14 August is the Feast Day of St Maximilian Maria Kolbe, when we commemorate his life as a great apostle of the Immaculate Heart and his heroic martyrdom to save the life of his prison mate at the ill-famous Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz.
But did you know St Maximilian visited India in 1932 in the desire to build 'Amalam' a "city of the Immaculate" in the Southern state of Kerala?!St Kolbe met with both the then Syro-Malabar Bishop, most probably Mar Augustine Kandathil (pictured right below) and the Latin Archbishop, Joseph Attipetty (pictured left below, who was the Coadjutor of the Archdiocese of Varapuzha at the time), as well as Mgr. Jacob Naduvathussery the founding Editor of the Catholic journal "Satyadeepam" (in the hopes of publishing a Malayalam edition of St Maximilian's "Knight of the Immaculata".
St Maximilian remained hopeful of his Indian mission until World War II broke out a few years later in September 1939. In February 1941, his monastery in Poland was shut down by occupying Germans and St Kolbe was arrested. In May, he was transferred to the ill-famous Auschwitz concentration camp where, on 14 August 1941 he gave up his life for the love of Christ. St Maximilian Kolbe was canonised in October 1982 by another great Polish Saint, Pope St. John Paul The Great.
St Maximilian Maria Kolbe, Pray for us!
More on the St Kolbe's Indian mission:
A short bio of the Saint:
Watch a recent Documentary on St Maximilian: