Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Prayers to St. Maximilian Kolbe

O Lord Jesus Christ who said, "greater love than this no man has that a man lay down his life for his friends," through the intercession of St. Maximilian Kolbe, whose life illustrated such love, we beseech You to grant us our petitions .....
(mention them here).

Through the Knights of the Immaculata movement, which Maximilian founded, he spread a fervent devotion to Our Lady throughout the world. He gave up his life for a total stranger and loved his persecutors, giving us all an example of unselfish love for all men --- a love which was inspired by true devotion to Mary.

Grant O Lord Jesus, that we too may give ourselves entirely without reserve to the love and service of our Heavenly Queen in order to better love and serve our fellowman in imitation of your humble servant, Maximilian. 


(Say 3 Hail Marys and a Glory be....)


Memorial of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe
Priest and Martyr

Ez 2:8-3:4

The Lord GOD said to me:

As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you:
be not rebellious like this house of rebellion,
but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you.

It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me,
in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me.
It was covered with writing front and back,
and written on it was:
Lamentation and wailing and woe!

He said to me: Son of man, eat what is before you;
eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel.
So I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat.
Son of man, he then said to me,
feed your belly and fill your stomach
with this scroll I am giving you.
I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.
He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel,
and speak my words to them.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors.

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

How sweet to my palate are your promises,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

Your decrees are my inheritance forever;
the joy of my heart they are.

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

I gasp with open mouth,
in my yearning for your commands.

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"

He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,

"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost."


August 14

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (1894-1941)

“I don’t know what’s going to become of you!” How many parents have said that? Maximilian Mary Kolbe’s reaction was, 
“I prayed very hard to Our Lady to tell me what would happen to me. She appeared, holding in her hands two crowns, one white, one red. She asked if I would like to have them—one was for purity, the other for martyrdom. 
I said, ‘I choose both.’ She smiled and disappeared.” After that he was not the same.
He entered the minor seminary of the Conventual Franciscans in Lvív (then Poland, now Ukraine), near his birthplace, and at 16 became a novice. Though he later achieved doctorates in philosophy and theology, he was deeply interested in science, even drawing plans for rocket ships.

Ordained at 24, he saw religious indifference as the deadliest poison of the day. His mission was to combat it. He had already founded the Militia of the Immaculata, whose aim was to fight evil with the witness of the good life, prayer, work and suffering. He dreamed of and then founded Knight of the Immaculata, a religious magazine under Mary’s protection to preach the Good News to all nations. For the work of publication he established a “City of the Immaculata”—Niepokalanow—which housed 700 of his Franciscan brothers. He later founded one in Nagasaki, Japan. Both the Militia and the magazine ultimately reached the one-million mark in members and subscribers. His love of God was daily filtered through devotion to Mary.

In 1939 the Nazi panzers overran Poland with deadly speed. Niepokalanow was severely bombed. 
Kolbe and his friars were arrested, then released in less than three months, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

In 1941 he was arrested again. The Nazis’ purpose was to liquidate the select ones, the leaders. 
The end came quickly, in Auschwitz three months later, after terrible beatings and humiliations.

A prisoner had escaped. The commandant announced that 10 men would die. He relished walking along the ranks. “This one. That one.” As they were being marched away to the starvation bunkers, Number 16670 dared to step from the line. “I would like to take that man’s place. He has a wife and children.” “Who are you?” “A priest.” No name, no mention of fame. Silence. The commandant, dumbfounded, perhaps with a fleeting thought of history, kicked Sergeant Francis Gajowniczek out of line and ordered Father Kolbe to go with the nine. In the “block of death” they were ordered to strip naked, and their slow starvation began in darkness. But there was no screaming—the prisoners sang. By the eve of the Assumption four were left alive. The jailer came to finish Kolbe off as he sat in a corner praying. He lifted his fleshless arm to receive the bite of the hypodermic needle. It was filled with carbolic acid. They burned his body with all the others. He was beatified in 1971 and canonized in 1982.


O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.


Worship, glory, praise and honour
To our God, high-throned above:
We, with many generations
Join to praise thy name of love.
In the scriptures, by the Spirit,
May we see the Saviour’s face,
Hear his word and heed his calling,
Know his will and grow in grace.

Psalm 67 (68)
The Lord's triumphal journey

Let God arise, let those who hate him flee before him.

