The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul
Wednesday, Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe, 14 August 2019
Deuteronomy 34:1-12 >< )))*> >< )))*> Matthew 18:15-20
My dear Lord Jesus,
Is it part of your grand design that this August which the pagans consider as “ghost month” is when we also celebrate the feasts of two great saints martyred at Auschwitz?
At a time when people thought you where absent, Lord, there was St. Benedicta Teresa dela Cruz (Edith Stein) witnessing to your presence in her works and courage when she offered her life to the gas chambers on August 09, 1942.
Today we remember the Polish Catholic priest St. Maximilian Kolbe who also died at Auschwitz a year earlier than her in 1941 when he volunteered to replace a married man who was rounded up for execution following the escape of a prisoner.
Like Moses in the first reading, you filled St. Maximilian with your radiance that prisoners and guards alike were stunned when he offered himself for the painful punishment.
His great love for you Jesus and deep devotion to your Blessed Mother kept him busy praying and comforting his fellow prisoners despite his frail health proving your words that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (Mt.18:20).
After surviving two weeks of starvation and hard labor, St. Maximilian cheerfully offered the executioner his arm for the lethal injection of carbolic acid and died instantly in your bountiful grace, O Lord.
Your servant St. John Paul II declared in his 1982 canonization that St. Maximilian Kolbe as the Patron Saint of our “difficult century” where a culture of death continues to prevail in the name of economic progress and a wrong understanding of freedom.
Give us the courage and enthusiasm of St. Maximilian Kolbe to uphold the value of every person and to fight erroneous beliefs that disregard and remove God and morality from life.
We also pray on this day of his feast for the drug addicts and political prisoners who, because of their situation and beliefs, are taken for granted as lesser beings by some may still accorded with equal respect and dignity. Amen.
A painting of St. Maximilian Kolbe with his prison jacket number “16670”, holding two crowns with the prison jacket of Francis Gajowniczek, the married man he volunteered to replace after being rounded up for execution following the escape of another prisoner.
In a vision when he was 13 years old, the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Maximilian asking him to choose a crown. He chose both, white and red crowns as he promised to enter the seminary to become a priest. Unknown to him, the crowns would symbolise later his martyrdom.
A day after his execution his body was cremated on 15 August 1941, a date that would later be declared as the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary whom St. Maximilian loved so dearly. Likewise, it fulfilled his desire to immolate himself completely when he wrote, “I would like to use myself completely up in the service of the Immaculate, and to disappear without leaving a trace, as the winds carry my ashes to the far corners of the world.”