75 Anniversary

Weekly Reflections from the 75th anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

75 Anniversary
Feb05

Week Twenty Six - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Written by // Mission of the Immaculata Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 26 - Feb. 5 - Feb. 12

Week Twenty Six - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

From Numberg to Auschwitz

In order to understand the Holocaust and what led to St. Maximilian's death in Auschwitz, one must first travel back in time to Nurnberg, Germany. 

In 1298, the Jews of the town were accused of having desecrated the host, and 698 of them were killed in one of the many Rintfleisch Massacres. Behind the massacre of 1298 was also the desire to combine the northern and southern parts of the city, which were divided by the Pegnitz river. The Jews of the German lands suffered many massacres during the plagueyears. In 1349, Nuremberg's Jews were subjected to a pogrom. They were burned at the stake or expelled, and a marketplace was built over the former Jewish quarter.

Jan29

Week Twenty Five - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Written by // Mission of the Immaculata Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 25 - Jan. 29 - Feb. 5

Week Twenty Five - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

The Roots of Anti Semitism Part 1

Stereotyping 

The fratricide of Cain against his brother Abel began the division of man against man, but at some time in human history it turned to a specific hatred of one group of people in particular, the Jews. 
Why?

The early Christians were Jewish. 
Jesus, Mary, and the Disciples were all Jewish. 
After the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus, the early Christians would go to the Temple on the Sabbath/Saturday and Break the Bread on Sunday. Eventually Jew became divided against Jew as to the Person of Jesus. 
Over time there came a permanent division between Jews and Christians. 
Between Temple and Church.

Jan22

Week Twenty Four - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Written by // Mission of the Immaculata Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 24 - Jan. 22 - Jan. 28

Week Twenty Four - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe


Cain and Able

In order to understand the martyrdom that St. Maximilian experienced in Auschwitz it is necessary to first understand the historical roots that led to it. Roots that go back centuries and continue to spread and grow even today from Rwanda to Kosovo to the killing fields in Cambodia, to wherever people of a different race, creed and culture are persecuted and rejected. 

Roots that go back to Cain and Abel and Original Sin where jealously, pride and fratricide began. 
And continue even to this day in the human heart. 

The only solution is not politics but Christ. 
For only in Christ is there "no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ." Gal. 3:28

In order to understand the martyrdom of Maximilian and the Holocaust one must begin with oneself. 

Children begin to see that others are different from them, physically, racially, culturally, and religiously. 
This can lead to 
Appreciation or rejection. 
Acceptance or bullying. 
Apathy or empathy.

Jan15

Week Twenty Three - The Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Written by // Mission of the Immaculata Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 23 - Jan. 15 - Jan. 21

Week Twenty Three - The Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Blessed are you when men revile and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great in heaven. Mt. 5:11-12

How many times a day do we make the sign of the cross?
Yet how many times a day do we accept the cross and carry it?

Every time we make the sign of the cross it should be a promise and a commitment to carry it whenever it comes along in our life.

Throughout his life, St. Maximilian carried his cross. 
From being made fun of in the seminary, to his loneliness and homesickness in Japan, to his poverty and daily dying to self in order to live for the Immaculata. 

It is because of his daily dying to self and carrying of his cross that he was able to go down into the starvation bunker in Auschwitz singing!

Carrying the small, daily crosses of life enables us to carry the large crosses when they come along. 

Jan08

Week Twenty Two - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 22 - Jan. 8 - Jan. 15

Week Twenty Two - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called children of God. Mt. 5:9

How does one be a Peacemaker in a Concentration Camp?
Where there is beating, gassing, starvation and death everywhere?

Yet this is exactly what Maximilian Kolbe was in Auschwitz,
A Peacemaker!

How did he do it?
To those who were starving, he gave his bread. 
When the Nazis beat him, he did not raise his voice. 
He taught the other prisoners to pray for their guards. 
And he stepped out of line for another prisoner. 
And he sang songs and hymns and prayed in the starvation bunker. 

Jan01

Week Twenty One - 75th anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 21 - Jan. 1 - Jan. 6

Week Twenty One - 75th anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Blessed are the Pure in Heart. 

In the Old Testament purity had to do primarily with ritual life and its disciplines: foods
that could not be eaten such as pork, ritual washings and ablutions of cups and dishes and one's own body. 

But through the prophets, purity came to be seen as an inner quality as well.
Ezechiel the prophet spoke about God taking away our stony hearts and giving us new
hearts.
Jeremiah the prophet spoke about God writing His law within our hearts.

