St. Maximilian Kolbe

St. Maximilian Kolbe was born in Poland Jan. 7, 1894. Although he was a rather mischievous child, his life changed when he had a vision of the Virgin Mary when he was 12. He took his final vows for the Conventual Franciscan Order Nov. 1, 1914. He received a Doctor of Theology in 1922, taught in a Polish seminary and did some missionary work before returning to Poland. After the Nazi invasion of Poland, Maximilian housed refugees (many of whom were Jewish) and published anti-Nazi material in his magazine, Knight of the Immaculate. The saint was imprisoned in Pawiak in February 1941 and transferred to Auschwitz in May 1941. He ministered to other prisoners, celebrated the Mass and heard confessions. When the Nazis sentenced to death a man with young children because other prisoners broke out, Maximilian volunteered to take his place. He died Aug. 14, 1941. St. Maximilian Kolbe is patron saint of prisoners.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.