They need YOU!

In fact, we have no conception of just how much they need us. For at every moment of their existence they suffer more than the human mind can comprehend. The torrents of suffering they endure are in reparation for their sins against God, for they must be purified before entering Eternal Life. These are the holy souls in Purgatory.

Would you like to help them? Wouldn’t you like to relieve their immense pain if you could? Well you can!

Today is the feast of St. Gertrude the Great. St. Gertrude’s life was the mystic life of the Cloister, a Benedictine nun. She meditated on the Passion of Christ, which many times brought a flood of tears to her eyes. She did many penances and Our Lord appeared to her many times. She had a tender love for the Blessed Virgin and was very devoted to the suffering souls in Purgatory. She died in 1334. Her feast day is November 16th.

Our Lord dictated the following prayer to St. Gertrude the Great to release 1,000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said.

Eternal Father, I offer thee the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with all the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

Let’s pray for the release of every soul from Purgatory today in honor of St. Gertrude. Ask God today, especially during the 3 o’clock hour – the hour of Divine Mercy. Ask Him with confidence and faith, knowing that He alone can do all things, if it is aligned with His most holy will.

Just imagine how those souls will pray for you when they enter Eternity and learn that YOU helped them arrive there sooner. Their gratitude will be boundless and for all Eternity they will besiege our Heavenly Father for your sanctity and soul. For how could they not? Wouldn’t you?

St. Gertrude the Great, pray for us!

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From the Weekend

Well fall is officially here friends. Yesterday evening I looked for my ski hat because I was so cold, but couldn’t find it. Now, I know that seems like a bit much for October, but I get cold easily.

I love running on these cooler mornings and evenings, such a refreshing change from the Tennessee heat from the summer. Although, I must admit that I was kind of a coward and joined the YMCA over the summer so I could escape the heat for most of the summer months – okay, that’s sort of embarrassing to admit.

The best part of my weekend was Saturday Oct. 1. Saturday was the feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. St. Therese has been one of my favorite saints for as long as I can remember. I chose her to be my confirmation saint when I was younger and have since fallen deeper in love with her beauty.

Saint Therese was born in Alencon, France, in 1873. While still a young girl, she entered the Carmelite monastery in Lisieux. There she lived a life of humility, evangelical simplicity, and trust in God. By word and example she taught these virtues to the novices of the community. Offering her life for the salvation of souls and the growth of the Church, she died in 1897.

My favorite quote by St. Therese explains a little of why I love her so. She once said, “You can convert a soul by picking up a pin out of love for it.” The mercy and love of God leaves me awe-struck. A pin? Just imagine what washing your roommates dishes out of love could do? Cleaning a bathroom? Taking out the trash? If we would all put a little more love into our actions I know the world would be a different place.

St. Therese wasn’t a rock scientist. She simply loved. My friends, we need to bring back this spirit of love and her attitude of childlike innocence. Our world craves this love she speaks of. Let us glean from her as much as we can to sanctify ourselves for His Kingdom, for right now she beholds the Beatific vision for all eternity.

Do not believe I am swimming in consolations; oh, no! My consolation is to have none on earth. Without showing Himself, without making His voice heard, Jesus teaches me in secret. It is not by means of books, for I do not understand what I am reading, but at times a word like this one that I drew out at the end of prayer (after having remained in silence and aridity) comes to console me: “Here is the Master I am giving you; He will teach you all you must do. I want to have you read in the book of life wherein is contained the science of love.” The science of love, oh! yes, this word resounds sweetly in the ear of my soul. I desire only this science.

I understand so well that it is only love that can make us pleasing to God that this love is the only  good that I ambition. Jesus is pleased to show me the only road which leads to the this divine furnace, and this road is the abandonment of the little child who sleeps without fear in his Father’s arms. “Whoever is a little one, let him come to me.” On the last day “The Lord will lead his flock into pastures, He will gather together the little lambs and will press them to his bosom, and as though all these promises were not enough, the same Prophet, whose inspired glance was already plunged into the eternal depths, cried out in the Lord’s name: “As a mother caresses her child, so will I comfort you.”

