St. Maximilian Kolbe - After the Retreat
Confirmation Mini Reflection on St. Maximilian Kolbe - After the Retreat
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St. Maximilian Kolbe
Feast Day: August 14, 1941
Maximilian Kolbe was born Raymund Kolbe on January 8, 1894 in Zduńska Wola. In 1907, Kolbe and his elder brother Francis decided to join the Conventual Franciscans. They illegally crossed the border between Russia and Austria-Hungary and joined the Conventual Franciscan junior seminary in Lwów. In 1910, Kolbe was allowed to enter the novitiate. He professed his first vows in 1911, adopting the name Maximilian, and the final vows in 1914, in Rome, adopting the names Maximilian Maria, to show his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Kolbe would later sing hymns to the Virgin Mary in the concentration camp. In 1918, Kolbe was ordained a priest. In 1919, he returned to the newly independent Poland, where he was very active in promoting the veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, founding and supervising the monastery of Niepokalanów near Warsaw, a seminary, a radio station, and several other organizations and publications. At the end of July 1941, one of the selected prisoner, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, "My wife! My children!." Kolbe volunteered to take his place. In the starvation cell, he celebrated Mass each day for as long as he was able and gave Holy Communion to the prisoners covertly during the course of the day; the bread given to prisoners was unleavened and so could be used in the Eucharist, and sympathetic guards gave him materials, including wine that he could use.
After two weeks of dehydration and starvation, only Kolbe remained alive. The guards wanted the bunker emptied and so gave Kolbe a lethal injection of carbolic acid. Some who were present at the injection say that he raised his left arm and calmly waited for the injection.
Unspoken – Start a Fire
God can start a fire in anyone and fan the flame and make it grow. Now that you have been on your Confirmation retreat, what are some changes that took place in you over the weekend? Are there ministries you may be thinking of helping with at Church? If so, what ministries would you be interested in helping with. Would you be interested in helping to plan out retreats? Those of you involved in ministry at Church, do you think you may explore other ministries? What are ways you can impact the lives of people in your everyday life at school that you gained knowledge of from the retreat? At home? Do you think that you will continue to be involved in Youth Group on Sundays after you get confirmed as a youth leader? *
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