A message of hope and rebirth released on the 75th anniversary of St. Maximilian Kolbe’s martyrdom at Auschwitz
“Faith means deciding to stay with the Lord, to live with Him.” So Father Raffaele Di Muro concludes in his study of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Maximilian Kolbe: The Triumph of Love (Vatican Publishing House, 2016). The book is an analysis of the soul of a saint who oriented his entire life toward God. This book, published on the 75th anniversary of Kolbe’s martyrdom in Auschwitz, offers a message of hope and rebirth to all.
In the first chapter, the author compares Kolbe’s mission, in its capacity and dynamics, to that of St. Francis of Assisi, with the goal of emphasizing the faith and journey of conversion so central to both saints’ lives.
The author highlights the characteristics of St. Maximilian’s faith which led him to offer his life to save the father of a family, and, in this way, perfected his holiness through martyrdom.
Especially through his suffering, this Polish saint reaffirmed with deep conviction his attachment to the Creed, constantly entrusting himself to the Virgin Mary.
In describing the values St. Maximilian’s personality displays, Father Di Muro puts particular emphasis on the link between the Holy Spirit and the saint’s missionary vocation with respect to the needs of the Church and society of his time.
This book, completed during the recent Year of Consecrated Life established by Pope Francis, never fails to underline the saint’s thoughts on how to live according to the Gospel.
The book’s final part discusses general characteristics of this life: poverty, the Father’s call to an essential life, with a comparison between St. Kolbe and St. Francis; obedience, which is, first of all, a son’s proper attitude toward his father, but which in the consecrated life becomes an expression of the desire to carry out God’s will.
For St. Maximilian Kolbe it means adhering to God’s plan by imitating the Lord and the Immaculate; consecrated virginity – the state of life inspired by the Holy Spirit and sustained by divine grace, which allows for the total giving of one’s existence to God, which for this Polish saint is a greater gift towards the Lord, a call to apostolic service that materializes in a greater, heartfelt freedom that allows a man to deliver himself totally into God’s hands.
St. Maximilian is a key figure of holiness in the contemporary Church.
He is an Apostle of the Immaculate who conformed himself to Christ and who devoted his whole life to love.
Even 75 years after his death, his motto, “Only Love creates!” is still relevant and indispensable in our high-speed society, where we often forget to let God’s love come out from within our hearts, to let it have its victory.