massimiliano maria kolbe

Canonizing people as “saints” makes no sense to me and in fact I regard it as somewhat unbiblical, so the fact that Maximilian Kolbe is and official saint is not the reason I post this shot. I post it because of what Kolbe did.

Kolbe, a Catholic priest, was placed in Auschwitz for hiding Jews from the Nazis. While there a man named Franciszek Gajowniczek was sentenced to death by starvation and Kolbe volunteered to take his place. The SS guards agreed and Kolbe was locked into a cell with no water or food. After three weeks he was still alive so the impatient the SS guards finished him off with an injection of carbolic acid. Gajowniczek, the man Kolbe saved, survived Auschwitz and lived until 1995 and of course he and others told of what Kolbe had done.

When I saw the flower and this card on the floor of the cell where Kolbe was killed, I had to take a photo and remind people of his story — a story I find moving and one that I think needs to be told and retold.

As someone once said, "Greater love has no one that this, that he or she lay down their life for their friends" (John 15:13)

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