Maximilian Kolbe

Maximilian Maria Kolbe OFM Conv. (Polish: Maksymilian Maria Kolbe [maksɨˌmʲilʲan ˌmarʲja ˈkɔlbɛ]; 8 January 1894 – 14 August 1941), a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar, volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the German death camp of Auschwitz, located in German-occupied Poland during World War II. He had been active in promoting the veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, founding and supervising the monastery of Niepokalanów near Warsaw, operating an amateur-radio station (SP3RN), and founding or running several other organizations and publications.

On 10 October 1982 Pope John Paul II canonized Kolbe and declared him a martyr of charity. The Catholic Church venerates him as the patron saint of amateur-radio operators, of drug addicts, of political prisoners, of families, of journalists, of prisoners, and of the pro-life movement.[2] John Paul II declared him "The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century".[3] His feast day is August 14, the day of his death.

Due to Kolbe's efforts to promote consecration and entrustment to Mary, he is known as the Apostle of Consecration to Mary.[4]

Maximilian Kolbe
OFM Conv.
Fr.Maximilian Kolbe 1939
Maximilian Kolbe in 1939
Born8 January 1894
Died14 August 1941 (aged 47)
EducationPontifical University of St. Bonaventure (doctorate in theology)
Founder of Militia Immaculatae, Religious, Apostle of Consecration to Mary, Priest and Martyr
Venerated in
Beatified17 October 1971, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City[1] by Pope Paul VI
Canonized10 October 1982, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Major shrineBasilica of the Immaculate Mediatrix of Grace, Niepokalanów,
Teresin, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland
Feast14 August
AttributesChristian Martyrdom, Prison uniform, needle being injected into an arm, the number 16670
Patronagefamilies, imprisoned people, journalists, political prisoners, prisoners, pro-life movement, Esperantists, Militia Immaculatae.[2]



Raymond Kolbe was born on 8 January 1894 in Zduńska Wola, in the Kingdom of Poland, which was then part of the Russian Empire. He was the second son of weaver Julius Kolbe and midwife Maria Dąbrowska.[5] His father was an ethnic German[6] and his mother was Polish. He had four brothers. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Pabianice.[5]

Kolbe's life was strongly influenced in 1906, when he was 12, by a vision of the Virgin Mary.[2] He later described this incident:

That night 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 me 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.[7]

Franciscan friar

In 1907, Kolbe and his elder brother Francis joined the Conventual Franciscans.[8] They enrolled at the Conventual Franciscan minor seminary in Lwow later that year. In 1910, Kolbe was allowed to enter the novitiate, where he was given the religious name Maximilian. He professed his first vows in 1911, and final vows in 1914,[2] adopting the additional name of Maria (Mary).[5]

Kolbe was sent to Rome in 1912, where he attended the Pontifical Gregorian University. He earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1915 there. From 1915 he continued his studies at the Pontifical University of St. Bonaventure, where he earned a doctorate in theology in 1919[5] or 1922[2] (sources vary). He was active in the consecration and entrustment to Mary. During his time as a student, he witnessed vehement demonstrations against Popes St. Pius X and Benedict XV in Rome during an anniversary celebration by the Freemasons. According to Kolbe,

They placed the black standard of the "Giordano Brunisti" under the windows of the Vatican. On this standard the archangel, St. Michael, was depicted lying under the feet of the triumphant Lucifer. At the same time, countless pamphlets were distributed to the people in which the Holy Father (i.e., the Pope) was attacked shamefully.[1][9]

Soon afterward, on October 16, 1917, Kolbe organized the Militia Immaculatae (Army of the Immaculate One), to work for conversion of sinners and enemies of the Catholic Church, specifically the Freemasons, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary.[2] So serious was Kolbe about this goal that he added to the Miraculous Medal prayer:

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. And for all those who do not have recourse to thee; especially the Masons and all those recommended to thee.[10]

DBP 1973 771 Maximilian Kolbe
Maximilian Kolbe, on a West German postage stamp, marked Auschwitz

In 1918, Kolbe was ordained a priest.[11] In July 1919 he returned to Poland, which was newly independent. He was active in promoting the veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary.[5] He was strongly opposed to leftist – in particular, communist – movements.[5]

