SAINT MAXIMILIAN KOLBE, INNOVATOR……from http://www.catholiccity.com
Our vote goes to Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who used the most modern technology available in a backwater of Poland in the 1920s to build the largest Catholic media apostolate in human history.
Kolbe gave most of his stuff away free-of-charge. At one point, there were over eight hundred Franciscan priests and brothers in Neipokalanov (City of the Immaculata) churning out millions of newspapers, pamphlets, and books on the world’s best printing presses in the world’s largest monastery, before or since. We have been told that modern offset presses still incorporate mechanical innovations developed by Kolbe’s friars. Not content with evangelizing Poland only, Maximilian personally set up beachheads in India and Japan, as well. Exceedingly holy, for these achievements alone he might have been canonized.
“Kolbe was not only ahead of his time, but he is still ahead of our time,” Joseph Wood once wrote. Saint Maximilian Kolbe, best known for volunteering to die in place of a married man at a Nazi concentration camp, was even an innovator in death because Pope John Paul II felt it necessary to designate a new category for his martyrdom, declaring him a Martyr for Charity. Camp witnesses say that the happiest days of his life were those spent at Aushwitz, where, although starving himself, he gave away his food to other internees and encouraged countless others, all while enduring regular beatings by guards because he was a Catholic priest. Locked in a dungeon to starve to death with others, camp officials decided to murder him and his comrades with injections of carbolic acid, in part to stop Kolbe from leading his fellows in hymns and prayer.
Few people know this, but when he was a little boy, then Raymond Kolbe (Maximilian was his religious name) had a visitation from the Blessed Mother during which she offered him a choice between a red crown of martyrdom or a white crown of chastity. Raymond chose both, according to his mom (who related the event after his death). Interestingly, every local area of Poland has its own flag, and investigators after World War II discovered, based on camp records, that the place where Kolbe’s cremated remains were most likely dumped after his body was incinerated was on a plot of land whose flag depicted a red and a white crown.
Theologians will ponder Kolbe’s mystical writings on Immaculate Mary and the Holy Trinity for decades to come. Oddly, or providentially, considering that his body was reduced to ash, there still exist first class relics of Saint Maximilian. We know this because the Mary Foundation wrote to the good friars at Neipokalanow and described how we were inspired by our beloved Uncle Max to give away free stuff by the millions using the latest technology. Their reply envelope included a treasure of three certified beard hairs, saved by a Franciscan barber in Rome who gave Maximilian a haircut when he was a young seminarian, and who, after meeting the young man, had an intuition he had just trimmed the beard of a saint.
From early on, Saint Maximilian was animated by one overarching goal–that every person in the world consecrate themselves completely to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, or the Immaculata, as he fondly addressed her. In 1917, as a seminarian, he founded the Militia Immaculata (MI) to achieve this goal. Today there are millions of members in virtually every country on the planet. Many of our readers have already consecrated themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but if you have not, we believe that the patron saint of innovation, Raymond Maximilian Maria Kolbe, still wants you to join our ranks. Expect dramatic changes in your life: