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Since I’ve had a few emails asking for more information, St. Maximilian Kolbe and his martyrdom:
Patron Saint of: drug addiction; drug addicts; families; imprisoned people; journalists; political prisoners; prisoners; pro-life movement more.
I am humbled and in awe. I knew this story, but I thought he had been shot. I did not know of his three week starvation and lethal injection. What a comfort he must have been to those oher nine men.
What an extraordinary man in an extraordinary time in our history! So many people helped save the Jews and are not recognized. Fr. Maximillian was caught and sent to one of the worst concentration camps available.
I have often wondered what I would have done if a Jew came to me for help during that time. I would like to think I would also protect them, but I just don’t know.
I know if I were a refugee I would head for the nearest Catholic monastery, friary etc. because I know they would protect me.
I know he basks in the Glory of our Savior today.
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Very inspiring. Kolbe was definitely the real thing. But why is he the patron saint of drug addicts? How do they decide these things? Also, regarding canonization, does God recognize someone as a saint before or after the Church does? It’s hard to imagine anyone getting “promoted” without already being there, if you know what I mean.
Hantchu, I believe he is the patron of drug addicts simply because he was killed with a needle. Generally aspects of a Saint’s life is what makes them a patron. For example, Gerard Majella, my patron, was falsely accused of fathering a baby by a mother in crisis…he is the patron for pregnant women and mothers w/ problems. Kolbe is the patron or prisoners, ham radioists, etc because he was those things, himself.
As to heaven and God…the church doesn’t put anyone in heaven. All canonical sainthood is, is an earthly recognition that – as much as the church can determine – that person is indeed in heaven and did indeed on earth live a life of heroic faith and virtue.
Thanks. It still doesn’t make much sense that Father Kolbe, a man whose life ran on discipline and purposeful choice and activity, should have an intrinsic connection with addicts. On the other hand, I have no doubt that as different as he was from the addictive personality, he would have compassion for them.
What is striking in his life is how it was all of a piece; he meant what he said about choosing the two crowns of purity and martyrdom, and he just kept choosing them over and over until the last logical choice in succession. Not “easy”, but absolutely logical.
Yes, the more I read of him, the more my admiration grows.
Elizabeth Scalia is a Benedictine Oblate and the Managing Editor of the Catholic Portal at Patheos. She is an award-winning writer and a regularly-featured columnist at [Read More...]
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