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Pope Francis prays in prisoner #16670’s cell in Auschwitz

Photo of the Day | published on 02/20/18

Osservatore Romano | AFP

Photo of the Day: February 20, 2018

Pope Francis prays in the cell of Polish Franciscan friar Maximilian Kolbe (prisoner #16670) at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp on July 29, 2016, in Oswiecim as part of his visit to the World Youth Day.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, declared a “Martyr of Charity” by Pope Saint John Paul II, volunteered to take the place of Franciszek Gajowniczek, a fellow prisoner who was to be executed. Prior to his execution, Kolbe continued in his role as priest while in captivity, and was a passionate advocate for the Consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, in spite of the harsh and violent persecution that he would undergo as punishment for this.

Kolbe was canonized on 10 October 1982. He is the patron saint of amateur radio operators, drug addicts, political prisoners, families, journalists, prisoners, and the pro-life movement. John Paul II declared him “The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century.”

Photograph provided by Osservatore Romano via AFP

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