After language like this, there is nothing to do but be silent and weep with gratitude and love…Ah! if all weak and imperfect souls felt what the littlest of all souls feels, the soul of your little Therese, not one would despair of reaching the summit of the mountain of love, since Jesus does not ask for great actions but only abandonment and gratitude. – St. Therese of the Child Jesus (St. Therese was declared a Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church in 1997).

Here is something I made this weekend at the Bakery.

Pumpkin Cheesecake – hungry? Come to our house! See? We do eat well Mom!

Some fruits on our kitchen table that I thought looked pretty for fall – so I took a picture.

Happy Fall Everyone!

Exciting news – tomorrow I name the Board of Directors for Made in His Image!!!

September 23

Okay, brace yourself, I suggest sitting down. This post is not meant to be read in a quiet spot, because shouts of exclamation are most certainly appropriate. I also don’t promote the reading of this post over cliffs from your smart-phones, as you might slip and injury yourself from sheer astonishment, inspiration and jubilation.

First read this miraculious story!

I am very close with my older brother James. He is a tremendous blessing to me and a beautiful witness to me. James is a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

In August of 2009 he returned from overseas. In September of 2009 his Commanding Officer (CO), said he was sending him back. This scheduled return was exceedingly unexpected seeing that he had just arrived back in the United States. Two days later I flew out to California to welcome him home and say goodbye again.

As I passed through security at the airport it really hit me that James was leaving again. I had two hours before my plane took off for California, so with a little Lady Antebellum playing in my  ipod I walked over to Starbucks to get a Cappuccino. I always travel with books to read and reached into my North Face book bag to pull out a book about Saint Padre Pio.

Right then it dawned on me that I should pray for a miracle that James wouldn’t be deployed through Saint Pio’s intercession, as he feast day was mere days away. Why hadn’t I thought of this before, I thought to myself. This was just the sort of thing that would delight Saint Pio. Saint Teresa of Avila once said, “We pay God a great favor by asking big things of Him.” So with faith and love in my heart I prayed for James. When I arrived in California my eyes welled with joyful tears as I saw him walk toward me wearing his favorite Rainbow flip flops (total California style).

The morning that I was going to say goodbye to James I got up early to go running down by the beach. The elevator was broken and there was a sign on it that said to use the stairs. As I approached the stairs I thought it odd that they elevator would be broken because it was an extremely upscale hotel where weddings were hosted. I opened the door to go down the stairs and couldn’t believe what I saw. The entire stair case was covered with roses!! I was in awe, because roses are a sign that Saint Pio is close to you. I knew Saint Pio was doing something, especially since this was the day before his feast day.

California mornings are usually slightly cloudy and that morning was no different. I ran 6 miles just as the sun was rising and the view was breathtaking. All of the surfers were just getting to the ocean, driving up in their jeeps with their surf boards on top and morning coffee in hand. It was gorgeous.

James told me to meet him at a cafe’ for breakfast. He called, said he was running late and to go ahead and order. I ordered belgium waffles, a cappuccino and a mimosa. James and I always drink mimosas in California and I ordered mine with a smile. About fifteen minutes later, just as my waffles were served, and the steam still rising from the plate James walks in. As the waiter pours the champagne and the bubbles fizzle James sits down. “You’re never gonna believe this, but I’m not going. My CO (commanding officer) just told me I’m not going.” I knew it was Padre!! James continued to say that out of 1,000 men and women that were being deployed he was the only one told he was staying. To this day no explanation has been given to him.

Blessed be God! God is ALIVE my friends! Pray for miracles, they delight Him.

James and his wife Susan.

Today is the feast day of St. Padre Pio. Today is a glorious day. The story about James is just one of times that Padre has interceded for me. One of the things I love about Padre is his response to suffering. Saint Pio once said, “Beneath the cross one learns to love.” Everyone struggles, everyone is faced with the cross. But it is our response to that cross that determines so much. To know that a saint as holy as he is, is before the throne of grace praying for me and my intentions is mind-boggling. His life is an example of the fact that sanctity is attainable when we abandon ourselves to God.