From 1919 to 1922 he taught at the Kraków seminary.[2][5] Around that time, as well as earlier in Rome, he suffered from tuberculosis, which forced him to take a lengthy leave of absence from his teaching duties. TB was generally considered fatal, with rest and good nutrition the best treatment, as antibiotics had not been developed to treat it.[2][11]

In January 1922 Kolbe founded the monthly periodical Rycerz Niepokalanej (Knight of the Immaculata), a devotional publication based on French Le Messager du Coeur de Jesus (Messenger of the Heart of Jesus).[5] From 1922 to 1926 he operated a religious publishing press in Grodno.[5] As his activities grew in scope, in 1927 he founded a new Conventual Franciscan monastery at Niepokalanów near Warsaw; it became a major religious publishing center.[2][5][11] A junior seminary was opened there two years later.[2]

Between 1930 and 1936, Kolbe undertook a series of missions to East Asia.[5] At first, he arrived in Shanghai, China, but failed to gather a following there.[5] Next, he moved to Japan, where by 1931 he founded a monastery at the outskirts of Nagasaki (it later gained a novitiate and a seminary). He started publishing a Japanese edition of the Knight of the Immaculata (Seibo no Kishi).[2][5][11] The monastery he founded remains prominent in the Roman Catholic Church in Japan.[2] Kolbe built the monastery on a mountainside. According to Shinto beliefs, this was not the side best suited to be in harmony with nature. But when the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Kolbe's monastery survived because the other side of the mountain took the main force of the blast.[12]

In mid-1932 Kolbe left Japan for Malabar, India, where he founded another monastery; this one closed after a while.[2] Meanwhile, the monastery at Niepokalanów began in his absence to publish the daily newspaper, Mały Dziennik (The Little Daily), in alliance with the political group, the National Radical Camp (Obóz Narodowo Radykalny).[2][5] This publication reached a circulation of 137,000, and nearly double that, 225,000 on weekends.[13]

Poor health forced Kolbe to return to Poland in 1936.[2] Two years later, in 1938, he started a radio station at Niepokalanów, the Radio Niepokalanów.[2][14] He held an amateur radio licence, with the call sign SP3RN.[15]

Death at Auschwitz

Todeszelle Pater Maximilian Kolbes, KZ Auschwitz I, Block 11
Saint Maximilian Kolbe's prison cell in Block 11, Auschwitz concentration camp

After the outbreak of World War II, which started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, Kolbe was one of the few brothers who remained in the monastery, where he organized a temporary hospital.[5] After the town was captured by the Germans, he was briefly arrested by them on 19 September 1939 but released on 8 December.[2][5] He refused to sign the Deutsche Volksliste, which would have given him rights similar to those of German citizens, in exchange for recognizing his ethnic German ancestry.[16] Upon his release he continued work at his friary, where he and other friars provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews whom he hid from German persecution in the Niepokalanów friary.[2][11][12][16][17] Kolbe received permission to continue publishing religious works, though significantly reduced in scope.[16] The monastery continued to act as a publishing house, issuing a number of anti-Nazi German publications.[2][11]

On 17 February 1941, the monastery was shut down by the German authorities.[2] That day Kolbe and four others were arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison.[2] On 28 May, he was transferred to Auschwitz as prisoner 16670.[18]

Plum Edith Stein und Maximilian Kolbe
Stained glass window by Alois Plum depicting Edith Stein and Maximilian Kolbe

Continuing to act as a priest, Kolbe was subjected to violent harassment, including beating and lashings. Once he was smuggled to a prison hospital by friendly inmates.[2][16] At the end of July 1941, one prisoner escaped from the camp, prompting SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritzsch, the deputy camp commander, to pick ten men to be starved to death in an underground bunker to deter further escape attempts. When one of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, "My wife! My children!", Kolbe volunteered to take his place.[8]

According to an eyewitness, who was an assistant janitor at that time, in his prison cell, Kolbe led the prisoners in prayer. Each time the guards checked on him, he was standing or kneeling in the middle of the cell and looking calmly at those who entered. After they had been starved and deprived of water for two weeks, only Kolbe remained alive. The guards wanted the bunker emptied, so they gave Kolbe a lethal injection of carbolic acid. Kolbe is said to have raised his left arm and calmly waited for the deadly injection.[11] He died on August 14. His remains were cremated on 15 August, the feast day of the Assumption of Mary.[16]


