This is Maximilian Kolbe. He’s pretty awesome. And his feast day is today. Maximilian loved Mary, the Mother of God. He had an experience when he was twelve where Mary appeared to him. Maximilian’s mother asked out loud one day, “What am I to do with you?” after he inevitably did something frustrating like refusing to take his shoes off when going to bed (yes my child went to bed with his shoes on tonight because he insisted he needed them). Maximilian heard his mother, took it very seriously, and asked Mary what was to become of him. She offered him two crowns: one white for purity, and one red for martyrdom. She asked if he was willing to accept one of the crowns—he chose both. Both, people! This man was a saint starting at age TWELVE.

He later went on to take his final vows in the Conventual Franciscan Order, found the Immaculata Movement, and be ordained in 1918. He began a publication of a magazine to fight religious apathy, founded a new monastery, started a Catholic newspaper, and then went to Japan and did it all over again. All this while struggling with tuberculosis. After returning to Poland, he began a radio station in 1938. Shortly after, he was imprisoned by the Nazis and eventually taken to Auschwitz. While at the camp he smuggled bread and wine for Mass, and heard confessions when possible. After an escape, ten men were order to be killed. Maximilian volunteered to take the spot of a man who was married with children. His life was eventually ended by lethal injection after three weeks of starvation. He died embracing both crowns offered to him.


This is Maximilian Klaus. He’s also pretty awesome. His namesake’s feast day is today. Yes, we chose to name our son after this incredible saint. Before Max was born I mentioned to Eric how much I liked this name and he almost immediately vetoed it. In the delivery room after Max was born, Eric looked at me and said, “I think we should name him Maximilian.” I just had a baby, but few things could have surprised me more.

One of the many reasons we chose this name is because of his amazing life. To choose the life of purity and martyrdom is unfathomable to me, but for Kolbe it was all about serving Jesus. That’s what I want for my son: for him to live a life for Jesus. As his mother, it’s scary because I know that kind of life will not always be safe, and certainly not easy, but, Christ does not call us to comfort; He calls us to be bold. Kinda like Maximilian Kolbe.

Not sure what we’ve done to our son by naming him after Maximilian Kolbe, but I know I can relate to his mother. When taking his shoes off after a lot of insisting I found myself saying, “What am I to do with you?” J Here’s to a bold life in Christ!

Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us!

The most deadly poison of our times is indifference. And this happens, although the praise of God should know no limits. Let us strive, therefore, to praise Him to the greatest extent of our powers. – St. Maximilian Kolbe


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