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Paper

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Eileen LyonFollow

Presentation #1 Title

St. Maximilian Kolbe: Preaching the Primacy of Love

Presentation #1 Abstract

One of the best-known Christian martyrs of the twentieth century is St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe (1894-1941). His offer of himself in the place of another man who had been selected to die in the starvation bunker at Auschwitz is often recalled as an extraordinary act of charity and an illustration of the power of love over evil. Less attention is focused on Kolbe’s work before his arrest and ultimate deportation to Auschwitz. In 1917, Kolbe along with six other students at the International Seraphic College in Rome founded articles the Militia Immaculatae, an international evangelizing organization. The friary he established at Niepokalanów in 1927 quickly became the world’s largest Franciscan monastery and the largest publishing house in Poland. Through his writings, especially articles in Rycerz Niepokalanej (Knight of the Immaculate) and his radio addresses, Kolbe had a profound impact on the Conventual Franciscan Order as well as hundreds of thousands of ordinary Catholics. This paper will explore some of the major themes in Kolbe’s thought as well as his style of communication.

At-A-Glance Bios- Presenter #1

Professor of History at the State University of New York at Fredonia

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St. Maximilian Kolbe: Preaching the Primacy of Love

One of the best-known Christian martyrs of the twentieth century is St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe (1894-1941). His offer of himself in the place of another man who had been selected to die in the starvation bunker at Auschwitz is often recalled as an extraordinary act of charity and an illustration of the power of love over evil. Less attention is focused on Kolbe’s work before his arrest and ultimate deportation to Auschwitz. In 1917, Kolbe along with six other students at the International Seraphic College in Rome founded articles the Militia Immaculatae, an international evangelizing organization. The friary he established at Niepokalanów in 1927 quickly became the world’s largest Franciscan monastery and the largest publishing house in Poland. Through his writings, especially articles in Rycerz Niepokalanej (Knight of the Immaculate) and his radio addresses, Kolbe had a profound impact on the Conventual Franciscan Order as well as hundreds of thousands of ordinary Catholics. This paper will explore some of the major themes in Kolbe’s thought as well as his style of communication.