Kościół MB Ostrobramskiej w Chrzanowie 13
The first monument to Maximilian Kolbe in Poland in Chrzanów

On 12 May 1955, Kolbe was recognized by the Vatican as a Servant of God.[16] Kolbe was declared venerable by Pope Paul VI on 30 January 1969, beatified as a Confessor of the Faith by the same Pope in 1971, and canonized as a saint by Pope John Paul II on 10 October 1982.[2][19] Upon canonization, the Pope declared St. Maximilian Kolbe as a confessor, and a martyr of charity.[2] The miracles that were used to confirm his beatification were the July 1948 cure of intestinal tuberculosis in Angela Testoni, and in August 1950, the cure of calcification of the arteries/sclerosis of Francis Ranier; both attributed to Kolbe's intercession by their prayers to him.[2]

The statue of Kolbe (left) above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey

After his canonization, a feast day for St. Maximilian Kolbe was added to the General Roman Calendar. He is one of ten 20th-century martyrs who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, London.[20]


Kolbe's recognition as a Christian martyr generated some controversy within the Catholic Church.[21] While his self-sacrifice at Auschwitz was considered saintly and heroic, he was not killed out of odium fidei (hatred of the faith), but as the result of his act of Christian charity toward another man. Pope Paul VI recognized this distinction at Kolbe's beatification, naming him a Confessor and giving him the unofficial title "martyr of charity". Pope John Paul II, however, overruled the commission he had established (which agreed with the earlier assessment of heroic charity). John Paul II wanted to make the point that the Nazis systematic hatred of whole categories of humanity was inherently also a hatred of religious (Christian) faith; he said that Kolbe's death equated to earlier examples of religious martyrdom.[21]

Kolbe has been accused of antisemitism. In 1926, in the first issue of the monthly Knight of the Immaculate, Father Kolbe said he considered Freemasons as an organized clique of fanatical Jews, who want to destroy the church. Writing in a calendar that the publishing house of his organization, the Militia of the Immaculate, published in an edition of a million in 1939, Father Kolbe said: "Atheistic Communism seems to rage ever more wildly. Its origin can easily be located in that criminal mafia that calls itself Freemasonry, and the hand that is guiding all that toward a clear goal is international Zionism. Which should not be taken to mean that even among Jews one cannot find good people." [22]Newspapers he published printed articles about topics such as a Zionist plot for world domination.[23][24][25] Slovenian sociologist Slavoj Žižek criticized Kolbe's activities as "writing and organizing mass propaganda for the Catholic Church, with a clear anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic edge."[24][26] However, a number of writers pointed out that the "Jewish question played a very minor role in Kolbe's thought and work".[24][27] On those grounds allegations of Kolbe's antisemitism have been denounced by Holocaust scholars Daniel L. Schlafly, Jr. and Warren Green, among others.[24] Kolbe's alleged antisemitism was a source of controversy in the 1980s in the aftermath of his canonization.[28] Kolbe is not recognized by Israel as among the Righteous Among the Nations.[19]

During World War II Kolbe's monastery at Niepokalanów sheltered Jewish refugees.[24] According to testimony of a local: "When Jews came to me asking for a piece of bread, I asked Father Maximilian if I could give it to them in good conscience, and he answered me, 'Yes, it is necessary to do this, because all men are our brothers.'"[27]


First-class relics of Kolbe exist, in the form of hairs from his head and beard, preserved without his knowledge by two friars at Niepokalanów who served as barbers in his friary between 1930 and 1941.[29] Since his beatification in 1971, more than 1,000 such relics have been distributed around the world for public veneration.[29] Second-class relics, such as his personal effects, clothing and liturgical vestments, are preserved in his monastery cell and in a chapel at Niepokalanów, where they may be viewed by visitors.[29]


Kolbe influenced his own Order of Conventual Franciscan friars, as the Militia Immaculatae movement had continued.[30] In recent years new religious and secular institutes have been founded, inspired from this spiritual way. Among these are the Missionaries of the Immaculate Mary – fr. Kolbe, the Franciscan Friars of Mary Immaculate, and a parallel congregation of Religious Sisters, and others. The Franciscan Friars of Mary Immaculate are taught basic Polish so they can sing the traditional hymns sung by Kolbe, in the saint's native tongue.[31]