Who is this saint who interceded for James? you may ask. What is his story? Allow me to introduce you to one of my closest friends – Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

Saint Pio is one of the most beloved, astounding and controversial religious figures of the 20th century. He bore the wounds of Jesus on his own body, healed the sick, predicted future events, read the minds and consciences of those he counselled, and in some instances appeared miles away to help souls in need. But those who came to see him were less moved by these wonders than by his compassion, warmth, holiness and  profound love for Jesus. In his lifetime he was unjustly accused of neurosis, hysteria and immorality, In time he was vindicated, and thirty-four years after his death in 1968, was named a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church.

Francesco Forgione was born in 1887, in the village of Pietrelcina in the South of Italy. He was the second of five children. His parents were poor farmers. An exceedingly pious boy, Francesco had frequent visions of Jesus, Mary and his guardian angel. At the age of ten he announced his intention of becoming a Franciscan friar, and entered the Capuchin novitiate in Morcone at the age of sixteen.

His piety intensified in his late teens and early twenties, and with it his mystical experiences. Jesus appeared and spoke to him, but Satan also assailed Padre with frightening visions, numerous temptations, and even physical assaults. In September, 1918, Padre Pio had a vision in the friary chapel, the crucifix transformed into a vision of Jesus crucified, and from this vision came rays of light that pierced his hands and feet. Within a year enormous crowds were coming to San Giovanni, and Padre Pio was spending sixteen hours a day in the confessional.

St. Pio endured extraordinary persecution from jealous clergy. And from 1931-1933, Padre was forbidden to hear confessions, or say Mass in public. During this period Padre appeared cheerful. But was equally well-known for outbursts of temper towards curious pilgrims and unrepentant sinners. He underwent continual darkness and doubt as to if he was in a state of grace. He never thought of himself as “holy.”

After WWII ended, Padre embarked on a new mission, to build a hospital in the community. He began organizing a board of directors in 1946. Donations poured in from admirers and disciples around the world, and in 1956 the House for the Relief of Suffering opened its doors. It is known today as a world-class medical institution.

On September 23, 1968, 50 years after receiving the stigmata, Padre died. He was beatified in 1999 and canonized in 2002 by Pope John Paul II. Over eight million visit his tomb each year.

Saint Padre Pio, pray for us!

“The most beautiful credo is that which comes from your lips in darkness, in sacrifice, in pain, in the supreme effort of an unbending will for good. It is this which like a stroke of lightening penetrates the darkness of the soul; it is this which in the flash of the tempest lifts you and leads you to God.” -St. Pio

‎”The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain.” -St. Pio

Happy Feast Day Mother Teresa

Speaking in a strained, weary voice at the beatification Mass, Pope John Paul II declared her blessed, prompting waves of applause before the 300,000 pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square. In his homily, read by an aide for the aging pope, the Holy Father called Mother Teresa “one of the most relevant personalities of our age” and “an icon of the Good Samaritan.” Her life, he said, was “a bold proclamation of the gospel.” Today is her feast day! Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata, pray for us!

Mother Teresa of Kolkata, the tiny woman recognized throughout the world for her work among the poorest of the poor, was beatified October 19, 2003. Among those present were hundreds of Missionaries of Charity, the Order she founded in 1950 as a diocesan religious community. Today the congregation also includes contemplative sisters and brothers and an order of priests.

Born to Albanian parents in what is now Skopje, Macedonia (then part of the Ottoman Empire), Gonxha (Agnes) Bojaxhiu was the youngest of the three children who survived. For a time, the family lived comfortably, and her father’s construction business thrived. But life changed overnight following his unexpected death.

During her years in public school Agnes participated in a Catholic sodality and showed a strong interest in the foreign missions. At age 18 she entered the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. It was 1928 when she said goodbye to her mother for the final time and made her way to a new land and a new life. The following year she was sent to the Loreto novitiate in Darjeeling, India. There she chose the name Teresa and prepared for a life of service. She was assigned to a high school for girls in Calcutta, where she taught history and geography to the daughters of the wealthy. But she could not escape the realities around her—the poverty, the suffering, the overwhelming numbers of destitute people.

