War is not the worst evil

St Maximilan Kolbe

Today is the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar.  During the Second World War, Kolbe sheltered many Polish Jews in his friary. In 1941, he was arrested and later transferred to the Auschwitz death camp as prisoner #16670. In July of that year, he volunteered to take the place of a husband and father who had been selected by the Nazis to die.

During his confinement in an underground bunker, Fr. Kolbe kept up the spirits of his fellow prisoners and remained a pillar of strength and calm. After all the other prisoners had died of starvation, the Nazis executed Fr. Kolbe on August 14, 1941. The following day, which is the Solemnity of Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, his mortal remains were cremated in the infamous Auschwitz ovens.

The Holocaust was a rare moment of moral clarity in all of human history. The Global War On Terror should be another. When innocent women and children are being starved on a mountaintop or hacked to pieces, when jihadists cheer as their children play with severed heads as trophies, when we see the black flag of death raised above the rubble and the cross of our eternal salvation torn down, we must act.

Muslim extremists seek permanent war against all those who do not believe as they do. Unless and until they are defeated, those who desire freedom and peace will never be safe.

Source for most of the text above:


Filed under Christianity, History, Islam

9 responses to “War is not the worst evil

  1. For a time St. Maximilian was in Nagasaki Japan, ministering to the Japanese Catholics in that city.

    What you might not know is that a large number of the Japanese who died as a result of the A-bomb falling on the wrong place, were Catholics who had gathered inside the Cathedral.

    I have a book written about a man who survived the A-bomb blast, but his wife Midori was amongst those who were killed. It is a tale of conversion, and it details what these Japanese Catholics had endured for a very long time and there were many martyrs, just like in Korea. Kolbe is mentioned in the book as one priest who had travelled to Japan to help these Catholics. Interesting stuff.


    • Good reminder, Aussie! Thanks!


    • chrissythehyphenated

      A college buddy of mine became a Maryknoll Missioner to Japan. The Catholic Church in Japan is tiny, but it fills a big place in this rigid culture, ministering to those with addictions and mental illness.


      • yes it is tiny. They existed for a long time as a “hidden underground”. Nagasaki was a bit of a stronghold and several thousand lost their lives when the cathedral in Nagasaki took a direct hit.

        It is the same in most of these Asian nations. The Catholic community is very small, yet we are blessed because their priests are ministering to us here in Australia.

        We have an assistant priest in my current parish who has come from South Korea. Over the past few months we had a seminarian from Vietnam. These are people with a lot of faith.

        The Japanese Catholics are very much the same… have you ever heard about Akita?


        • chrissythehyphenated

          Yes, I have heard of Akita! :)) Our parish priest is from Africa. My dd’s parish priest in TX is from Vietnam. The American Catholic Church allowed itself to get so anemic that instead of sending the Good News out, we are having to get it brought to us.


          • it is the same here. We have priests from Africa, India Vietnam and Korea in the current diocese.

            In Canberra it was priests from India and the same in the Parramatta diocese.


  2. Chrissy,
    OT, but I just wanted to say that we were watching your old nemesis on the tube last night. Mary McDonnell in the movie “Sneakers.” She played Robert Redford’s ex. Just imagine that if you’d pulled first place in that Ithaca pageant, maybe you would have had to smooch RR in that movie. Kinda gross, really, him being a filthy lib and all. 😉