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Memorial of Saint Maximillian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr

Christ instituted this sacrament (ed - His Most Holy Body and Blood) as the perpetual memorial of his Passion, the greatest of all his miracles; and he left this sacrament to those whom his absence filled with grief, as an incomparable consolation. - Saint Thomas Aquinas


My Bible History - New Testament #11 - The First Disciples, by Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow, D.D.


Saint Maximilian Kolbe

Also known as

• Apostle of Consecration to Mary
• Maksymilian Maria
• Massimiliano Maria Kolbe
• Maximilian Mary Kolbe
• Rajmund Kolbe
• Raymond Kolbe
• prisoner 16670

Profile

Second of three sons born to a poor but pious Catholic family in Russian occupied Poland. His parents, both Franciscan lay tertiaries, worked at home as weavers. His father, Julius, later ran a religious book store, then enlisted in the army of Pilsudski, fought for Polish independence from Russia, and was hanged by the Russians as a traitor in 1914. His mother, Marianne Dabrowska, later became a Benedictine nun. His brother Alphonse became a priest.

Raymond was known as a mischievous child, sometimes considered wild, and a trial to his parents. However, in 1906 at Pabianice, at age twelve and around the time of his first Communion, he received a vision of the Virgin Mary that changed his life.

"I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both." - Saint Maximilian

He entered the Franciscan junior seminary in Lwow, Poland in 1907 where he excelled in mathematics and physics. For a while he wanted to abandon the priesthood for the military, but eventually relented to the call to religious life, and on 4 September 1910 he became a novice in the Conventual Franciscan Order at age 16. He took the name Maximilian, made his first vows on 5 September 1911, his final vows on 1 November 1914.

Studied philosophy at the Jesuit Gregorian College in Rome from 1912 to 1915, and theology at the Franciscan Collegio Serafico in Rome from 1915 to 1919. On 16 October 1917, while still in seminary, he and six friends founded the Immaculata Movement (Militia Immaculatae, Crusade of Mary Immaculate) devoted to the conversion of sinners, opposition to freemasonry (which was extremely anti-Catholic at the time), spread of the Miraculous Medal (which they wore as their habit), and devotion to Our Lady and the path to Christ. Stricken with tuberculosis which nearly killed him, and left him in frail in health the rest of his life. Ordained on 28 April 1918 in Rome at age 24. Received his Doctor of Theology on 22 July 1922; his insights into Marian theology echo today through their influence on Vatican II.

Maximilian returned to Poland on 29 July 1919 to teach history in the Krakow seminary. He had to take a medical leave from 10 August 1920 to 28 April 1921 to be treated for tuberculosis at the hospital at Zakpane in the Tatra Mountains. In January 1922 he began publication of the magazine Knight of the Immaculate to fight religious apathy; by 1927 the magazine had a press run of 70,000 issues. He was forced to take another medical leave from 18 September 1926 to 13 April 1927, but the work continued. The friaries from which he had worked were not large enough for his work, and in 1927 Polish Prince Jan Drucko-Lubecki gave him land at Teresin near Warsaw. There he founded a new monastery of Niepokalanow, the City of the Immaculate which was consecrated on 8 December 1927. At its peak the Knight of the Immaculate had a press run of 750,000 copies a month. A junior seminary was started on the grounds in 1929. In 1935 the house began printing a daily Catholic newspaper, The Little Daily with a press run of 137,000 on work days, 225,000 on Sundays and holy days.

Not content with his work in Poland, Maximilian and four brothers left for Japan in 1930. Within a month of their arrival, penniless and knowing no Japanese, Maximilian was printing a Japanese version of the Knight; the magazine, Seibo no Kishi grew to a circulation of 65,000 by 1936. In 1931 he founded a monastery in Nagasaki, Japan comparable to Niepokalanow. It survived the war, including the nuclear bombing, and serves today as a center of Franciscan work in Japan.

In mid-1932 Max left Japan for Malabar, India where he founded a third Niepokalanow house. However, due to a lack of manpower, it did not survive.

Poor health forced him to curtail his missionary work and return to Poland in 1936. On 8 December 1938 the monastery started its own radio station. By 1939 the monastery housed a religious community of nearly 800 men, the largest in the world in its day, and was completely self-sufficient including medical facilities and a fire brigade staffed by the religious brothers.

