by Fr Richard Heilman | August 14, 2016 7:50 AM
St. Maximilian Kolbe was a master of the new media. Yes, long before Facebook, there was this great saint: “Father Maximilian planned to use airplanes to distribute our literature all over the world, but, unfortunately, his work was interrupted by the Second World War and his incarceration,” said Father Lucjan Krolikowski.
Fr. Kolbe was a man of his times and thoroughly modern in his evangelization. The friars’ made use of the most modern printing technology and distribution strategies for their materials, their arsenal in the Militia’s spiritual war. They had started a radio station and Fr. Kolbe even had plans for a movie studio.
Baptized as Raymund Kolbe, he was a normal child. Yet there is this one stunning exception. One night in Kolbe’s childhood, Our Lady appeared to him in a dream holding a white crown and a red crown. He later related, “She asked if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both.” So, yes, St. Maximillian had a normal childhood, but with one tremendous difference that was to define the course of his life.He always wanted to be a soldier.
As a student, the young Raymond excelled in what we now call the STEM areas of study (science, technology, engineering, and math). He also had a passionate interest in all things military. A childhood dream of the priesthood was almost lost for this ardent patriot with a soldier’s heart, as he had hoped for a military career defending his beloved Poland. Complications caused him to abandon these plans and he entered the Franciscan noviate late in 1910 and was ordained in 1918.
He still had a soldier’s heart, but now waged a spiritual war. With several friends, a new type of army was founded, the Militia Immaculatae, an army to convert sinners and bring all to love Mary Immaculate. More information about the Militia Immaculata (MI) can be found HERE.
Finally, for those of us whose desks are a bit – shall we say – cluttered, it’s good to know that Kolbe shared our propensity for a messy desk. The good news is that psychologists have found that a messy desk can be a healthy thing … New research shows that a messy desk may confer its own benefits, promoting creative thinking and stimulating new ideas. It’s also good to know that a messy desk is not an obstacle to one’s potential canonization. 😉
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