SAINT MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
A FILM BY MARY'S DOWRY PRODUCTIONS AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE ON
It has been two years now since we filmed for three DVDs on the lives of three Catholic Martyrs during World War II; Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Saint Edith Stein and Blessed Titus Brandsma.
Our film about Saint Maximilian Kolbe presents his life with facts and biographical information as well as an authentically Catholic and prayerful film experience. Saint Maximilian Kolbe was baptized Raymond at the Parish Church. Already proficient in virtue with a devotion to Our Lady, the Mother of God appeared to him in 1906 near the time of his first holy Communion. Our Lady offered Saint Maximilian two crowns representing the graces of virginity and martyrdom and asked which he desired. Saint Maximilian asked for both, and was filled thereafter with the most ardent desire to love and serve this Immaculate Queen.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe joined the Order of Friars Minor Conventual at Lvov in Austrian occupied Poland, where he took the name Maximilian. After finishing his preliminary studies he was sent to the International Seraphic College in Rome to pursue doctorates in philosophy and theology. It was while in Rome that Saint Maximilian Kolbe encounter Freemason among the people, including protests against the Pope led by the Freemasons. Horrified by this Society and yearning for the salvation of souls, on the 200th anniversary of the founding of Freemasonry, 1917, St. Maximilian was moved by divine grace to found a pious association of the faithful known as the Militia of the Immaculate. This beautiful association would include the conversion of Freemasons among their daily prayer intentions. Members consecrated themselves daily to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Maximilian made it his life mission to encourage devotion to Our Lady among the people.
Ordained to the priesthood in 1918, St. Maximilian returned to Poland to teach Church History in Cracow, where he organised the first group of the Militia outside of Italy. Because of ill health he was freed to devote his time exclusively to the promotion of the Militia, whereupon he founded the "Knight of the Immaculate," a monthly Roman Catholic Magazine promoting the knowledge, love and service of the Immaculate Virgin, in the conversion of all souls to Christ Our Lord.
St. Maximilian, heeding the call of the Holy Father to all religious, to come to the aid of the missionary efforts of the universal Church, volunteered to go to the Orient to found another city of the Immaculate, Mugenzai No Sono. He chose to build the city on a particularly difficult part of a mountain, despite advice to the contrary. When the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, the City of Mary was spared destruction due to its location.
St. Maximilian returned to Niepokalanow, as it spiritual father, in 1936. The number of the friars there grew above 900 in the months preceding World War II. His publishing apostolate was producing 1,000,000 magazines monthly as well all 125,000 copies of a daily paper for the 1,000,000 members of the Militia worldwide. Saint Maximilian Kolbe is invoked by those working in the Catholic media due to his own zeal and use of media to spread the Truths of the Catholic Faith and love of Our Lord and Our Lady.
After the invasion of Poland by the German Wermacht in September of 1939, the friars dispersed and Niepokalanow was ransacked. St. Maximilian and about 40 others were taken to holding camps, first in Germany, and later in Poland. By the mercy of the Immaculate they were released and allow to return home on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the same year. However, to incriminate St. Maximilian, the Gestapo permitted one final printing of the "Knight of the Immaculte" in December of 1940. In February of 1941, they came to Niepokalanow and arrested St. Maximlian. He was taken to Pawiak Prision in German Occupied Warsaw, Poland, and later was transferred to Auschwitz.
In the concentration camp, Saint Maximilian Kolbe gave counsel to all his fellow prisoners telling them,"Trust in the Immaculate!" "Forgive!" "Love your enemies and pray for your persecutors!"
He was noted for his generosity in surrendering his food despite the ravages of starvation that he suffered and for always going to the end of the line of the infirmary, despite the acute tuberculosis afflicting him.
In the end, by the maternal mediation of the Virgin Mary, he received the grace to be intimately conformed to Christ in death. For on the night of August 3, 1941 a prisoner successfully escaped from the same section of the came in which St. Maximilian was detained. In reprisal, the commandant ordered death by starvation for 10 men chosen at random from the same section.
One of the condemned, Seargent Franciszek Gajowniczek, shouted out, lamenting that he would never see his wife and children again. In his stead, St. Maximilian Mary, who had remained standing all night long during the selection of the condemned, stepped forward and offered his own life in exchange for this man.
Ten days later, having led the other 9 in prayers and hymns, St. Maximilian was given a lethal injection of carbolic acid, and passed into eternal glory.
Pope Paul VI beatified St. Maximilian in 1973 and Pope John Paul II canonised him in 1982 as a martyr of charity.
Our film about Saint Maximilian Kolbe not only presents facts and information but has been praised for its authentically Catholic and prayerful film experience.
SAINT MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
by Mary's Dowry Productions
is available from our online shops:
Images used in this post are from our film © 2015 Mary's Dowry Productions
Some text used in this post is from part of the Home Page of St. Francis of Assisi maintained by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.