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Thursday, August 13, 2009

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe

St. Maximilian Mary Kolb is a modern martyr. He was born in Russian Poland in 1894 and joined the Franciscans in 1910 changing his name from Raimund to Maximilian Maria. He was ordained after studies in Rome and then returned to Poland. From 1930 to 1936 he was a missionary in Japan. Then, when the Nazis took over Poland, he was active in helping thousands of refugees, including Polish Jews. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1941, he was sent to Auschwitz. When a prisoner escaped, ten men were chosen at random to die. One was a young father; Maximilian offered to take his place and so was executed. He gave his life for the other and is now a canonized saint.

The selected verses of Psalm 136 call us to thanksgiving. The refrain is "His mercy endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his mercy endures forever.

That is only one verse, but you may want to make up your own today!

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