God arises and his enemies are scattered:
those who hate him flee from his sight.
You blow them away like wisps of smoke;
as wax melts in front of a fire,
so the wicked melt away before God.
The righteous are glad and exult in God’s sight;
they rejoice in their gladness.
Sing to the Lord and celebrate his name!
Make a road for him who rides upon the clouds –
“The Lord” is his name.
Rejoice in his sight,
the father of orphans, defender of widows,
God in his holy dwelling-place,
God, who gives the lonely a house to dwell in,
God, who leads captives out into prosperity;
but the rebellious shall live in a desert land.
God, when you set out in the sight of your people,
when you crossed the wilderness – the earth shook.
The heavens sent down dew at your coming –
the God of Sinai, the God of Israel.
At your bidding the rains came, O God,
your inheritance was worn out but you refreshed it.
All your creatures took up residence there,
in your goodness you made a place for the needy.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Let God arise, let those who hate him flee before him.

Psalm 67 (68)

This God of ours is a God who saves.
The Lord holds the keys of death.

The Lord gives out the word,
and a great army of maidens brings the news:
“The kings of the armies are fleeing, they are fleeing,
and the fair one at home is dividing the spoils.
While you sleep among the sheepfolds,
the wings of the dove shine with silver,
her feathers glow with green gold.
Through her the Almighty scatters the kings,
and the mountain of Zalmon is white with snow.
The mountain of Bashan is God’s mountain;
the mountain of God is a high-peaked mountain.
Why do you envy it, you high-peaked mountains,
envy the mountain that God has chosen?
The Lord will dwell there for ever.
The chariots of God are ten thousand thousand:
the Lord has come from Sinai to his holy sanctuary.
You have scaled the heights, you have taken captives,
you have received men as gifts
so that even the rebels live with the Lord God.
Blessings on the Lord, day after day!
God will carry us, God our saviour.
Our God is a God of salvation,
our Lord is a Lord who rescues from death.
Truly God will break the heads of his enemies,
take the scalps of those who tread the path of crime.
The Lord has spoken:
“I shall bring them back from Bashan,
I shall bring them back from the depths of the sea,
so that your feet may be dipped in blood
and the tongues of your dogs receive food from your enemies.”

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

This God of ours is a God who saves.
The Lord holds the keys of death.

Psalm 67 (68)

Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, praise the Lord.

They have seen your processions, O God,
the processions of God, my king, to his sanctuary.
First came the singers, last the musicians,
between them the maidens playing their drums.
“Bless God in the assemblies:
bless the Lord, you who spring from Israel!”
There was young Benjamin, leading them,
the princes of Judah in their rich robes,
the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.
O God, command in your strength;
make firm what you have achieved in us.
From your temple in Jerusalem,
kings shall bring you tribute.
Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds,
the herd of bulls, the lords of peoples.
Let them lie prostrate before you with tribute of silver.
Scatter the peoples that delight in war.
Nobles will come from Egypt,
Ethiopia will stretch out its hands to God.
Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;
celebrate the Lord.
Sing to God who rides on the highest heavens,
at the origin of all things.
Listen! – he speaks, a voice of power.
Acknowledge the strength of the Lord:
his majesty is over Israel,
his strength is in the clouds.
God inspires awe in his holy place;
he, the God of Israel, gives power to his people;
he gives them strength.
Blessed be God!

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, praise the Lord.

I will hear whatever the Lord God has to say:
– words of peace for his people.

Micah 3:1-12

Then I said:
Listen now, you princes of the House of Jacob,
rulers of the House of Israel.
Are you not the ones who should know what is right,
you, enemies of good and friends of evil?
When they have devoured the flesh of my people
and torn off their skin
and crushed their bones;
when they have shredded them like flesh in a pot
and like meat in a cauldron,
then they will cry out to the Lord.
But he will not answer them.
He will hide his face at that time
because of all the crimes they have committed.
The Lord says this against the prophets
who lead my people astray:
So long as they have something to eat
they cry ‘Peace.’
But on anyone who puts nothing into their mouths
they declare war.
And so the night will come to you: an end of vision;
darkness for you: an end of divination.
The sun will set for the prophets,
the day will go black for them.
Then the seers will be covered with shame,
the diviners with confusion;
they will all cover their lips,
because no answer comes from God.
Not so with me, I am full of strength
(of the breath of the Lord),
of justice and courage
to declare Jacob’s crime to his face
and Israel’s to his.
Now listen to this, you princes of the House of Jacob,
rulers of the House of Israel,
you who loathe justice
and pervert all that is right,
you who build Zion with blood,
Jerusalem with crime.
Her princes pronounce their verdict for bribes,
her priests take a fee for their rulings,
her prophets make divinations for money.
And yet they rely on the Lord. They say,
‘Is not the Lord in our midst?
No evil is going to overtake us.’
Because of this, since the fault is yours,
Zion will become ploughland,
Jerusalem a heap of rubble,
and the mountain of the Temple a wooded height.