According to the friars:

Our patron, St. Maximilian Kolbe, inspires us with his unique Mariology and apostolic mission, which is to bring all souls to the Sacred Heart of Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Christ's most pure, efficient, and holy instrument of evangelization – especially those most estranged from the Church.[31]

Kolbe's views into Marian theology echo today through their influence on Vatican II.[2] His image may be found in churches across Europe[20] and throughout the world. Several churches in Poland are under his patronage, such as the Sanctuary of Saint Maxymilian in Zduńska Wola or the Church of Saint Maxymilian Kolbe in Szczecin.[32][33] A museum, Museum of St. Maximilian Kolbe "There was a Man", was opened in Niepokalanów in 1998.[34]

In 1963, Rolf Hochhuth published The Deputy, a play significantly influenced by Kolbe's life and dedicated to him.[16] In 2000, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (U.S.) designated Marytown, home to a community of Conventual Franciscan friars, as the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Marytown is located in Libertyville, Illinois. It features the Kolbe Holocaust Exhibit.[35] In 1991, Krzysztof Zanussi released a Polish film about the life of Kolbe, Life for Life: Maximilian Kolbe. The Polish Senate declared the year 2011 to be the year of Maximilian Kolbe.[36]

Immaculata prayer

Kolbe composed the Immaculata prayer as a prayer of consecration to the Immaculata, i.e. the immaculately conceived.[37]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Biographical Data Summary". Consecration Militia of the Immaculata. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Saints Index; Catholic, Saint Maximilian Kolbe
  3. ^ "Holy Mass at the Brzezinka Concentration Camp". Vatican. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  4. ^ Armstrong, Regis J.; Peterson, Ingrid J. (2010). The Franciscan Tradition. Liturgical Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-8146-3922-1.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Czesław Lechicki, Kolbe Rajmund, Polski Słownik Biograficzny, Tom XIII, 1968, p. 296
  6. ^ Strzelecka, Kinga (1984). Maksymilian M. Kolbe: für andere leben und sterben (in German). S[ank]t-Benno-Verlag. p. 6.
  7. ^ Armstrong, Regis J.; Peterson, Ingrid J. (2010). The Franciscan Tradition. Liturgical Press. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-8146-3922-1.
  8. ^ a b Saint Maximilian Kolbe,
  9. ^ Czupryk, Father Cornelius (1935). "18th Anniversary Issue". Mugenzai no Seibo no Kishi. Mugenzai no Sono Monastery.
  10. ^ "Daily Prayers". Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Blessed Maximilian Kolbe-Priest Hero of a Death Camp by Mary Craig". Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  12. ^ a b Hepburn, Steven. "Maximilian Kolbe's story shows us why sainthood is still meaningful". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  13. ^ Łęcicki, Grzegorz (2010). "Media katolickie w III Rzeczypospolitej (1989–2009)" [Catholic media in the Third Rzeczpospolita (1989–2009)]. Kultura Media Teologia (in Polish). Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego. 2 (2): 12–122. ISSN 2081-8971. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Historia". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  15. ^ "SP3RN @". Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Czesław Lechicki, Kolbe Rajmund, Polski Słownik Biograficzny, Tom XIII, 1968, p. 297
  17. ^ "Kolbe, Saint of Auschwitz". Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Sixty-ninth Anniversary of the Death of St. Maximilian Kolbe". Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  19. ^ a b Plunka, Gene A. (24 April 2012). Staging Holocaust Resistance. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-137-00061-3.
  20. ^ a b "Maximilian Kolbe". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  21. ^ a b Peterson, Anna L. (1997). Martyrdom and the Politics of Religion: Progressive Catholicism in El Salvador's Civil War. SUNY Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-7914-3182-5.
  22. ^ New York Times, November 19, 1982 'Saint charged with bigotry' [1]
  23. ^ Dershowitz, Alan M. (1 May 1992). Chutzpah. Simon and Schuster. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-671-76089-2.
  24. ^ a b c d e "Scholars Reject Charge St. Maximilian Was Anti-semitic". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  25. ^ Michael, Robert (1 April 2008). A History of Catholic Antisemitism: The Dark Side of the Church. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-230-61117-7.
  26. ^ Zizek, Slavoj (22 May 2012). Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism. Verso Books. pp. 121–122. ISBN 978-1-84467-902-7.
  27. ^ a b "Becky Ready".
  28. ^ Yallop, David (23 August 2012). The Power & the Glory. Constable & Robinson Limited. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-4721-0516-5.
  29. ^ a b c "The First-Class Relics of St Maximilian Kolbe". Pastoral Centre. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  30. ^ Catholic Way Publishing (27 December 2013). My Daily Prayers. Catholic Way Publishing. p. 249. ISBN 978-1-78379-029-6.
  31. ^ a b "O.F.M.I. Friars". Franciscan Friars of Mary Immaculate. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  32. ^ "Sanktuarium Św. Maksymiliana – Zduńska Wola – DIECEZJA WŁOCŁAWSKA -KURIA DIECEZJALNA WŁOCŁAWSKA". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  33. ^ "Parafia p.w.w. M.M. Kolbego w Szczecinie – Aktualności". Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  34. ^ "Niepokalanów". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  35. ^ "National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  36. ^ UCHWAŁA SENATU RZECZYPOSPOLITEJ POLSKIEJ z dnia 21 października 2010 r.o ogłoszeniu roku 2011 Rokiem Świętego Maksymiliana Marii Kolbego [2]
  37. ^ "University of Dayton Marian prayers". 24 March 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2011.

