Today, on the anniversary of his death, the Catholic Church celebrates the Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Kolbe was a Franciscan priest who was a missionary in Japan and who established a sodality called the Militia of Mary Immaculate, promoting its growth in Poland. During World War II, he was imprisoned in Auschwitz. On August 14, 1941, he offered his own life in exchange for that of another prisoner who had been selected to die as punishment for the escape of another prisoner.
Kolbe termed prayer “the best way to reestablish peace in our souls, to reach happiness, since it serves to draw us closer to God’s love.” He wrote
Prayer makes the world anew.
Prayer is the necessary condition for the rebirth and life of every soul…
By praying both with our voices and our thoughts, we shall experiences in ourselves how the immaculate gradually takes possession of our souls, how we shall belong to her every day more in every aspect of our lives, how our sins shall disappear and our faults weaken, how smoothly and powerfully we shall be drawn always closer to God.
Our external activity is all right, but, obviously, it is not as important as our spiritual life, our life of recollection, of prayer, of our personal love for God.
Maximilian Kolbe is a reminder of the strength that comes from nourishing the interior live.