The Psalms speak of creating a clean heart and renewing a steadfast spirit in us. Psalm 51:10

The word “Heart” is found throughout the New Testament.
1. Where your treasure is there is your heart. Mt.6:21
2. Unless you forgive your brother from your heart. Mt.18:35
3. You must love the Lord with all of your heart. Mt.22:37
4. Mary treasured all these things in her heart. Lk.2:19
5. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Jn.14:27
6. Did not our hearts burn within us as He talked to us?Lk.24:32

Jesus taught that we should learn from Him for He is Gentle and Humble of Heart.

Those who are not pure of heart see the world and others not with the eyes of God but
with what is in their own hearts, pride, envy, anger, and greed.
Purity of heart clarifies the situation while those who are impure muddy the situation and the vision with their own sins and vices.

To have a pure heart is to see what God sees and see as God sees.
God sees that everything is good.
All that He created is good and has the capacity to be good even if it has fallen away
from the good.

Dec25

Week Twenty - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom St. Maximilian Kolbe

Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 20

Week Twenty - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom St. Maximilian Kolbe

Blessed are the Merciful for they shall receive Mercy

Our hunger and thirst for righteousness must not make us self-righteous.
It is too easy to notice the sins and failings of others.
In the initial stages of the spiritual life and after almost every conversion a person who
had before been so blind to sin now sees sin everywhere in everyone.
They have become over-sensitized to it, and in their zeal seek to stamp it out.
This however is not the way of Christ.
For Christ did not come to condemn the world but to save it.
Our hunger and thirst for righteousness must not allow us to become hard and
judgmental.
Our zeal must not open our eyes to the sins of others and blind us to our own sins.

Judgment is hard, Mercy is compassionate.
To condemn is human, to forgive is Divine.

In his teaching on the Good Samaritan, Jesus ends it by saying, “who then is the neighbor
to the man who fell in with robbers?” The answer is “the man who showed him mercy!”
And Jesus responds by saying “then go and do the same.”

Dec18

Week Nineteen - The 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 19 December 18-25

Week Nineteen - The 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for holiness, for they shall be satisfied. 

Have you ever eaten so much, maybe at Thanksgiving or some other special occasion and said to yourself, that you will never eat again!  
Only to get up the next morning hungry!

It is the same with shopping. 
People seem happy with what they have until they see a sale or a bargain and they they just have to have it because they are not satisfied with what they already have. 

Nothing in life really satisfies. 
Not food nor material things. 
Nothing!

This is why St. Maximilian hungered for holiness. 

Maximilian said, "It was the Lord Christ who came into the world and showed by example and word the way to true holiness. Its essence lies in love of God."

Holiness according to St. Maximilian is not complicated. 
It is not a regimen of fasting, penance and mortification as worthwhile these things may be. 

True holiness is simply, Loving God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and our neighbor as ourself." Deut. 6:5, Mk. 12:30

Few people love God and their neighbor with such a total and complete love. 
If they did there would be no hunger, or poverty, or racism or violence. 

Dec04

Week Seventeen - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Written by // Mission of the Immaculata Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 17. December 4-11

Week Seventeen - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Blessed are those who Mourn, for they shall be Comforted

When one thinks of St. Maximilian what is the first thing that comes to mind? For some it may be Our Lady and Consecration; or the apparition of the two crowns, or the Militia of the Immaculata or his death in Auschwitz. How many people however think of tears?

Maximilian was a man familiar with tears. 

He was a man who mourned and because he did, he allowed God and Our Lady to comfort him for only those who mourn can be comforted. 

As a young boy, Raymond mourned that he had hurt his mother's feelings when she asked him what would become of him and then Our Lady appeared to him to comfort him with the vision of the Two Crowns. 

As a seminarian, Maximilian was moved to tears as he was walking back to seminary one evening as he heard men on the street mocking and making fun of the Blessed Mother. 

Maximilian mourned that his beloved Poland ceased to exist and had been carved up between Germany, Russia and Austria. 

Nov27

Week Sixteen - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Written by // Mission of the Immaculata Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 16 November 27 - December 4

Week Sixteen - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Most people do not aspire to poverty. Jesus However, taught Blessed are the Poor in Spirit for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Mt. 5:3. The Son of God emptied Himself and took the form of a slave, becoming poor so that we might become rich. Phil. 2:7. Every Christian therefore who wants to follow in the footsteps of Jesus must be Poor in Spirit.