In 1946, while riding a train to Darjeeling to make a retreat, Sister Teresa heard what she later explained as “a call within a call. The message was clear. I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them.” She also heard a call to give up her life with the Sisters of Loreto and, instead, to “follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor.”

After receiving permission to leave Loreto, establish a new religious community and undertake her new work, she took a nursing course for several months. She returned to Kolkata, where she lived in the slums and opened a school for poor children. Dressed in a white sari and sandals (the ordinary dress of an Indian woman) she soon began getting to know her neighbors—especially the poor and sick—and getting to know their needs through visits.

The work was exhausting, but she was not alone for long. Volunteers who came to join her in the work, some of them former students, became the core of the Missionaries of Charity. Other helped by donating food, clothing, supplies, the use of buildings. In 1952 the city of Kolkata gave Mother Teresa a former hostel, which became a home for the dying and the destitute. As the Order expanded, services were also offered to orphans, abandoned children, alcoholics, the aging and street people.

For the next four decades Mother Teresa worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor. Her love knew no bounds. Nor did her energy, as she crisscrossed the globe pleading for support and inviting others to see the face of Jesus in the poorest of the poor. In 1979 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On September 5, 1997, God called her home.

101 Today

That is how old Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata would be today if she were alive. Three summers ago I went to Kolkata to serve with the Missionaries of Charity and it was one of the most extraordinary summers of my life. When I was a missionary a student once asked me when I really encountered God in a personal way. The answer was and always will be in India. At Mother Teresa’s tomb, in front of the Blessed Sacrament with the Sisters, on the streets of Kolkata, admits the noise and filth of city, in the beauty and tender love of the patients I served at Kalighat (Mother Teresa’s home for the dying). To this day I still say those patients gave me so much more than I ever could have offered them – for they showed me Jesus in a radical way, and for that I will always be eternally grateful. Below are some stellar words from Mother in honor of her birthday today. Ponder them, apply them, live them.

Photos from my trip to Kolkata, India.

The following article was put together by Catholicvote.org

Before Bill and Hillary Clinton and everyone, she said: I am so used to seeing the smiles on our people, even the dying ones smile.

And Sister said: “This is the way it is nearly every day. They are expecting, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to visit them. They are hurt because they are forgotten.” And see, this neglect to love brings spiritual poverty. Maybe in our own family we have somebody who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried. Are we there? Are we there to be with them, or do we merely put them in the care of others? Are we willing to give until it hurts in order to be with our families, or do we put our own interests first? These are the questions we must ask ourselves, especially as we begin this year of the family. We must remember that love begins at home and we must also remember that “the future of humanity passes through the family.”

I was surprised in the West to see so many young boys and girls given to drugs. And I tried to find out why. Why is it like that, when those in the West have so many more things than those in the East? And the answer was: “Because there is no one in the family to receive them.” Our children depend on us for everything – their health, their nutrition, their security, their coming to know and love God. For all of this, they look to us with trust, hope and expectation. But often father and mother are so busy they have no time for their children, or perhaps they are not even married or have given up on their marriage. So the children go to the streets and get involved in drugs or other things. We are talking of love of the child which is where love and peace must begin. These are the things that break peace.

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.

And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today is the feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven – which is when Mary was taken to Heaven both body and soul. Below is part of a beautiful reflection on this glorious feast day from you guessed it – In Conversation with God. 

The Chapel inside the home of the Missionaries of Charity, Bronx, NY. Some of my fondest memories in college were going there to spend Sundays with the Sisters. They let me serve the homeless with them after 6am Mass. One of my favorite days to be there was Easter. We cooked a feast for the homeless and sang songs with them. I miss those days.

We often contemplate the Assumption of Our Lady in the Fourth Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary: The mother of God has fallen asleep…But Jesus wants to have His mother, body and soul, in Heaven. And the heavenly court, arrayed in all its splendour, greets our Lady. You and I – children after all – take the train of Mary’s magnificent blue cloak, and so we can watch the marvellous scene. The most blessed Trinity receives and showers honours on the Daughter, Mother and Spouse of God. And so great is the Lady’s majesty that the Angels exclaim: Who is she? We too, full of admiration, rejoice with the angels, and we congratulate her on her feast day. And we feel proud to be sons and daughters of so great a Lady. 

