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AuschwitzIt’s the Feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe, so I’ve found myself reading a little bit about him today.

There are no words for how I feel when I imagine the moment he sacrificed himself to save another condemned man, who was a husband and a father.

“Cell 21 is where a St. Maximillian Kolbe was placed, after offering up his life in exchange for that of a condemned man… Cell 21 was a starvation chamber. In that chamber, Father Maximillion Kolbe lived for two weeks without food or water, singing hymns with the other prisoners and saying mass every day… I was shocked when I came upon this cell. For here, in a starvation chamber in the Death Block of Auschwitz, here, at the very end of horror, all of a sudden: Flowers! … I cannot say that I left Auschwitz with a deeper understanding of death, despair and hopelessness. But I did leave with a deeper understanding of life, and hope, and love. I learned that a single living flower is more enduring than the entire Nazi machine of death; for death will die—and indeed, it has died—while love endures forever.”

There is no greater love than to lay down your life for another.

Read more here.

“Without sacrifice, there is no love.” – St. Maximilian Kolbe

photo credit: 612gr