I have been reading all I can, lately, about this modern day saint. I was pleasantly surprised to see the film Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz for rent at our local Catholic bookstore. Now that I have viewed it and had a couple of days to digest it, I thought I would post about it here for anyone interested in learning more about this holy and heroic man.
Leonardo Defilippis is the sole actor in the film and he portrays Kolbe masterfully. I found it difficult to watch him also portray Satan, Adolf Hitler and various other evil characters. Although theatrically he did a wonderful job, it is never easy to watch someone portray both good and evil.
The film begins with Kolbe's vision of Mother Mary at age ten and progresses through his discernment to the priestly vocation and his foundation of the Militia Immaculata. We learn about the ministry of the MI, its publications and their combined affect on the country of Poland. The film follows Kolbe during his encampment in Auschwitz and his martyr's death in a starvation bunker.
Quotes from Kolbe's writings as well as photos of Kolbe himself are interspersed throughout the film, adding a realistic touch to the dramatic presentation by Defilippis.
The film is not for young children, due to the discussion of Hitler's abortive/contraceptive mentailty towards Jews and Catholics as well as actual photos and film footage of the concentration camps and their victims.
Overall, I learned quite a bit about Kolbe and his devotion to the Blessed Virgin by watching this film. I also have a better understanding of the role of the Militia Immaculata during Kolbe's time as well as in modern society. Two of Kolbe's quotes have remained in my mind after watching this film. First, he told his fellow priests, "I do not fear death, only sin." He reminded them to always "Love the Immaculata."
More information on St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Knights of the Immaculata (Militia Immaculata) and the Consecration to Our Lady as recommended by St. Maximilian Kolbe. Homily given by His Holiness Pope John Paul II at Canonization of Maximilian Maria Kolbe.