The Assumption of Mary is a wonderful precursor of our own resurrection. It is made possible through Christ’s rising from the dead. He will refashion the body of our lowliness, and conform it to the body of His glory. Today on this feast, our petitions are full of confidence. Our Advocate rose up to heaven, so she will arrange for our salvation as Mother of the Judge, the Mother of Mercy. 

Mary strengths our hope. We are still pilgrims, but our Mother has gone before us, and is already pointing to the reward of our efforts. She reminds us that it is possible to reach it, and that if we are faithful, we will in fact do so. Let us then be filled with hope and confidence. In spite of our shortcomings, we can be saints, if we struggle one day after another, if we purify our souls in the Sacrament of Penance, and if we frequently receive the Eucharist. – In Conversation with God, 95.

“I would like to take his place…”

The sun hasn’t risen yet in Nashville, it’s black outside, there aren’t even any stars. Night really is a world lit by itself, it’s going to be a gorgeous day. Today is the feast day of Saint Maximilian Kolbe! Saint Kolbe is one of my favorite saints and his feast day is very dear to my heart. His intercession in my life is mind-boggling. The miracles that this dear saint has asked God to perform for me take my breath away.

Saint Kolbe is also one of the patron saints of God’s ministry that He has asked me to build – Made in His Image. Saint Kolbe is the patron saint of families, addictions, and eating disorders. When my clinic is built one of the first things patients and visitors will see upon entering is a statue of him.

Saint Kolbe once said, No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?

This quote is so relevant to every human being. A very wise and holy man once told me that one of our greatest struggles in life is getting out of ourselves. To stop thinking about me, me, me and to think about others. When we truly get out of ourselves we can embrace and love others more fully, the way God intended us to love, the way Saint Kolbe loved. Below is the story of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. It is well worth the read, one of the most inspiring stories ever told.

The story begins on 8 January, 1894 – Raymond Kolbe was born the second son of a poor weaver at Zdunska Wola near Lodz in Poland. In his infancy Raymond seems to have been normally mischievous but one day, after his mother had scolded him for some mischief or other, her words took effect and brought about a radical change in the child’s behavior.

In 1910 he became a Franciscan, taking the name Maximilian. He studied at Rome and was ordained in 1919. He returned to Poland and taught Church history in a seminary. He built a friary just west of Warsaw, which eventually housed 762 Franciscans and printed eleven periodicals, one with a circulation of over a million, including a daily newspaper.

Inevitably, the community came under suspicion and was watched closely. Then in May 1941 the friary was closed down and Maximilian and four companions were taken to the death camp Auschwitz, where they worked with the other prisoners.

Prisoners at Auschwitz were slowly and systematically starved, and their pitiful rations were barely enough to sustain a child: one cup of imitation coffee in the morning, and weak soup and half a loaf of bread after work. When food was brought, everyone struggled to get his place and be sure of a portion. Father Maximilian Kolbe however, stood aside in spite of the ravages of starvation, and frequently there would be none left for him. At other times he shared his meager ration of soup or bread with others.

In the harshness of the slaughterhouse Father Kolbe maintained the gentleness of Christ. At night he seldom would lie down to rest. He moved from bunk to bunk, saying: “I am a Catholic priest. Can I do anything for you?”

A prisoner later recalled how he and several others often crawled across the floor at night to be near the bed of Father Kolbe, to make their confessions and ask for consolation. Father Kolbe pleaded with his fellow prisoners to forgive their persecutors and to overcome evil with good. When he was beaten by the guards, he never cried out. Instead, he prayed for his tormentors.

A Protestant doctor who treated the patients in Block 12 later recalled how Father Kolbe waited until all the others had been treated before asking for help. He constantly sacrificed himself for the others.

