He was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar and a martyr in the German death Camp of Auschwitz during World War II. Maximilian Kolbe was very active in promoting the Immaculate Virgin Mary and is known as the Apostle of Consecration to Mary.
Much of his life was strongly influenced by a vision he had of the Virgin Mary when he was 12.
Toward the end of his second month in Auschwitz, men were chosen to face death by starvation to warn against escapes.
Kolbe was not chosen but volunteered to take the place of a man with a family.
She asked me 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.
Three months later, he was transferred to Auschwitz.
Pope John Paul II declared Kolbe not a confessor, but a martyr.At the age of 21, Kolbe earned a doctorate in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University.He would also earn a doctorate in theology by the time he was 28. Maximilian Kolbe organized the Militia Immaculata (Army of the Immaculate One) after witnessing demonstrations against Pope St. His goal was to work for the conversion of sinners and enemies of the Church, specifically, the Freemasons and he would so with the intercession of Mary.In 1918, he was ordained a priest and continued his work of promoting Mary throughout Poland.Over the next several years, Kolbe took on publishing.Feastday: August 14 Patron of drug addicts, prisoners, families, and the pro-life movement Birth: January 8, 1894 Death: August 14, 1941 Beatified By: By Pope Paul VI on October 17, 1971 Canonized By: By Pope John Paul II on October 10, 1982 St.