Further reading

  • Rees, Laurence (2005). Auschwitz: A New History. New York: Public Affairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-357-9.

External links

Dominique Probst

Dominique Probst (born 1954) is a French composer.The son of a noted playwright, Gisèle Casadesus, and an actor and director with the Comédie-Française, Lucien Probst, Dominique Probst won the First Prize for Percussion with the National Music Conservatory, Paris, in 1978. He has also been the timpanist of the Colonne Orchestra since 1973.In addition to performing as an instrumentalist and being a composer Probst gives instruction in percussion, chamber music, and musical education in various Parisian conservatories.

Foremost among his compositions is his opera Maximilian Kolbe, to a libretto by Eugène Ionesco, about the Polish priest who gave his life to save a fellow inmate in Auschwitz. The opera was first performed in Rimini, Italy in 1988.

Franciszek Gajowniczek

Franciszek Gajowniczek (15 November 1901 – 13 March 1995) was a Polish army sergeant whose life was saved at Auschwitz by priest Maximilian Kolbe, who volunteered to die in his place. Gajowniczek had been sent to Auschwitz concentration camp from Gestapo prison in Tarnów. He was captured while crossing the border into Slovakia after the defeat of the Modlin Fortress during the 1939 invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany. Gajowniczek and Kolbe met as inmates of Auschwitz in May 1941.


Harmęże [xarˈmɛ̃ʐɛ] is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Oświęcim, within Oświęcim County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, in southern Poland. It lies approximately 8 kilometres (5 mi) south-west of Oświęcim and 57 km (35 mi) west of the regional capital Kraków. The village has a population of 613.

Marian Kołodziej's artwork, The Labyrinth, is displayed in the basement of St. Maximilian Kolbe Centre in Harmęże.

Kaj Munk

Kaj Harald Leininger Munk (commonly called Kaj Munk) (13 January 1898 – 4 January 1944) was a Danish playwright and Lutheran pastor, known for his cultural engagement and his martyrdom during the Occupation of Denmark of World War II. He is commemorated as a martyr in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church on 14 August, alongside Maximilian Kolbe.


Kolbe is a surname.

Those bearing it include:

Adolph Wilhelm Hermann Kolbe (1818–1884), German chemist

Andreas Kolbe (fl. 1557), German printer, prominent in Marburg in the 1540s and 1550s

Athena Kolbe, human rights researcher, and writer

Caroline Ridderstolpe, née Kolbe (1793–1878), Swedish composer and singer

Cheslin Kolbe (born 1993), South African rugby union player

Clive Kolbe (1944–2016), South African cricketer

Emma Coe Kolbe (1850-1913), business woman and plantation owner of mixed American/Samoan descent

Fritz Kolbe (1900–1971), German diplomat and World War II Allied spy

Georg Kolbe (1877–1947), German sculptor

Heinrich Christoph Kolbe (1771–1836), German painter

Helga Kolbe, retired German rower

Hellmuth Kolbe (1926–2002), Swiss musician, audio recording and acoustics pioneer

Hermann Julius Kolbe (1855–1939), German entomologist

Ino Kolbe (1914–2010), born Ino Voigt, German Esperantist

Jim Kolbe (born 1942), American politician

Johann Kasimir Kolbe von Wartenberg (1643–1712), the first ever Minister-President of the kingdom of Prussia

Josefine 'Pepa' Kolbe, a female Austrian international table tennis player.

