August 14, 2020 – Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe
St. Maximilian Kolbe was arrested in Poland in February of 1941, and in May was sent to the Auschwitz death camp. As prisoner #16670, he eventually laid down his life for another prisoner on August 14, 1941, at the young age of 47.
When a prisoner escaped late in July of that year, ten men from his barracks were randomly chosen to suffer death by starvation as both punishment and deterrent. Fr. Maximilian offered to take the place of one of the men; Franciszek Gajowniczek had let out a cry of pain for his family and this holy priest volunteered to take his place.
What followed were weeks of unimaginable horror, as the men suffered the pains of dehydration and starvation. But this holy man not only offered to be one of the suffering, he ministered to the other nine as well. After three weeks there were only four prisoners left alive. It was on this day in 1941 that Fr. Kolbe and three fellow prisoners were killed with injections of carbolic acid.
By the late 1940’s the cause for Fr. Kolbe’s beatification had begun. He was beatified by Pope Paul VI in 1971 and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1982.
Source – Read more about St Maximilian Kolbe at: https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/blog/9-things-to-know-about-st-maximilian-kolbe/4426/