Could I die for a total stranger?

 “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (Jn 15:13).

Today is the Feast day of Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe OFM Conv., a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar, who was killed this day, the eve of the Feast of the Assumption of Blessed Mother Mary, at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in 1941.

He had a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother; his apostolic endeavor was the creation of the City of the Immaculate (Niepokalanów) in Poland, where he and his nearly 800 religious brothers wrote and printed “The Knights of the Immaculate” magazine with 600,000 copies issued monthly, and a daily newspaper that had a circulation of a million. Because of his work and his denouncing of the Nazi regime, he was arrested a second time and sent to Auschwitz.

While imprisoned there, a prisoner had escaped from the concentration camp; therefore, the camp guards chose 10 men to be placed in the Starvation Block and starved to death. Ten were chosen; one of the chosen prisoners cried out “My poor wife; my poor children!” Fr. Kolbe, broke ranks and offered himself in exchange for him. Instead of killing Fr. Kolbe on the spot for breaking ranks, the guard allowed the exchange.

After 10 days of starvation, Maximilian Kolbe and one other prisoner were still alive, the other eight had perished. To hasten their deaths, Fr. Kolbe and the other prisoner were injected with carbolic acid.

(Most information came from )

St. Maximilian Kolbe, please pray that I may love the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the fullest.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, please pray that I may love the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the fullest.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, help me to love my neighbors to the fullest.