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FATHER LUIGI M. FACCENDA

FATHER LUIGI M. FACCENDA

THE SECOND MAXIMILIAN

PARTON SAINT OF THE DIFFICULT 20TH CENTURY

SAINT MAXIMILIAN MARIA KOLBE, was born in Poland  in 1894 and at about the age of 9-10 had a vision of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. She offered him a white crown and a red crown, representing purity and martyrdom. He chose
both, a foreshadowing of his life to come. In 1910, he joined the Conventual Franciscan Order. He was sent to study in Rome where founded the M.I. on October 16, 1917. 

Ordained a priest in 1918, Father Maximilian returned to Poland and began his untiring missionary activity, starting a monthly magazine and establishing two evangelization centers dedicated to the Immaculate Virgin: Niepokalanów, the “City of the Immaculata,” in Poland, and Mugenzai no Sono in Japan, and envisioned missionary centers worldwide. To better “win the world for Christ  through the Immaculata,” the friars utilized the most modern techniques. St. Maximilian used short-wave radio and planned to build a motion picture studio. In 1939, during WWII, at Niepokalanów he welcomed thousands of refugees, especially Jews. In 1941, St. Maximilian was arrested by the Nazis and taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp. There he offered his life for another prisoner and was condemned to slow death in a starvation bunker. He died on August 14, 1941, with an injection of carbolic acid. Pope John Paul II canonized him as a Saint and Martyr of Charity on October 10, 1982. St. Maximilian Kolbe is considered a patron of journalists, families, prisoners, the pro-life movement, the chemically addicted and those with eating disorders.

St. Maximilian was a ground-breaking theologian. His insights on the Immaculate Conception anticipated the Marian theology of the Second Vatican Council and further developed the Church’s understanding of Mary’s role in God’s Plan of salvation. His Marian thought re-echoes in the Marian teaching of both St. John Paul II and Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Here we hope to give a timeline to which will help to who this humble man of the Immaculate was through a number of recounted events. What we find most important of we learn from this Catholic saint and goes as lacking in modern times is the fact that Fr. Kolbe did not seek recognition and only desired to remain little and hidden under the mantle of our Blessed Mother. 

—1894, JANUARY 8th: RAYMOND KOLBE is born to Julius & Maria Kolbe in Zdunska Wola, Poland. He would be immediately taken to Assumption parish the was baptized as a child of God in the Roman Catholic Church. The Assumption of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, would later be a significant Marian Solemnity with his passing from this earth and into heaven.

Birth / Baptism

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We would also like to pint out that young Kolbe and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux were alive for three years before Thérèse suffered and died of tuberculosis. A symptom Kolbe would later contract and would be told he would have limited time to live. We find that the three years that these two saints share on this earth as special, since Kolbe would have a great devotion to the Little Flower, and it would seem as though Thérèse would likewise have fond feelings toward this little knight through her heavenly intercession.

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—1902, JUNE 29th: YOUNG EIGHT YEAR OLD RAYMOND would receive his fist Holy Communion at the parish of St. Matthew Catholic Church in Pabianice, Poland. 
 

A very special day in the life of Kolbe, for the Holy Eucharist through the Immaculate Virgin Mary is who this young child would exuberate throughout his life, especially at the end when the darkness in the world was at its greatest. 

First Holy Communion

—1903: AT THE AGE OF NINE RAYMOND would have a spiritual experience that set him in the direction he would follow the rest of his life. Known as a good and prayerful son, his parents only struggle would come when he would act mischievous from time to time. One day in particular, his dear mother got so frustrated with him, that she would ask him a serious question, "What is going to become of you?" ....

The Two Crowns

Reluctant at first to say anything, young Raymond begin to tell his mother of heavenly apparition he would experience while praying at their parish church. 

Inspired By Preaching Franciscans 

—1907: AT THE AGE OF THIRTEEN RAYMOND and his older brother Francis, would experience a  spiritual experience the preaching of two Conventual Franciscans and would become a inspiration for them to aspire to give their life following the same ideals of the "Little Poor Man" of Assisi. Both of his parents would work and sacrifice to give their sons this opportunity of leading a religious vocation. 

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