Arrested with several of his brothers on 19 September 1939 following the Nazi invasion of Poland. Others at the monastery were briefly exiled, but the prisoners were released on 8 December 1939, and the men returned to their work. Back at Niepokalanow he continued his priestly ministry, The brothers housed 3,000 Polish refugees, two-thirds of whom were Jewish, and continued their publication work, including materials considered anti-Nazi. For this work the presses were shut down, the congregation suppressed, the brothers dispersed, and Maximilian was imprisoned in Pawiak prison, Warsaw, Poland on 17 February 1941.

On 28 May 1941 he was transferred to Auschwitz and branded as prisoner 16670. He was assigned to a special work group staffed by priests and supervised by especially vicious and abusive guards. His calm dedication to the faith brought him the worst jobs available, and more beatings than anyone else. At one point he was beaten, lashed, and left for dead. The prisoners managed to smuggle him into the camp hospital where he spent his recovery time hearing confessions. When he returned to the camp, Maximilian ministered to other prisoners, including conducting Mass and delivering communion using smuggled bread and wine.

In July 1941 there was an escape from the camp. Camp protocol, designed to make the prisoners guard each other, required that ten men be slaughtered in retribution for each escaped prisoner. Francis Gajowniczek, a married man with young children was chosen to die for the escape. Maximilian volunteered to take his place, and died as he had always wished - in service.

Born

7 January 1894 at Zdunska Wola, Poland as Raymond Kolbe

Died

• 14 August 1941 by lethal carbonic acid injection after three weeks of starvation and dehydration at the Auschwitz, Poland death camp
• body burned in the ovens and ashes scattered
• some relics have been preserved and distributed by the friars at Niepokalanów, Poland

Beatified

• 17 October 1971 by Pope Paul VI
• his beatification miracles include the July 1948 cure of intestinal tuberculosis of Angela Testoni, and August 1950 cure of calcification of the arteries/sclerosis of Francis Ranier

Canonized

• 10 October 1982 by Pope John Paul II
• declared a martyr of charity

Patronage

• drug addicts, and against drug addiction
• families
• journalists
• prisoners, including political prisoners
• pro-life movement

Storefront

medals and pendants

Video

YouTube PlayList

Readings

Kolbe is the patron saint of our difficult century. - Pope John Paul II

Courage, my sons, Don't you see that we are leaving on a mission? They pay our fare in the bargain. What a piece of good luck! The thing to do now is to pray well in order to win as many souls as possible. Let us, then, tell the Blessed Virgin that we are content, and that she can do with us anything she wishes. - Saint Maximilian Kolbe

The most deadly poison of our times is indifference. And this happens, although the praise of God should know no limits. Let us strive, therefore, to praise Him to the greatest extent of our powers. - Saint Maximilian Kolbe

For Jesus Christ I am prepared to suffer still more. - Saint Maximilian Kolbe

No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves? - Saint Maximilian Kolbe in the last issue of the Knight

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-maximilian-kolbe/


Saint Arnulf of Soissons

Also known as

• Arnoldus of Soissons
• Arnoul of Soissons
• Arnulphus of Soissons

Profile

French nobleman. Distinguished career soldier under King Robert and King Henry I. Benedictine monk at the monastery of Saint Medard, Soissons, France c.1060. Hermit, living for three years in a tiny cell with almost no contact with the outside. Called to return to his community, he became abbot of his house. He tried to refuse the responsibility; legend says he tried to flee the house, but that a wolf blocked his path and forced him to return. Priest. Bishop of Soissons, France in 1081. When first offered the bishopric, he replied, "Leave a sinner to offer to God some fruits of penance; and compel not a madman to take upon him a charge which requires so much wisdom." He was ordered to take the position, but found it more than he could handle. When an interloper drove him from his see, he took the opportunity as a sign, resigned, and returned to monastic life. Founded a monastery at Aldenburg, Flanders where he lived the rest of his days.

Born

1040 at Flanders, Belgium

Died

• 1087 at the monastery at Aldenburg, diocese of Bruges, Flanders, Belgium of natural causes
• miracles reported at his tomb were investigated and approved by a council at Beauvais, France in 1121
• relics translated to the church of Saint Peter, Aldenburg, Belgium in 1131

Patronage

• brewers
• hop pickers
• millers
• music
• to find lost articles

Representation

• bishop blessing a burning castle
• bishop wearing a coat of mail under his cope
• bishop with a fish with a ring in its mouth
• bishop with a mash rake (a beer brewing tool)
• washing the feet of the poor

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-arnulf-of-soissons/


Blessed Aimo Taparelli

Also known as

• Aimone Taparelli
• Haymo Taparelli

Profile

Born to the Italian nobility, the family of the Counts of Lagnasco. Aimo felt a call to religious life in his youth, and soon as he was able, joined the Dominican in Savigliano, Italy. Studied and then taught at the University of Turin, Italy. Priest. Noted, well-travelled preacher. Chaplain to Duke Amadeus of Savoy. Inquisitor-general for Lombardy and Liguria.

