Collection: St. Maximilian Kolbe

ARTIST: Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS


Raymond Kolbe was born in a small town in Poland in 1894. As a young boy, he had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary who offered him a choice of two crowns, one white, which represented purity, and one red, which represented martyrdom. Young Raymond said that he would take them both.

Raymond became a Franciscan priest and changed his name to Maximilian Maria in honor of Mary. He worked very hard to defend the Catholic Church against enemies and to teach people to love Mary. He helped found a monastery in Japan, a seminary, numerous magazines and newspapers, as well as a radio station. He is the only canonized Saint to have an amateur radio license.

His feast day is August 14.

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St. Maximilian Kolbe was a Franciscan priest from Poland devoted to the Blessed Mother. He edited and published a large Catholic newspaper which spread love and devotion to Christ and His Blessed Mother.    

After the Nazi occupation of Poland, Father Maximilian was imprisoned at Auschwitz death camp in 1941. There he offered his life for another prisoner and was condemned to slow death in a starvation bunker. Despite forced starvation Fr. Maximilian continued to minister to the prisoners that were with him and never lost his faith in Christ.

On August 14, 1941, his captors, impatient for his death, ended his life with a fatal injection. Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian as a "martyr of charity" in 1982.