Laura Kolbe (born 1957), Finnish professor of European history

Maximilian Kolbe (1894–1941), Polish Conventual Franciscan friar and saint

Parke Kolbe (1881–1942), American author, teacher, administrator and university president

Peter Kolbe (1675–1726), German astronomer and explorer of South Africa

Peter-Michael Kolbe (born 1953), German rower and five time world champion

Steve Kolbe (born 1967), American sportscaster

Tanja Kolbe (born 1990), German ice dancer

Winrich Kolbe (1940–2012), German-born American television director and producer

Kolbe Catholic College, Greenvale

Kolbe Catholic College is an independent Roman Catholic co-educational secondary day school, located in the outer Melbourne suburb of Greenvale Lakes, in Victoria, Australia. The patron saint of the College is Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who died in Auschwitz concentration camp on 14 August 1941. Estalibshed in 2008, the College's enrolments are expected to reach approximately 1,000 students for Years 7 to 12.

List of saints of Poland

The following is a list of Roman Catholic Saints who are considered to be "Polish", Although not all of these saints are native-born Poles.

1. Saint Adalbert, Św. Wojciech bishop, martyr, (997)

2. The Five Holy Martyrs of Miedzyrzecz (Sts. Izaak, Jan, Krystyn, Mateusz, Benedykt) (1003)

3. Saint Bruno of Querfurt,/ Św. Brunon z Kwerfurtu priest, martyr (1009)

4. Saint Andrew Świerad/ Św. Andrzej Świerad (Jędrzej Żurawek), friar, (1034)

5. Saint Benedict the hermit/ Św. Benedykt (Męczennik), Benedykt Pustelnik from Orawa, hermit, martyr, (+1035)

6. Saint Otto of Bamberg/ Św. Otto z Bambergu, bishop, missionary of Pomerania (1139)

7. Saint Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr/ Św. Stanisław ze Szczepanowa bishop, martyr (1079)

8. Saint Hedwig of Silesia/,Św. Jadwiga Śląska, princess (1243)

9. Saint Hyacinth Św. Jacek Odrowąż, priest (1257)

10. Saint Cunegund/ Św. Kinga, princess (1292)

11. Saint Hedwig Queen of Poland, St Hedwig of Anjou/ Św. Jadwiga Królowa, Św. Jadwiga Andegaweńska, Queen of Poland (1399)

12. Saint John Cantius/ Św. Jan Kanty/ Św. Jan z Kęt, priest, professor *(1473)

13. Saint Simon of Lipnica/ Św. Szymon z Lipnicy, monk (1482)

14. Saint John of Dukla/ Św. Jan z Dukli, friar (1484)

15. Saint Casimir/ Św. Kazimierz Jagiellończyk prince (1484)

16. Saint Stanislaus Kostka/ Św Stanisław Kostka friar (1568)

17. Saint Melchior Grodziecki/ Św. Melchior Grodziecki, priest, martyr (1619)

18. Saint John Sarkander/ Św. Jan Sarkander, priest, martyr (1620)

19. Saint Jozafat Kuncewicz/ Św. Jozafat Kuncewicz, Uniate bishop (1623)

20. Saint Andrew Bobola/ Św . Andrzej Bobola, priest, martyr (1657)

21. Saint Klemens Hofbauer/ . Św Klemens Dworzak, priest (1820)

22. Saint Brother Albert (St. Adam Chmielowski), Brat Albert, Św. Albert Chmielowski, friar (1916)

23. Saint Rafael Kalinowski, Św. Rafał Kalinowski, priest (1835–1907)

24. Saint Zygmunt Gorazdowski, priest (1920)

25. Saint Józef Bilczewski, bishop (1923)

26. Saint Sebastian Pelczar/ Św. Józef Sebastian Pelczar, bishop(1924)

27. Saint Faustina/ Św. Siostra Faustyna Kowalska, nun (1938)

28. Saint Urszula Ledóchowska, nun (1939)

29. Saint Maximilian Kolbe/ Św. Maksymilian Maria Kolbe, priest, friar, martyr (1941)

30. Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St Edith Stein/ Św Teresa Benedykta od Krzyża, św. Edyta Stein nun, martyr (1942)

