‘The martyrdom of his words led to the martyrdom of his life.’

A friend reminded me today that while we might lead with mercy, we never can forget about justice. We must always tell the truth, as Archbishop Chaput never tires of doing. And who better than St. Maximilian Kolbe, who was murdered at Auschwitz 72 years ago this week?

Another friend, Fr. Roger Landry (@FrRogerLandry on Twitter), writes:

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe wasn’t silent. He founded a famous newspaper in order to spread the faith and when the Nazis came, he didn’t remain silent even though he well knew that the Nazis wouldn’t take his public corrections lightly. He was arrested and tortured and eventually sent to Auschwitz, where he gave his life for a married man. The martyrdom of his words led to the martyrdom of his life. The celebration of Mass each day was the school of self-giving, where he learned to give his life for others. His life-long purity was the preparation for his martyrdom, because in purity he was regularly saying no to self-gratification for the sake of God and pure love of others, and that’s what helped him more easily to see what God was asking at the end of his life.

May we always have the courage and charity …

From Kolbe:

I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me, a Child of Faith. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both.

Would we, if called?

Mother Mary, pray for us.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.


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