‘On Friday, August 15, the feast of the Assumption, twenty-four hours after Father Maximilian Kolbe’s life had been “scientifically” terminated, Bruno Borgowiec and another prisoner, who served as the barber for the SS, came to remove his body from the washroom where they had placed it the day before. They put it in a rough wooden box and then carried it to the incinerator to be cremated.
Thus, of all the millions of human beings who lost their lives at Auschwitz, Father Maximilian Kolbe was probably the only one to be honoured with a coffin for his remains and something resembling funeral rites.
Here in a few rapid strokes of the brush is the story of a man who once told his brethren, in a meeting at Niepokalanow, “I insist that you become saints, and great saints! Does that surprise you? But remember, my children, that holiness is not a luxury, but a simple duty. It is Jesus who told us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. So do not think it is such a difficult thing. Actually, it is a very simple mathematical problem. Let me show you on the blackboard my formula for sanctity. Then you will see how simple it is. Do we have a piece of chalk?”
On the blackboard he wrote: w = W.
“A very clear formula, don’t you agree? The little “w” stands for my will, the capital “W” for the will of God. When the two wills run counter to each other, you have the cross. Do you want to get rid of the cross? Then let your will be identified with that of God, who wants you to be saints. Isn’t that simple? All you must do is obey!”’
Sergius C. Lorit
Most gracious God, who didst fill thy Priest and Martyr Maximilian Kolbe with zeal for thine house and love of his neighbour: vouchsafe that, holpen by the prayers of this devoted servant of the immaculate Mother of God; we too may strive to serve others for thy glory, and become like unto thy dear Son, who loved his own even unto the end; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon