Created on Thursday, 21 March 2013 01:39
He was born Raymund Kolbe on January 8 1894 in Zduńska Wola, in the Kingdom of Poland, which was a part of the Russian Empire, the second son of Julius Kolbe and Maria Dabrowska. His father and mother were common people; and like multitudes of common people, except for the hand of providence the world might never have heard of Raymund.
His journey to fame began in 1907 when Kolbe and his elder brother Francis decided to join the Conventual Franciscans who named him Maximilian. In 1918, Kolbe was ordained a priest. In 1919, he returned to the newly independent Poland, founding and supervising the monastery of Niepokalanów near Warsaw, a seminary, a radio station, and several other organizations and publications. After the outbreak of World War II, Kolbe provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland in his friary in Niepokalanów. On February 17 1941, he was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison. On May 28, he was transferred to Auschwitz as prisoner #16670.