Born

1395 at Savigliano, Piedmont, Italy

Died

• 15 August 1495 of natural causes
• relics transferred to Saint Dominic's Church in Turin, Italy in the early 20th century

Beatified

1856 by Pope Blessed Pius IX (cultus confirmed)

Readings

To serve God is to reign. - Blessed Aimo

Our salvation consists solely in serving God. All else is deceit. - Blessed Aimo

O God, to serve you is to reign. By the prayers of Blessed Aimo whom you made a mighty champion of the faith may we serve you by promoting peace and unity in the Church and come to enjoy the everlasting kingdom. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. - General Calendar of the Order of Preachers

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-aimo-taparelli/


Blessed Vicente Rubiols Castelló

Profile

Studied at the Seminary of Valencia, Spain. Priest, ordained in 1894 in the archdiocese of Valencia. Served 40 years as parish priest in La Pobla Llarga, Spain. Noted for his charity and his ministry to the sick. In the persecutions of the Spanish Civil War, he was forced to briefly abandon his parish, but returned as he could not abandon his parishioners. Arrested by anti–Catholic militiamen, some of whom he had baptized, on 14 August 1936, hustled out of town, and executed. Martyr.

Born

13 March 1874 in Gandía, Valencia, Spain

Died

• shot on 14 August 1936 on the road outside in Picassent, Valencia, Spain
• body left on the side of the road; discovered three days later and given a proper burial by local Christians

Beatified

11 March 2001 by Pope John Paul II

Readings

Long live Jesus in the Eucharist! – Blessed Vincente's dying words

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-vicente-rubiols-castello/


Saint Antony Primaldo and Companions

Also known as

Martyrs of Otranto

Profile

An aged lay man artisan in Otranto, Italy, Antony was known for his personal piety. In 1480 Otranto was invaded by Turks who offered the inhabitants the choice between death and conversion to Islam. Antony was chosen as spokesman for the town, and explained to the Turks that Otranto chose Christ. Martyred with 812 other residents of Otranto whose names have not come down to us.

Died

hacked to pieces on 13 August 1480 in Otranto, Lecce, Italy

Beatified

• 14 December 1771 by Pope Clement XIV (cultus confirmed)
• 6 July 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI (decree of martyrdom)

Canonized

Sunday 12 May 2013 by Pope Francis in Rome, Italy

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-antony-primaldo/


Blessed Félix Yuste Cava

Profile

Known as a pious child. Studied at the seminary of Valencia, Spain, and at the Spanish College and Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. Priest in several parishes of the archdiocese of Valencia. Professor at the Valencia seminary. Active supporter of Catholic Action in his parishes. Founded parochial schools. In the persecutionsSpanish Civil War, he and some fellow priests went into hiding at his brother's home. Arrested by –Catholic militianmen on on the night of 13 August 1936. Martyr.

Born

21 February 1887 in Chulilla, Valencia, Spain

Died

shot in the early morning of 14 August 1936 in El Saler, Valencia, Spain

Beatified

11 March 2001 by Pope John Paul II

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-felix-yuste-cava/


Saint Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia

Profile

Joined the Dominicans in 1605. Priest. Missionary to Pangasinan, Philippines in 1611. Taught theology at the Colegio de Santo Tomas. Missionary to Japan in 1623 during a time of violent persecution of Christians. Worked with local converts for ten years, aided by Saint Francis Shoyemon. Captured by authorities in July 1633, he was imprisoned, tortured and finally murdered for refusing to renounce his faith. Martyr.

Born

February 1589 in Régil, Guipúzcoa, Spain

Died

14 August 1633 in Nishizaka, Nagasaki, Japan

Canonized

18 October 1987 by Pope John Paul II

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-domingo-ibanez-de-erquicia/


Saint Werenfridus

Also known as

Werenfrid, Werenfried

Profile

Benedictine monk. Priest. Missionary. Worked with Saint Willibrord of Echternach to evangelize the Frisians.

