Saints

Polish businessmen: Maxmilian Kolbe should be patron of entrepreneurs

Saint’s heroic death overshadows his life as "unusual entrepreneur" who used techniques "two decades ahead of their time"

WEB-ST-MAXIMILLIAN-KOLBE-Public-Domain

Public Domain

A group of Polish businessmen want St. Maximilian to be officially declared the patron saint of start-ups and entrepreneurs. The petition has more than a thousand signatures and they want to present it to Pope Francis during World Youth Day.

Can a bearded monk who died a martyr’s death 75 years ago be a good partner for a businessman? This is precisely the belief of a group of Polish entrepreneurs who are trying to have St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe declared the patron saint of start-ups and entrepreneurs.

When the future saint got hold of five acres of farmland near Sochaczew, within 10 years he had built there the largest Catholic monastery in the world. When he decided to publish a newspaper, within a few years The Knight of the Immaculate had a print-run of 750,000 and was part of a communications media network which issued over a dozen periodicals and had a nationwide radio station. If not for the outbreak of World War II, he would probably have launched a TV station.

“This is now a barren land, but it will be San Francisco” … if he had known the lyrics of a song by the Golec Brothers, he would have sung it all his life.

He would invariably start with “a barren land” and embark on projects that everyone else expected to fail. But his “San Francisco” was called Niepokalanów, named after an attribute of Our Lady (the Immaculate). It is for her and for her Son that he did everything … and for the salvation of souls.

However, he is not appreciated as an entrepreneur. This is hardly surprising since everything he did in life was overshadowed by how he died.

But a group of Polish entrepreneurs are trying to get as many people as possible to hear not only about the heroic death of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, but also about his organizational talents and leadership, which he so deftly applied during his lifetime.