St. Maximilian Kolbe

Polish priest, Saint Maximillian Kolbe, was born on January 8, 1894 in Poland. During WWII, he provided shelter for 2,000 Jews whom he hid from Nazi persecution in his friary.

On 17 February 1941, Kolbe was arrested by the Gestapo and was transferred to Auschwitz as prisoner #16670.

In July of 1941, three prisoners escaped from the camp. The camp commander, SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritzsch, picked 10 men to be starved to death in an underground bunker in order to deter further escape attempts. When one of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, “My wife! My children!”, Maximillian Kolbe volunteered to take his place.

While hopelessly imprisoned in the starvation cell, he celebrated Mass each day and sung hyms with the prisoners.

A Chilling account of heroism in fulfilling the command to “Love thy neighbor.”

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