August 14, St. Maximilian Kolbe
Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire! — Psalm 66 (see 20 and 10)
Mass Readings: Deuteronomy 34:1-12/Matthew 18:15-20
Martyr of Charity
Raymond Kolbe (later known in the Franciscans as Maximilian) was known as a mischievous child. Around age 12 he received a vision of the Blessed Virgin that would change his life. In the vision Mary asked him whether he would accept the crown of purity or the crown of martyrdom. Kolbe’s response: “I said that I would accept them both.”
During World War II, shortly before his arrest by the Nazis, Father Kolbe wrote: “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.” In Auschwitz, in loving service, Father Kolbe charitably took the place of a married man marked for execution. On the eve of Mary’s Assumption in 1941, Maximilian gave his life for Christ.
Prayer: Lord, through the intercession of Mary, may I give my life to You.
Courtesy of Our Sunday Visitor: http://www.osv.com/MyDailyVisitor/tabid/7626/Default.aspx