Maximilian desired the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven so he became poor in the eyes of the world, becoming Poor in Spirit and emptying Himself of everything, relying only on the riches of God. 

When Maximilian founded the first City of the Immaculate in Niepekalanow Poland, they had no tables, so at dinner time the friars would put planks of wood across their suitcases and sit on the bare ground. 

He used to say debts were his wealth because they induced trust in the help of God through the Virgin. He was always an optimist and in the hardest times never faltered in courage.
He often said it was fine-proper even-for us to live in shacks, to wear patched habits and mended shoes, so long as we spared no expense when it came to the most modern machines and devices to spread the message.
He was actually happiest when the greatest poverty reigned. He said a religious order must be a school for saints, so the friary must radiate simplicity, penance, and poverty.

Nov13

Week Fourteen - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Written by // Mission of the Immaculata Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 14. November 13-20

Week Fourteen - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Niepekalanow 

Perhaps the second greatest dream of Maximilian after consecrating every person to the Immaculata for the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the world, was to have a Niepekalanow, a City of the Immaculate in every country of the world. 

His first one was in Niepekalanow Poland and is the Mother House of all Cities of the Immaculate. As Niepekalanow grew It consisted of a chapel, a friary to live in, several buildings for printing and publishing, even a fire department. 

Dreams without hard work and sacrifice however rarely come true. 

In the early days, since there were no tables, the friars would take wooden planks and place them across their suitcases and sat on the bare ground for dinner. They used cheap tin plates and cups and a few loaves of bread for food. The winter of 1928-29 was especially hard as the Friars were still in their wooden shacks covered with cardboard or tarpaper. 

Nov06

Week Thirteen - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 13. November 6-13

Week Thirteen - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

The Martyrdom of Self Reliance

Americans in particular and people in general prefer to be self reliant. Because Being self reliant is an important part of being independent. Many people therefore spend their lives gathering money, power, influence, education and other things for them to rely upon when they need it. 

Jesus however said the opposite. "Apart from Him we can do nothing." Jn. 15:5 
Christians are never independent nor self reliant. Everything is grace and "every good gift comes from the Father of Lights. James 1:17

St. Maximilian understood and lived a life of total reliance upon God and the Immaculata. The only treasure he had was the Faith in his heart as he journeyed forth to start a new mission in Japan.

When questioned what he would do, his answer was, "The Blessed Mother has her plan ready."

Oct30

Week Twelve - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Written by // Mission of the Immaculata Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 12. October 30 - November 6

Week Twelve - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe

Martyrdom of Disunity

Surprisingly not every friar agreed with St. Maximilian and his ideal of Total and Absolute Consecration to the Immaculata. Even having a Saint and an example such as Maximilian did not always bring about unity and harmony. 

In the friary in Nagasaki there were friars who were respectable and pious but who failed to take the ideal of Niepekalanow to heart and did not show the slightest desire to be infused with it. Others wanted to return to Poland and still others wanted to leave religious life altogether. 

Total Consecration of one's whole "life, death and eternity' is not easy and many did not understand it while others did not live it fully, while still others put their hand to the plow and looked back! All this in the very presence of St. Maximilian himself!

Oct16

Week Ten - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom St. Maximilian Kolbe

Written by // Mission of the Immaculata Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 10 October 16 - 23

Week Ten - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom St. Maximilian Kolbe

The Colosseum

As a seminarian, Maximilian contemplated the sacrifice and the mystery of martyrdom. Standing on the roof of the Seminary (Seraphicum) one can look out over the Roman Forum and in the distance is the Colosseum.

After each visit to the Colosseum, Maximilian liked to read what St. Therese of Lisieux wrote of her visit to the Colosseum.

Oct09

Week Nine - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom St. Maximilian Kolbe

Categories // 75 Anniversary

Week 9. October 9 - 16

Week Nine - 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom St. Maximilian Kolbe

Persecution of the Church

While St. Maximilian was studying in Rome to be a priest, public attacks and persecution of the Church was prevalent everywhere, as Enlightenment and Marxist Philosophy, Atheism, and Masonic teaching were very popular. The Church and the Papacy were also viewed as enemies of Italian Unification and Independence because the Pope did not want to give up the Papal States. All of these elements led to open and public persecution of the Church and its teachings.

<<  1 [23  >>  

Search Our Site