School Patron - St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe

kolbe1-300

Saint Maximillian (Rajmund Kolbe) was born on January 8, 1894 in Zdunska Wola. He spent his early childhood in his family house. When he was 13, he went to the Franciscan seminary in Lvov. There, he accepted the name Maximillain. In the year 1911, after the acceptance of first monastic ordination, he went to Krakow to study philosophy.

 

He studied in Krakow and Rome, where he became a doctor of philosophy and theology. In 1919, Maximillain Kolbe returned to Poland and started spreading his Militia of the Immaculate movement of Marian consectration. He also formed an evangelization center close to the capital of Poland, Warsaw, called Niepokalanów. It is also known as the "City of the Immaculate", the largest Catholic religious house in the world.

In the year of 1941, a terrible thing happened to Maximillian Maria Kolbe. He was captured and imprisoned by the Nazis in Auschwitz, a type of  'no survivors' concentration camp. Given the chance to go free, he offered his life for another prisoner, Franciszek Gajowniczek, a father and a husband. (As a matter of fact, Franciszek Gajowniczek has visited our school in 1975.) Maximillian Maria was then condemned to a slow death in a starvation bunker. Maximillian Maria stayed faithful to God and prayed to him at all times. It was nearly a miracle of how long he lasted in the bunker. Therefore on August 14, 1941, the impatient captors ended his life with a fatal injection. In 1982, pope John Paul II canonized Maximillian Maria Kolbe as a "martyr of charity". He is now considered the patron of families, prisoners, the pro-life movement, journalists, and the chemically addicted.