Starting the morning off with God
is the key to strength and success in your day!
St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894–1941) was born in Poland to a devout Christian family. As a boy he had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She showed him two crowns: a white one for virginity and a red one for martyrdom, and asked him which he would be willing to accept. He replied that he would accept both. He later joined the Franciscans. While studying for the priesthood in Rome, he organized a group of friars and founded the Militia of the Immaculata in 1917 to crusade for consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to oppose the evil of Freemasonry. From it came the Knights of the Immaculate magazine that reached a circulation of 750,000, as well as a radio show, both of which became a resource for strengthening faith across Poland. He also established a monastery which grew to 800 friars, the largest in the world at the time. In 1930 he traveled to the Far East and founded another monastery in Nagasaki, Japan. He returned to Poland in 1936. During World War II, St. Maximilian Kolbe housed over 3,000 Polish refugees at his monastery. He was eventually imprisoned because of his effective work, and was sent to Auschwitz in 1941. There he endured special cruelty because he was a Catholic priest. St. Maximilian ministered to the prisoners, and offered his life in place of a father who had been condemned to death. After being starved for two weeks and still found alive, Maximilian was killed by lethal injection on August 14, 1941. He is the patron saint of families, drug addicts, prisoners, journalists, and the pro-life movement. His feast day is August 14th.
The Church dedicates the month of August to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is a dogma of the Catholic faith that Mary is the Immaculate Conception; that is, in preparation for the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity in her womb, she was conceived without the corruption of sin through the foreseen and infinite merits of her Son, Jesus Christ. Over the centuries, as saints and theologians reflected on how Mary pondered and treasured the sacred events from the life of Christ in her holy heart, as attested in Scripture, her pure heart was recognized as something to be imitated. Devotion to Our Lady’s purity of heart began to flower—so much so that in the 17th century, St. John Eudes promoted it alongside the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The devotion rose to a new level after the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, when Mary revealed an image of her Immaculate Heart to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant, Pope Francis, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation; that, of Thy gift, he may ever desire that which is pleasing unto Thee and may accomplish it with all his might. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Our Father. Hail Mary.