Patron Saint: Addiction
“For Jesus Christ I am prepared to suffer still more”.
-St. Maximillian Kolbe
St. Kolbe was born of a Mother and Father who were Franciscan Tertiaries from Poland, during the Russian occupation. During his childhood, around First Communion, St. Kolbe recieved a vision of the Virgin Mother that changed his life.
Shortly after the vision, Maximillian entered religious life as a Franciscan Missionary, and was ordained in 1910. Maximillian went to study Philosophy in Rome a few years later, and founded the Crusade of Mary the Immaculate Movement which was dedicated to the conversion of sinners. At the age of 24, St. Kolbe recieved his Doctorate of Theology. To this day, his teachings still influence the Vatican.
Maximillian returned to Poland in 1920 and started a printing press, called the Knight of the Immaculate. At it’s height, it reached almost one million copies per month. This was no small feat in even todays standards, pertaining to any type of religious publication.
St. Kolbe soon set his sights abroad. Namely Nagasaki, Japan where he felt there was a desperate need for spirituality. Unable to speak Japanese and completely unfamiliar with Japanese culture/customs, he established yet another printing press in Japanese, similar to the Knight of the Immaculate. Quickly, the magazine reached a height of 65,000 copies and was beginning to grow, Nagasaki was nuclear bombed and miraculously, the printing press was left standing. It serves now as Franciscan influence in Japan.
Due to poor health, St. Kolbe came home to Poland. He started a radio show that ended up being the largest employer in radio worldwide at the time. During the Nazi invasion of Poland, Maximillian was arrested and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. During his time there, he volunteered his life for a Father of two young children, who was about to be murdered by a guard.
Memorial: August 14th
Born: January 1894
Died: August 1941
Venerated: January 1969 by Pope Paul VI
Beautified: October 1971 by Pope Paul VI
Canonized: Pope John Paul II (Martyr of Charity)
Additional Patronages: Journalists
Why he is venerated by the Holy Roman Catholic Church:
Martyr: Killed at the Aushwitz for assisting a husband with children escape
Miracles: Cured two people with incurable diseases
Zealot of spreading the Message of Our Lord Jesus Christ and The Virgin Mary
Exceptional Humanitarian – Gave his life to the service of helping those in need