My article at Aleteia this week is a reflection on our pilgrimage visit to Kolbe’s friary and subsequent visit to Auschwitz.
We were graced this month to travel to Poland on a parish pilgrimage. It was my first extended visit to the country, so it was therefore a great joy to visit Niepokalanow — the friary of St. Maximilian Kolbe. The visit started with Mass in the simple chapel founded by the saint. We continued by visiting his cell, viewing his relics and then worshipping in the modern basilica that stands on the site.
The next day our pilgrims visited the great Marian shrine of Czestochowa before going on to Auschwitz. The amazing accomplishments of St. Maximilian Kolbe climaxed in his death at the extermination camp, and to visit his monastic cell one day and his death cell the next was an awesome, moving and troubling experience. Here was a man, who, from his early life, decided to live for others and ended his life dying for another.
Go here to read the whole article.