|Photo by Bogdan Migulski|
Maximilian Kolbe was born in 1894 in Poland where he became a priest and started a religious community in Poland, Japan and India. In 1939, Poland was taken over by the dangerous Nazi Regime. Father Kolbe would get on the radio and tell everybody how bad the Nazi government was. He was arrested and sent to a concentration camp called Auschwitz. One day, the Nazi soldiers chose ten men to starve to death for one prisoner’s escape. Father Kolbe offered to take the place of one of the men, a father who had sons in the camp to protect.
For most of us, it’s hard to imagine what starvation is actually like. Sometimes, Catholics fast (give up food) for a day or even just a meal to remember the sufferings of Christ or other people. It’s not very smart for growing children to go without meals, but you can give up snacks between meals today. You might get very hungry, and that can help you understand a tiny bit of what Saint Maximilian Kolbe suffered for somebody else. And whenever you feel hungry, say a prayer for the Christians who have been forced out of their homes who are also going hungry right now.