"Modern times are dominated by Satan and will be more so in the future. The conflict with Hell cannot be engaged by men, even the most clever. The Immaculata alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan."
This is a short biography of St. Maximilian Kolbe, beginning from his childhood and later about his priesthood journey. His dedication to spreading the love of Mary, the Holy Mother of God has driven him to establish The Militia of the Immaculata or in English the Knights of the Immaculata.
Father Maximilian adopted a strong belief in putting complete trust in the Immaculata, especially when all seems lost. The phrase "abandon ourselves to the Immaculata" can be found repeatedly in his writings and sermons. When Father Maximilian started the bulletin project, it wasn't well-received by other Friars, and there are numerous obstacles hindered his work. However, all the hurdles didn't deter Father Maximilian's determination. There were several times, he received the divine intervention of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.
"To conquer the entire world - all souls - for Christ through the Immaculata."
Father Maximilian has never limited his intention of service to Poland. By 1930, after three years of its start, Niepokalanow as a City of Immaculata was well established. His new mission is to go to Japan to start a City of Immaculata there. The development in Japan was slow but progressed well. Despite his health deterioration, he continued his next mission to build a City of Immaculata in India.
"For Jesus Christ I am ready to suffer more. The Immaculata is with me and is helping me."
Father Maximilian experienced two arrests during the German invasion of Poland. One the second arrest, he was sent to the concentration camp of Auschwitz situated in Poland. The camp itself considered one of the most horrible of German concentration camps. He was assigned with hard labour and tortured severely by the guards. The sufferings didn't discourage his spirit, and he even consoled his fellow prisoners about God's preparation for their better lives.
"I offer my life for this man…"
One of the inmates had escaped, and twenty men would be sentenced to slow starvation and inevitable death. Before the end of the day, the fugitive has not been found. Ten prisoners were chosen to die in the starvation cell. Father Maximilian was not among the group. One of the victims began to sob because he will never see his wife and children again. When the chosen men ready to left, Father Maximilian walked directly to the Commandant. He courageously offered his life to replace the crying man.
"Instead of tears and pleas coming from their cell, there was heard the sweet prayer of the Rosary and hymns to the Blessed Virgin. The death cell seemed more like a chapel. Sometimes the victims were so engrossed in their prayers that when the SS guard opened the cell for check-up, they did not know he was there until he gruffly shouted for silence. What an influence this priest wielded over his companions in death!"
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: Saint Maximilian Kolbe: Knight of the Immaculata by Jeremiah J. Smith.