80 years ago St. Maximilian Kolbe gave his life in Auschwitz to save a father of a family – Catholic World Report

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Eighty years ago St. Maximilian Kolbe died in Auschwitz on August 14 after volunteering to take the place of a father in the concentration camp’s starvation bunker. Today devotion to the saint continues to spread, including as an intercessor for the family, according to a theologian in Rome. Fr. Kolbe, a Franciscan priest and missionary, was sent to Auschwitz in 1941. After a Polish prisoner tried to escape the camp on July 29, the SS security forces selected 10 prisoners to starve to death as a lesson for the entire camp. One of the prisoners chosen was Franciszek Gajowniczek, who asked for mercy. He mentioned that he had a wife and children. Fr. Kolbe offered to die in his place. “Fr. Kolbe told the commandant, ‘I want to go instead of the man who was selected. He has a wife and family. I am alone. I am a Catholic priest,’” Gajowniczek told the NY Times in 1995. In an interview with ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian language sister news agency, Fr. Raffaele Di Muro, said this act of sacrifice is one of the reasons why Kolbe is considered a patron saint of families today.

80 years ago St. Maximilian Kolbe gave his life in Auschwitz to save a father of a family – Catholic World Report

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