to Jesus Christ.
The prayer for canonization is an excellent summary of McGivney’s work and a challenge for us to similarly respond to God and service of neighbor. The McGivney Guild which promotes McGivney’s cause for sainthood by giving relevant information on Fr. McGivney and it has a number of devotional items to encourage devotion to him. The Guild publishes a newsletter 6 times per year. Membership is open to all people and free.
Prayer for the Canonization of
Father Michael J. McGivney
God, our Father, protector of the poor and defender of the widow and orphan, you called your priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, to be an apostle of Christian family life and to lead the young to the generous service of their neighbor.
Through the example of his life and virtue may we follow your Son, Jesus Christ, more closely, fulfilling his commandment of charity and building up his Body which is the Church. Let the inspiration of your servant prompt us to greater confidence in your love so that we may continue his work of caring for the needy and the outcast.
We humbly ask that you glorify your servant Father Michael J. McGivney on earth according to the design of your holy will.
Through his intercession, grant the favor I now present (here make your request).
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.