Tag Archives: St. Maximilian Kolbe

Mary, the Immaculate Conception

“Who are you, O Immaculate Conception?” asks St Maximillian Maria Kolbe, the 20th century martyr and saint who founded a Marian movement. Accordingly, he teaches us, based on his prayer and experience, that the perfect love of the Holy Trinity meets an adequate response in the perfect love of the Immaculate, which is the name St Maximilian gives to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In another place he says, “In the union of the Holy Spirit with her, not only does love bind these two beings, but the first of them [the Holy Spirit] is all the love of the Most Holy Trinity, while the second [the Blessed Virgin Mary] is all the love of creation, and thus in that union heaven is joined to earth, the whole heaven with the whole earth, the whole of Uncreated Love with the whole of created love: this is the vertex of love.”

St Maximillian gave us a mature perspective of Mary under this title.

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was declared and defined by Bl. Pius IX in 1854: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” (Ineffabilis Deus )

Since Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception let us pray for our nation today.

St Maximilian Kolbe

We liturgically honor one of the 20th century’s greatest saints, Maximilian Kolbe, who points out for the meaning of the “the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.”

“Father Maximilian voluntarily offered himself for death in the starvation bunker for a brother, and so won a spiritual victory like that of Christ himself. This brother still lives today in the land of Poland and is here with us” (John Paul II, June 7, 1979).

Saint Maximilian, pray for us.

St Maximillian Mary Kolbe

Maximilian Kolbe

With the Church we pray:

O God, who filled the Priest and Martyr Saint Maximilian Kolbe with a burning love for the Immaculate Virgin Mary and with zeal for souls and love of neighbor, graciously grant, through his intercession, that, striving for your glory by eagerly serving others, we may be conformed, even until death, to your Son.

An excerpt from a letter by the saint:

Obedience is the one and the only way of wisdom and prudence for us to offer glory to God. If there were another, Christ would certainly have shown it to us by word and example. Scripture, however, summed up his entire life at Nazareth in the words: He was subject to them; Scripture set obedience as the theme of the rest of his life, repeatedly declaring that he came into the world to do his Father’s will. Let us love our loving Father with all our hearts. Let our obedience increase that love, above all when it requires us to surrender our own will. Jesus Christ crucified is our sublime guide toward growth in God’s love.

We will learn this lesson more quickly through the Immaculate Virgin, whom God has made the dispenser of his mercy. It is beyond all doubt that Mary’s will represents to us the will of God himself. By dedicating ourselves to her we become in her hands instruments of God’s mercy even as she was such an instrument in God’s hands. We should let ourselves be guided and led by Mary and rest quiet and secure in her hands. She will watch out for us, provide for us, answer our needs of body and spirit; she will dissolve all our difficulties and worries.

From a letter of Maximillian Mary Kolbe
(Scritti del P. Massimiliano M. Kolbe, Italian translation, vol. I, pt, 1 [Padua, 1971], 75-77, 166)

Saint Maximilian Kolbe

KolbeToday is the feast day of one of the great saints of the 20th Century, the Conventual Franciscan Maximilian Kolbe. I can remember hearing his name for the first time and his canonization by Saint John Paul. Years later I visited the cell in which he lived his last days at the concentration camp. A rather moving and unforgettable experience.

Saint Maximilian is known for his great devotion to our Blessed Mother in devotion to her Immaculate Heart. There is no coincidence that Kolbe’s feast day comes before Mary’s Assumption (Dormition) -the glorification of her body and soul, assumed into heaven. We know that “Hail Mary!” were the last words on the lips of Saint Maximilian, as he offered his arm to the executioner for the injection. He has taught us what is meant by the words we pray to  Immaculate Mary when we say “now and at the hour of our death.”

Kolbe and others were accused by the powers of Nazi Germany of promoting anti-Nazi causes and housing Jews; he was severely mistreated for being a Catholic priest and remaining steadfast to the Faith: Christ was everything, not just some abstract priority. Kolbe regularly celebrated the Holy Sacrifice in secret and heard confessions of fellow prisoners. In 1941, the time came for him to make a sacrifice of his own life, in place of a married prisoner who was father to young children. Kolbe was executed by lethal injection after three weeks of starvation and dehydration. A horrible death.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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