In a world that often seems fraught with challenges, seeking inspiration from extraordinary individuals who embody courage, faith, and excellence can serve as a guiding light for our community. One such figure is our College’s Patron, Saint Maximilian Kolbe whose life story continues to resonate with people around the globe. As our College celebrates Kolbe Day today, I believe it is important to engage with this incredible man and his remarkable story.
A Life of Courage
Maximilian Kolbe’s life was a testament to the boundless power of courage. Born in Poland in 1894, he was not a stranger to adversity. Amid the backdrop of two World Wars and immense social upheaval, Kolbe stood undaunted, steadfast in his commitment to making a positive impact on the world. His courage was most evident during his time at Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi concentration camp.
In a selfless act that defined his legacy, Kolbe volunteered to take the place of a fellow prisoner who was condemned to death. This extraordinary act of sacrifice embodied the words of Jesus: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Kolbe’s actions serve as a beacon of light, urging us all to be courageous in the face of adversity and to show selfless love to our fellow human beings.
Faith that Transcends
At the heart of Maximilian Kolbe’s character was an unwavering faith that transcended even the darkest of circumstances. Despite the horrors he witnessed in Auschwitz, his spirit remained unbroken, and he continued to find solace in his deep connection to God. Kolbe’s faith was his source of strength, guiding him to bring hope to those around him, even in the midst of despair.
In a world that often tests our faith, Kolbe’s example reminds us of the importance of staying grounded in our beliefs. As he once said,
“The most deadly poison of our times is indifference. And this happens, although the praise of God should know no limits. Let us strive, therefore, to praise Him to the greatest extent of our powers.”
This call to avoid indifference and to fervently praise God speaks to our responsibility to demonstrate love and care for one another, just as Kolbe did.
Pursuit of Excellence
Maximilian Kolbe’s life was a masterpiece of excellence—a reflection of his commitment to making the world a better place. As a priest, publisher, and founder of the Militia Immaculata, a movement dedicated to spreading the message of the Virgin Mary, Kolbe’s endeavours were marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence. He believed in the power of using his talents and resources for the greater good, and his actions inspire us to do the same.
As we reflect on the remarkable life of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, let us draw inspiration from his courage, faith, and pursuit of excellence. In a world that often calls for acts of love and care, may we emulate his example and strive to make a lasting impact on those around us. As Kolbe once said, ‘Let us remember that love lives through sacrifice and is nourished by giving. Without sacrifice, there is no love.’ Let us endeavor to embody this profound truth in our lives and continue to shine the light of Kolbe’s legacy.
Let me finish by wishing you all a very happy Kolbe Day and an extra special long weekend! I look forward to seeing our students back at the College, refreshed and energised on Tuesday.