Martyrdom of Health
For anyone who has ever been ill, temporary, chronic or terminal, the martyrdom of one's health is perhaps the most difficult to endure. It not only steals one's physical capabilities but also one's hopes and dreams. Throughout his life, St. Maximilian experienced difficulties and suffering in terms of his health.
In 1914 as a seminarian studying to be a priest in Rome, Maximilian's thumb became seriously infected. So much so that there was no alternative but to amputate it. This meant that he could not become a priest because the priest had to be able to hold the Consecrated Host between his forefinger and his thumb only. Facing the loss of his thumb and his priesthood, he prostrated himself before the statue of the Virgin Mary and prayed, "O Heavenly Mamusia, Immaculate Virgin, come to the aid of your servant. You summoned me in Pabianice when I was but a youth. You offered me the white crown, and you offered me the red crown. Before your altar in Lwow, you blessed me with an awareness of yourself. Now I prepare for the priesthood to serve you in the highest spiritual vocation. My entire ardor, energy and purpose are now and will be, if you permit my ordination to that most holy office, consecrated to you. O Blessed, Holy Mamusia, heal my thumb. Permit not this infection to destroy all the hopes of being ordained your priest—hopes which are based on your grace, O Immaculate Virgin Then having received some water from Lourdes, he bathed his thumb in the miraculous water, and his thumb was healed to the amazement of the doctor.