31. Saint John Paul II/ Św Jan Paweł II, Pope of the Catholic Church (2014)

Martyr of charity

In the Catholic Church, a martyr of charity is someone who dies as a result of a charitable act or of administering Christian charity. While a martyr of the faith, which is what is usually meant by the word "martyr" (both in canon law and in lay terms), dies through being persecuted for being a Catholic or for being a Christian, a martyr of charity dies through practicing charity motivated by Christianity. This is an unofficial form of martyrdom; when the Pope Paul VI beatified Maximilian Kolbe he gave him that honorary title (in 1982, when Kolbe was canonized by Pope John Paul II that title was still not given official canonical recognition; instead, John Paul II overruled his advisory commission, which had said Kolbe was a Confessor, not a Martyr, ruling that the systematic hatred of the Nazis as a group toward the rest of humanity was in itself a form of hatred of the faith). Earlier martyrs of charity who were canonized were recognized as "Confessor of the Faith" (meaning someone who suffered in some recognized way- usually by some form of persecution, ostracization, exile, etc.- for the Catholic faith, but who did not have to be killed for it) rather than martyrs.

Militia Immaculatae

The Militia Immaculatae (meaning the "Army of the Immaculate One"), called in English the Knights of the Immaculata, is a worldwide Catholic evangelization movement founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe in 1917.

Museum of St. Maximilian Kolbe "There was a Man"

Museum of St. Maximilian Kolbe "There was a Man" (Polish: Muzeum św. Maksymiliana "Był człowiek") - is a museum, located in Niepokalanów monastery in Poland. Dedicated to the life and work of Father Maximilian Kolbe, evangelization activity of Niepokalanów, and the Franciscan missions throughout the world.


Niepokalanów monastery (so called City of the Immaculate Mother of God) is a Roman Catholic religious community in Teresin (42 km to the west from Warsaw), Poland founded in 1927 by Friar Minor Conventual Friar Maximilian Kolbe, who was later canonized as a saint-martyr of the Catholic Church.

Peter Fehlner

Peter Fehlner, also known as Peter Damian Mary Fehlner, was a Catholic priest. He was a member of the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor Conventual. After his Franciscan and theological formation and several decades of ministry in this Order, he joined the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in 1996 , but in 2016 he professed again the Rule and the Constitutions of ancient Franciscan Conventual Order. Fehlner was a theologian and mariologist. From 2008-2014, he served as rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He was also a professor of theology in the Franciscans' Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies, the Immaculatum (STIM) in Frigento, Italy. A scholar in the Franciscan tradition of theology, he focused primarily on the philosophical and theological traditions of St. Bonaventure, Bl. John Duns Scotus and St. Maximilian Kolbe.

Rakovski (town)

Rakovski (Bulgarian: Раковски) is a town in southern Bulgaria, in the historical region of Thrace. It is located in the Plovdiv Province. The town is also the centre of the Rakovski Municipality. Rakovski was founded in 1966 with the merging of three villages — General Nikolaevo, Sekirovo and Parchevich. The new town was named after the prominent Bulgarian revolutionary Georgi Sava Rakovski.

San José y San Maximiliano Kolbe, Montevideo

The Church of Saint Joseph and Saint Maximilian Kolbe (Spanish: Iglesia de San José y San Maximiliano Kolbe), popularly known as Iglesia de los Conventuales (due to its history as a former claustration convent), is a Roman Catholic parish church in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Shrine of St. Anthony (Maryland)

The Shrine of St. Anthony is a Roman Catholic shrine honoring St. Anthony of Padua. The shrine is located within the St. Joseph Cupertino Friary in Ellicott City, Maryland, USA. The shrine is a ministry of the Conventual Franciscan Friars, Our Lady of the Angels Province, USA.

