Published on Aug 11, 2014The Servant Brothers of the Home of the Mother have produced this documentary about the life of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, an outstanding Catholic figure of the 20th century.
Maximilian Kolbe was born in Poland in 1894 and baptized Raymond, one of four boys, two of whom died at a young age. The Kolbe family was a devout Catholic family. As a youth Raymond has a vision of Our Lady offing two crowns, one white (purity) and one red (martyrdom). "Which one do you prefer?" he was asked. "I'll take them both" was his answer.
In 1907 during a Parish Mission preached by the Franciscan Friars Raymond was inspired to conquer the world for Christ through Mary and to enter the Friars community.
In1910 Raymond was invested with the Franciscan Habit and given the name Maximilian. The following year he took his first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
In 1912 he was sent to Rome to continue his studies for the priesthood. While there he founded the Militia of Mary Immaculate.
In 1918 Maximilian was ordained and returned to Poland where he continued the work of the Militia of Mary Immaculate which rapidly grew in membership resulting in the need of the publication of the 'Knights of the Immaculate.'
In 1927 Maximilian founded a centre for his work called Niepokalanow (Marytown).
In 1930 Fr. Maximilian and fellow friars went to Nagasaki, Japan and founded a similar centre with great success and published a Japanese version of the 'Knights of the Immaculate.'
In 1936 Maximilian was recalled to poland where he resumed as Director of 'Marytown' City of the Immaculate' and continued to spread devotion to Mary through the written word.
On the 8th of December, 1938, Maximilian introduced the radio to broadcast his message.
The Second World War brought about the destruction of Niepokalonow and arrest of Maximilian for the first time. Released he set about rebuilding the 'City of the Immaculate' which he turned into a sanctuary for thousands of refugees.
In February, 1941, the Gestapo arrived at Niepokalonow and arrested Maximilian and four other friars, thus began his journey to Auschwitz where Maximilian was number 16670.
Later that year Maximilian swapped places with Francis Gajowniczek, one of the ten prisoners chosen to die as a result of an escape. Francis had cried out in desperation "My wife, My children." The cry melted the heart of Fr. Kolbe and he stepped forward and volunteered to take Francis' place. With nine others Maximilian was confined to the death bunker to await death by starvation.
Here Fr. Kolbe set about consoling his fellow prisoners, constantly praying and encouraging them to do the same. His nine companions entered eternal life in peace and tranquility. Maximilian was given a lethal dose of phenol to finish him off. He died with the words 'Jesus and Mary' on his lips.