Born

in England

Died

• c.780 at Arnheim, Netherlands
• his coffin floated down river to finally settle at Elst, Netherlands
• the incident is still commemorated on the Overbetuwe province coat of arms

Patronage

• against gout
• against stiff joints
• vegetable gardeners
• Arnheim, Netherlands
• Elst, Netherlands
• Westervoort, Netherlands

Representation

• priest vested for Mass holding a ship with a coffin in it
• dead priest laid in a ship

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-werenfridus/


Saint Eusebius of Rome

Profile

Imperial Roman patrician. Priest. Pope Liberius subscribed to the Arian formula of Sirmium; when he was permitted by the Emperor Constantius to return to Rome, Eusebius, an ardent defender of the Nicene Creed, publicly denounced them both. He was imprisoned, and died seven months later. Confessor.

Died

• 357 of maltreatment in prison in Rome, Italy
• relics in church of San Eusebio, Rome

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-eusebius-of-rome/


Saint Marcellus of Apamea

Also known as

Marcel, Marcello

Profile

Civil magistrate noted for his honesty, justice and mercy. Chosen bishop of Apamea, Syria in the late 4th century. Murdered by pagans for enforcing the 385 decree of emperor Theodosius for the destruction of idols. Martyr.

Born

Cyprus

Died

389 in Apamea, Syria

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-marcellus-of-apamea/


Blessed Juliana Puricelli

Profile

Augustinian contemplative nun. Friend of Blessed Catherine da Palanza.

Born

1427 at Busto-Arizio, Italy

Died

15 August 1501 at Sacro Montesopra Varese convent of natural causes

Beatified

16 September 1769 by Pope Clement XIV (cultus confirmed)

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-juliana-puricelli/


Saint Fachanan of Ross

Also known as

Fachtna, Facanano

Profile

Monk. Abbot. Founded a monastery and school in the Rosscarbery area which became a celebrated seat of learning and gained an international reputation for study of sacred scripture. Priest. First bishop of Ross, Ireland.

Died

c.600

Patronage

• Kilfenora, Ireland, diocese of
• Ross, Ireland, diocese of

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-fachanan-of-ross/


Saint Athanasia of Timia

Profile

Married. Her first husband died fighting the Saracens. Her second husband became a monk. Athanasia turned their home into a convent, then built Timia Abbey to house a larger congregation. Her reputation for holiness spread, and she became an advisor to Empress Theodora.

Born

Aegina

Died

860 at Timia Abbey of natural causes

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-athanasia-of-timia/


Saint Ursicius of Nicomedia

Also known as

• Ursicius of Illyrium
• Ursicin, Ursicino, Ursicinus

Profile

Tribune in the imperial Roman army. Martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian.

Born

Illyrium

Died

beheaded in 304 at Nicomedia (in modern Turkey)

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-ursicius-of-nicomedia/


Blessed Sanctes Brancasino

Profile

Franciscan lay-brother at Scotameto, Italy.

Born

Monte Fabri, Italy

Died

1490 of natural causes

Beatified

by Pope Clement XIV

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-sanctes-brancasino/


Saint Franciso Shoyemon

Profile

Lay Dominican catechist. Martyr.

Born

Japan

Died

14 August 1633

Canonized

18 October 1987 by Pope John Paul II

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-franciso-shoyemon/


Saint Callistus of Todi

Profile

Bishop of Todi, Italy c.523. Zealous opponent of the heresy of Arianism. Preached against the excesses and loose lives of the local nobility - and was murdered by the servants of those nobles. Martyr.

Died

528

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-callistus-of-todi/


Saint Eberhard of Einsiedeln

Also known as

Everard

Profile

Monk. Founder and first abbot of Einsiedeln Abbey in Switzerland.

Born

Swabia, Germany

Died

958

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-eberhard-of-einsiedeln/


Saint Eusebius of Palestine

Profile

Martyred in the persecutions of Maximian Herculeus.

Died

late 3rd century Palestine

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-eusebius-of-palestine/


Saint Demetrius of Africa

Profile

Martyred in Africa.

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-demetrius-of-africa/


Martyred in the Spanish Civil War

Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939. I have pages on each of them, but in most cases I have only found very minimal information. They are available on the CatholicSaints.Info site through these links:

Blessed Ángel de la Red Pérez
Blessed Antonio María Martín Povea
Blessed Basilio González Herrero
Blessed Ezequiél Prieto Otero
Blessed Joaquín Frade Eiras
Blessed Jocund Bonet Mercadé
Blessed José García Librán
Blessed Ricardo Atanes Castro
Blessed Segundo Pérez Arias
Blessed Vicente Rubiols Castelló


Also celebrated but no entry yet

• Elisabetta Renzi
• Lorenzo da Fermo
• William of Parma


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