The friary covers 20,194 sq ft (1,876.1 m2) on 320 acres (1.3 km2; 0.50 sq mi) of hills and woodland.

The chapel which houses the relic of St. Anthony is open to the public during published visiting hours. Mass is offered daily throughout the year. Healing masses are offered the 3rd and last Sunday of every month. The shrine also offers the Sacrament of Reconciliation, spiritual direction, and days of prayer.

For prayer and solitude the grounds around the friary offers seven trails and a Lourdes grotto. In 2010 an outdoor shrine to St. Maximilian Kolbe was added to the garden. It features a statue of Maximilian Kolbe that was blessed by Pope John Paul II on the day Maximilian Kolbe was canonized.

The historic Manor House is open to the public during posted hours on the Sundays in October until the first Sunday of November. It features two heritage rooms and a traveling art exhibit. In 2008 it displayed watercolor paintings by Fr. Gerry Waterman, OFM Conv. and poetry by Fr. Gary Johnson, OFM Conv. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

St. Casimir Parish, Terryville

St. Casimir Parish - Roman Catholic Church in Terryville, Connecticut, United States.

Founded in 1906. It is one of the Polish-American Roman Catholic parishes in New England in the Archdiocese of Hartford.In 2017, the parishes of Immaculate Conception, Saint Casimir, and Saint Thomas were merged by decree into the Parish of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Since that time, these three churches have worked together to build a strong parish of believers in Jesus Christ while respecting the unique identity, rituals, traditions, and roots of each parish.

St. Maximillian Kolbe Catholic High School

St. Maximillian Kolbe Catholic High School is a high school in Aurora, Ontario, Canada. The school opened in September 2009, and is administered by the York Catholic District School Board. The founding principal was Domenic Scuglia and vice-principal Rocchina Antunes. St. Maximilian Kolbe CHS's patron saint is Saint Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan priest from Poland that was incarcerated and executed at the Auschwitz concentration camp as a political prisoner during World War II.When the school opened in September 2009, there were less than 800 students in grades 9 and 10. The school opened its academic wing on time, but property development complications led to a delay for the opening of the cafeteria, technology and athletic wings, which opened for the 2nd semester of the 2009/2010 school year.

In the 2010/2011 school year, St. Max had students in grades 9, 10, and 11. By the following school year, the school was teaching curriculum for grades 9 to 12 and graduated its first senior class in June 2012. The following June, St. Max graduated its first class of students that attended the institution from grades 9 to 12.

The school crest, logo, colour scheme, and mascot were all created and chosen by future students on the Cornerstone Committee (which operated as the school's first Student Council) in the 2008/2009 school year before the school's completion.

Three Martyrs of Chimbote

The Blessed Three Martyrs of Chimbote were a group of two Polish Franciscan priests and one Italian missionary priest murdered in Peru in 1991 by the Shining Path communist guerillas. Michał Tomaszek and Zbigniew Adam Strzałkowski, and Alessandro Dordi were murdered on 9 August and 25 August 1991 respectively.Both Polish Franciscans dedicated their work to the faithful of Peru in charitable and merciful acts that appealed to their Franciscan charism, taking as their models for their work both Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Maximilian Kolbe. In response to a drought in 1989, the two friars brought with them food from Caritas to cater to the immediate needs of the people. Yet the two also catechized the faithful and preached on various saints, in the process, revitalizing the faith of the Peruvian people.

Dordi served in Peru since 1980 and tended to the social needs of the Peruvian people while assisting with rural development programs and for his esteemed preaching abilities.

Pope Francis gave approval on 3 February 2015 to their beatification after affirming their martyrdom, and the celebration of beatification was celebrated in Peru by Cardinal Angelo Amato on 5 December 2015. A miracle attributed to the three will be required for their eventual canonization.

Zduńska Wola

Zduńska Wola [ˈzduɲska ˈvɔla] is a town in central Poland with 42,698 inhabitants (2016). Situated in the Łódź Province (since 1999), previously in Sieradz Province (1975–1998). It is the seat of Zduńska Wola County. The town was once one of the largest cloth, linen and cotton weaving centres in Poland and is the birthplace of Saint Maximilian Kolbe and Maksymilian Faktorowicz, the founder of Max Factor cosmetics company.

Virgin Mary
See also

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