O God, the heathens have invaded your land; they have profaned your holy temple. 
They have made Jerusalem a heap of ruins.
Do not disappoint us; treat us gently, as you yourself are gentle and very merciful.

We have sinned, 
and committed a crime by deserting you.
Do not disappoint us; treat us gently, as you yourself are gentle and very merciful.

A letter of St Maximilian Kolbe

We must sanctify the whole world

I rejoice greatly, dear brother, at the outstanding zeal that drives you to promote the glory of God. It is sad to see how in our times the disease called “indifferentism” is spreading in all its forms, not just among those in the world but also among the members of religious orders. But indeed, since God is worthy of infinite glory, it is our first and most pressing duty to give him such glory as we, in our weakness, can manage – even that we would never, poor exiled creatures that we are, be able to render him such glory as he truly deserves.

Because God’s glory shines through most brightly in the salvation of the souls that Christ redeemed with his own blood, let it be the chief concern of the apostolic life to bring salvation and an increase in holiness to as many souls as possible. Let me briefly outline the best way to achieve this end – both for the glory of God and for the sanctification of the greatest number. God, who is infinite knowledge and infinite wisdom, knows perfectly what is to be done to give him glory, and in the clearest way possible makes his will known to us through his vice-gerents on Earth.

It is obedience and obedience alone that shows us God’s will with certainty. Of course our superiors may err, but it cannot happen that we, holding fast to our obedience, should be led into error by this. There is only one exception: if the superior commands something that would obviously involve breaking God’s law, however slightly. In that case the superior could not be acting as a faithful interpreter of God’s will.

God himself is the one infinite, wise, holy, and merciful Lord, our Creator and our Father, the beginning and the end, wisdom, power, and love – God is all these. Anything that is apart from God has value only in so far as it is brought back to him, the Founder of all things, the Redeemer of mankind, the final end of all creation. Thus he himself makes his holy will known to us through his vice-gerents on Earth and draws us to himself, and through us – for so he has willed – draws other souls too, and unites them to himself with an ever more perfect love.

See then, brother, the tremendous honour of the position that God in his kindness has placed us in. Through obedience we transcend our own limitations and align ourselves with God’s will, which, with infinite wisdom and prudence, guides us to do what is best. Moreover, as we become filled with the divine will, which no created thing can resist, so we become stronger than all others.

This is the path of wisdom and prudence, this is the one way by which we can come to give God the highest glory. After all, if there had been another, better way, Christ would certainly have shown it to us, by word and by example. But in fact sacred Scripture wraps up his entire long life in Nazareth with the words and he was obedient to them and it shows the rest of his life to have been passed in similar obedience – almost as an instruction to us – by showing how he came down to Earth to do the Father’s will.

Brethren, let us love him above all, our most loving heavenly Father, and let our obedience be a sign of this perfect love, especially when we have to sacrifice our own wills in the process. And as for a book from which to learn how to grow in the love of God, there is no better book than Jesus Christ crucified.

All this we will achieve more easily through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin, to whom the most kind God has given the task of dispensing his mercies. There is no doubt that the will of Mary should be the will of God for us. When we dedicate ourselves to him, we become tools in her hands just as she became a tool in his. Let us let her direct us and lead us by the hand. Let us be calm and serene under her guidance: she will foresee all things for us, provide all things, swiftly fulfil our needs both bodily and spiritual, and keep away from us all difficulty and suffering.


Be imitators of God as his dear children. Follow the way of love, even as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as an offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance.
Do God’s will with your whole heart as servants of Christ. A gift of pleasing fragrance.

Let us pray.

All-powerful, ever-living God,
you gave Saint Maximilian Kolbe the courage to witness to the gospel of Christ
even to the point of giving his life for it.
By his prayers help us to endure all suffering for love of you
and to seek you with all our hearts,
for you alone are the source of life.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.