Maximilian Kolbe Biography
(Polish Catholic Priest and Conventual Franciscan Friar)
Birthday: January 8, 1894 (Capricorn)
Born In: Zduńska Wola, Poland
St. Maksymilian Maria “Maximilian” Kolbe was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in the place of a Jewish refugee at the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz during World War II. St. Kolbe was declared the ‘martyr of charity’ by Pope John Paul II. He was canonized for his noble humanitarian work after joining the Franciscan Conventuals till the end his life. His works in Poland include establishing the Roman Catholic periodical ‘Rycerz Niepokalanej’ (‘The Knight of Mary Immaculate’ in English). He also founded the ‘Niepokalanów’ (‘City of Mary Immaculate’ in English) and brought almost 700 Catholic friars together. After becoming the director of Poland’s chief Catholic publishing complex, he started working for the wellbeing of the Jews who were being tormented by the Nazis. He was arrested for his anti-Nazi works, including his publications. Maximilian Kolbe continued to work as a priest while he was imprisoned at Warsaw, holding masses and hearing confessions of the unfortunate prison mates.