In order to discourage escapes, Auschwitz had a rule that if a man escaped, ten men would be killed in retaliation. In July 1941 a man from Kolbe’s bunker escaped. The dreadful irony of the story is that the escaped prisoner was later found drowned in a camp latrine, so the terrible reprisals had been exercised without cause. But the remaining men of the bunker were led out.

‘The fugitive has not been found!’ the commandant Karl Fritsch screamed. ‘You will all pay for this. Ten of you will be locked in the starvation bunker without food or water until they die.’ The prisoners trembled in terror. A few days in this bunker without food and water, and a man’s intestines dried up and his brain turned to fire.

The ten were selected, including Franciszek Gajowniczek, imprisoned for helping the Polish Resistance. He couldn’t help a cry of anguish. ‘My poor wife!’ he sobbed. ‘My poor children! What will they do?’ When he uttered this cry of dismay, Maximilian stepped silently forward, took off his cap, and stood before the commandant and said, ‘I am a Catholic priest. Let me take his place. I am old. He has a wife and children.’

Astounded, the icy-faced Nazi commandant asked, ‘What does this Polish pig want?’

Father Kolbe pointed with his hand to the condemned Franciszek Gajowniczek and repeated ‘I am a Catholic priest from Poland; I would like to take his place, because he has a wife and children.’

Observers believed in horror that the commandant would be angered and would refuse the request, or would order the death of both men. The commandant remained silent for a moment. What his thoughts were on being confronted by this brave priest we have no idea. Amazingly, however, he acceded to the request. Apparently the Nazis had more use for a young worker than for an old one, and were happy to make the exchange.

Franciszek Gajowniczek was returned to the ranks, and the priest took his place …

Gajowniczek later recalled:

‘I could only thank him with my eyes. I was stunned and could hardly grasp what was going on. The immensity of it: I, the condemned, am to live and someone else willingly and voluntarily offers his life for me – a stranger. Is this some dream?

I was put back into my place without having had time to say anything to Maximilian Kolbe. I was saved. And I owe to him the fact that I could tell you all this. The news quickly spread all round the camp. It was the first and the last time that such an incident happened in the whole history of Auschwitz.

For a long time I felt remorse when I thought of Maximilian. By allowing myself to be saved, I had signed his death warrant. But now, on reflection, I understood that a man like him could not have done otherwise. Perhaps he thought that as a priest his place was beside the condemned men to help them keep hope. In fact he was with them to the last.’‘

Father Kolbe was thrown down the stairs of Building 13 along with the other victims and simply left there to starve. Hunger and thirst soon gnawed at the men. Some drank their own urine, others licked moisture on the dank walls. Maximilian Kolbe encouraged the others with prayers, psalms, and meditations on the Passion of Christ. After two weeks, only four were alive. The cell was needed for more victims, and the camp executioner, a common criminal called Bock, came in and injected a lethal dose of carbolic acid into the left arm of each of the four dying men. Kolbe was the only one still fully conscious and with a prayer on his lips, the last prisoner raised his arm for the executioner. His wait was over …

So it was that Father Maximilian Kolbe was executed on 14 August, 1941 at the age of forty-seven years, a martyr of charity. The death certificate, as always made out with German precision, indicated the hour of death 12.30.

Father Kolbe’s body was removed to the crematorium, and without dignity or ceremony was disposed of, like hundreds of thousands who had gone before him, and hundreds of thousands more who would follow.

The heroism of Father Kolbe went echoing through Auschwitz. In that desert of hatred he had sown love. A survivor Jozef Stemler later recalled:

“In the midst of a brutalization of thought, feeling and words such as had never before been known, man indeed became a ravening wolf in his relations with other men. And into this state of affairs came the heroic self-sacrifice of Father Kolbe.’ Another survivor Jerzy Bielecki declared that Father Kolbe’s death was ‘a shock filled with hope, bringing new life and strength … It was like a powerful shaft of light in the darkness of the camp.”

The cell where Father Kolbe died is now a shrine. Maximilian Kolbe was beatified as Confessor by Paul VI in 1970, and canonized as Martyr by Pope John Paul II in 1981.