Saint Maximilian Kolbe, born in 1894 in Poland, stands as an exceptional embodiment of heroism and Christian sanctity. His life was defined by a profound devotion to God and fellow human beings, reaching its pinnacle in an act of self-sacrifice that elevated him to the status of a faith hero.

From a young age, Maximilian displayed a profound love for the Virgin Mary and a strong desire to serve God. As a Franciscan friar, while studying theology in Rome, he founded the Militia of the Immaculata, a movement devoted to propagating Marian devotion and countering evil through the power of love. His deep missionary fervor led him to establish various evangelization works, notably in the field of publishing, both in Europe and Asia.

During World War II, Maximilian found himself imprisoned in Auschwitz. It was in this grim setting that, after a prisoner’s escape, the camp guards arbitrarily chose ten inmates for execution as a form of reprisal. When one of the condemned, a father with a family, pleaded to be spared, Maximilian demonstrated genuine heroism by selflessly offering to take his place.

Maximilian was thus condemned to die of starvation in an underground bunker. Despite the hunger and thirst, he persisted in prayer and providing comfort to his fellow prisoners. His heroic death in 1941 served as an extraordinary example of love and sacrifice, bearing witness to his complete surrender to God’s will and his devotion to his fellow brothers.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe embodied the essence of selfless love and self-sacrifice for others. His unwavering devotion to the Virgin Mary and his complete trust in God enabled him to triumph over the most daunting challenges, showcasing the indomitable power of God’s love even in the midst of the harrowing realities of war.


Saint Maximilian Kolbe is often depicted holding two crowns (the white crown symbolizing holiness and purity, and the red crown representing the martyrdom of blood) while wearing his prisoner uniform (marked with the number 16670).

Youth prayer
St. Maximilian Kolbe

Saint Maximilian,
missionary of the Gospel,
who proclaimed the Word to the world,
help me to be an instrument of peace
and opportunity for a new life
for those who did not encounter God’s love.

In love with Mary Immaculate,
that you followed on the footsteps
of the Mother of God,
accompany me on the path of humility
so that I can realise in my life
what the Lord has dreamed about me.

Martyr of love,
who in the darkness of evil
you had the courage to give your life
to save a family father,
teach me to offer my every action
for the love of God and brothers.


Order of Friars Minor Conventual

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