Today, the Church celebrates the heroic life and martyrdom of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. His selfless sacrifice of his own life in place of another inmate at the infamous German concentration camp of Auschwitz during the Second World War is a monumental example of personal sacrifice. Rather than let another inmate face death, Saint Maximilian Kolbe in the true spirit of the Gospel died in place of another man. I always find it interesting that in his biographical summary, there is never a mention of the religion of the saved prisoner. Well, it really does not matter. Whether Catholic, or Jewish, St.Maximilian Kolbe is a 20th century example of selfless Christian love for the dignity of all human life. He is also a great example of interfaith dialogue between our Catholic faith and with our Jewish cousins in monotheism. Maximilian Kolbe ministered to all of the individuals he encountered in the horrific unfolding of the Second World War, regardless of race, creed or culture. As modern Catholics we should imitate his unwavering faith and unconditional respect for all of human life in all of our daily activities. Additionally, as believers in a world of peaceful coexistence, Maximilian Kolbe should serve as the pinnacle example of our Catholic desire for peace throughout all mankind.
“Violence never again! War never again! Terrorism never again! In the name of God, may every religion bring upon the earth justice and peace, forgiveness and life, love.” Blessed John XXIII

 

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