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Tonight is the Vigil for the Feast Day of Saint Maximilian Kolbe! It is appropriate and fitting that his feast day tomorrow is the day before the Feast Day of Mary’s Assumption! Here’s 3 reasons why:
1) You hear his devotion specifically to the Immaculate Conception in his homilies, talks, and writings.
2) He founded the Militia of the Immaculate.
3) Based off of #1 and #2 above during his time on earth, he gets to lead us to the Immaculate Conception while he’s in heaven too!
In the picture below (that smashing good looking guy is…Saint Maximilian Kolbe!), that book For the Life of the World: St. Maximilian and the Eucharist was published by the Franciscans of the Immaculate! (St. Maximilian was a Franciscan priest by the way)
My favorite quote in this book that Saint Maxey (my nickname for him since we’re friends) said in a conference is:
Jesus “in the love of His Divine Heart gives us as mother His own Mother so that we might love Him with Her heart: no longer with our miserable heart, but with Her Immaculate Heart. The love of the Immaculate is the most perfect love with which the creature can love his God.”
I love this quote for 3 reasons:
1) I’m fully aware of my “miserable”, imperfect, sinful heart.
2) It gives a practical application of the Devotion to the Immaculate Conception! (I know there are people who don’t like abstract ideas that aren’t practical).
3) The application is on how to love Jesus better (with an Immaculate Heart).
Speaking of loving Jesus through an Immaculate Heart, St. Maximilian speaks of doing this to Jesus in the Eucharist as well. He said:
“How must we prepare ourselves for Holy Communion so as to be well disposed and to obtain therein as many graces as possible? Let us give ourselves to the Immaculate. Let us permit Her to prepare us to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.”
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Yesterday, I was privileged to hear in person a talk on St. Maximilian by Father Paul Scalia. Instead of sharing with you a bunch of inspiring points from this talk, I invite you to listen to the talk at:
A couple take aways from the talk, if you don’t have time to listen to the talk are:
1) St. Maximilian made use of periodicals and eventually also the radio as means for spreading the Good News of the Gospel. Take away for us is to be courageous in using social media as an additional means.
2) Strive to not just be a saint, but a GREAT saint! When he was a kiddo, Mary asked St. Maximilian if he wanted the white rose (purity) or the red rose (martyrdom). St. Maximilian, in the spirit of St. Therese of Lisieux, wanted to do everything possible for the Lord, so he said yes to BOTH ROSES! That’s a testament to the virtue of magnanimity. Which would seem to conflict with the virtue of humility, but they go together. Short story is that humility acknowledges our nothingness when compared to God, whereas magnanimity is a response to God’s generous love for us that we’d be willing to do great things for Him!
Fun fact about St. Maximilian’s Canonization:
It was controversial where he was a martyr because traditionally, martyrs are killed out of hatred for the faith. This was not the case in St. Maximilian’s death, but the Church responded that St. Maximilian offered his life because of his faith and because he was a Catholic priest! He knew the man he saved was a husband and father who needed to be with his family, whereas St. Maximilian was a priest who is supposed to make sacrifices for his spiritual family as part of his vocation. As priests are “in persona Christi” or “in the person of Christ” who paid the ultimate sacrifice as Victim. And lastly to end the controversy, there are testimonies from the Nazi persecutors that he led his group, that was to be tortured and executed, in joyful prayer in their last days.
Deeper theology (this is also from Fr. Paul Scalia’s talk):
The Most Holy Trinity is the Immaculate Conception. Think about it…the Father begets the Son and the Holy Spirit is born out of the love between the Father and the Son. And Mary is the INCARNATE Immaculate Conception. Think about it again with Mary and the Holy Spirit being spouses (Which does NOT conflict with Mary being Joseph’s spouse). Think for a third time in this paragraph that Scripture calls us the bride of Christ but that doesn’t conflict with us marrying another human. Which finally leads us to interesting point Fr. Scalia has for us to ponder: 1) the protestants have a special devotion to the Holy Spirit 2) the catholics have a special devotion to Mary and 3) we believe they’re spouses!
St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us!
St. Mary, our Mother, the Immaculate Conception, pray for us!
Going Immaculate and old school,