Oil Dedicated to St Maximilian Kolbe 4 (Martyr of Charity)
St Maximilian Kolbe 4 (Martyr of Charity) from A Blessed Call To Love, Ireland.
Also known as the “Martyr of Charity,” was a Polish Franciscan friar, priest, and martyr. Born on January 8, 1894, in Zduńska Wola, Poland, he is widely remembered for his selfless sacrifice and unwavering faith during the horrors of World War II.
During the Nazi occupation of Poland, Maximilian Kolbe provided shelter to countless refugees, including Jews. His actions drew the attention of the German authorities, and in 1941, he was arrested and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Despite the inhumane conditions and constant threat to his own life, Maximilian remained a source of hope and inspiration to his fellow prisoners.
In July 1941, a prisoner escaped from Auschwitz, and as a form of collective punishment, the camp authorities selected ten men to starved to death. One of the chosen men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out for his life, pleading for his wife and children. Touched by his plea, Maximilian Kolbe volunteered to take his place, displaying an extraordinary act of self-sacrifice.
For two weeks, Maximilian and the other nine men endured starvation and dehydration in a dark and cramped underground cell. Throughout this ordeal, Maximilian offered prayers, sang hymns, and comforted his fellow prisoners, exhibiting immense spiritual strength. On August 14, 1941, he was the last one remaining alive. And the Nazis ended his life with a lethal injection.
St. Maximilian Kolbe’s courageous act of replacing a stranger in the face of certain death. Has made him a symbol of selflessness, love, and faith. He canonized as a saint by Pope John Paul II on October 10, 1982. Today, he venerated as the Patron Saint of the difficult 20th century. Reflecting his enduring legacy as a beacon of light in a time of darkness and despair. His life serves as a powerful reminder of the triumph of love and goodness in the face of evil.