May 28, 1941 – Maximilian Kolbe

Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan priest who created a very effective friary just outside Warsaw in 1936. When the Nazis invaded Poland three years later, Kolbe knew it was a matter of time before he would be at odds with the authorities. He ended up on May 28, 1941 being sentenced to Auschwitz and continued to make an impact there. An escape was attempted by some of the inmates and after they were caught and killed the concentration camp leaders randomly chose 10 men to be starved to death to show others what happens to those who attempt to escape. One of the “random condemned 10” men was a husband and father of two named Franciszek Gajowniczek and Father Kolbe stepped up and took the man’s place. He truly laid down his life for his brother. Pope John Paul II made Father Kolbe a saint and there is a shrine at his cell in Auschwitz.  

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