Saint Maximilian Kolbe is the patron saint of the College. St Maximilian was a person of great faith who valued his relationship with God. As a Franciscan priest, he had a life long devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
Named Raymond at the time of his birth in Poland in the late nineteenth century, he worked diligently in school to help his poverty stricken parents and eventually joined his older brother in the local Franciscan minor seminary, a secondary school for boys who were considering a life as a member of the Franciscan Order. He completed his secondary schooling and entered religious life in the Franciscan Order, whereupon he was given the name Maximilian. He impressed with his academic ability and was provided with opportunities to continue his studies at university, gaining doctoral degrees in both theology and philosophy.
Fr Maximilian spent his adult life as a priest in Poland and undertaking missionary work in Japan. Returning to Poland before the Second World War, Maximilian was interred following the German invasion for being openly critical of the Nazi occupiers. The final act of his life of selflessness took place in Auschwitz in 1941 when he volunteered to take the place of a prisoner, the father of a young family, who had been condemned to death in reprisal for an escape attempt. Kolbe’s action was one of extraordinary courage and generosity.
One of Kolbe’s great legacies is the formation of the Knights of the Immaculata, dedicated to evangelising the world through prayer and by publishing literature that promotes Christian faith. Known as MI (the Militia of the Immaculata) the organisation espouses the spirit of chivalry that is synonymous with the Franciscan ethos. Following its inception, the MI grew rapidly and continues to this day, almost seventy years after Maximilian’s death.
Committed to Christ, to seeking truth and to establishing the reign of the Kingdom of God in this world, St Maximilian Kolbe is an apt patron for our College and an inspiration for all members of our school community.