Pope marks 70th anniversary of death of Maximilian Kolbe

Details, from Castel Gandolfo in Italy:

Pope Benedict XVI has marked the 70th anniversary of the death of a Polish Franciscan friar hailed as a martyr for volunteering to die in the place of another man at Auschwitz.

Benedict said Maximilian Kolbe’s heroic act set an example “amid the human drama of hatred, suffering and death.” The pope was greeting Polish pilgrims after his Angelus prayer delivered Sunday from his summer residence near Rome.

The German-born Benedict, who was forced to join the Hitler Youth, visited the Auschwitz concentration camp during a trip to Poland in 2006.

Kolbe was sent to Auschwitz in 1941 after Nazi officials discovered he had been hiding Jews. He was canonized by Polish-born Pope John Paul II in 1982.

For more on St. Maximilian Kolbe, visit this website.

And here’s part of a documentary about him:

YouTube Preview Image

Comments

  1. deaconnorb says:

    There’s more to the story that few people know:

    Maximilian Kolbe was a Franciscan priest. The year 1930 saw the start of a long period of his life as a missionary in the far East — first in japan and then in India.

    His work in japan was centered on Nagasaki because some 85% of the overall small number of Japanese Roman Catholics lived within 25 miles of its center-city and also because it was the official seat of the Roman Catholic diocese for the entire nation of japan.

    Real property in Japan, even then, was very expensive and the only locations generally available were those on difficult and challenging terrain. His friary was built on an unusual down-sloped site in the suburbs of that city but soon became the center for all sorts of missionary and devotional activity.

    Almost four years to the date after his death, on August 9, 1945; a Boeing B-29, with the nickname “Bockscar” dropped the second nuclear weapon on japan. This one destroyed Nagasaki. Most of the city-center, including almost all of the architectural evidence of Roman Catholicism in japan, was obliterated — with one exception. Father Kolbe’s Friary, because of its inspired location on the down-slope of a hillside, was preserved from destruction — the only damage being some broken glass.

Leave a Comment


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X