A new serial fiction series focusing on the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe.
Note: This is the beginning of a new serial fiction series focusing on the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe, following the life of a fictional character as he encounters the saint. New chapters are released every Sunday!
It was December 8.
This day would normally be celebrated with great jubilation at the friary, as it was a favorite of Father Maximilian. It was also the patronal feast of their City of the Immaculate, Niepokalanów, as they called it in Poland. Every friar would have a joyous smile on their face and spend the day in either prayer or recreation.
December 8 was always a beautiful day, beloved by all, especially when it snowed and covered all their buildings with a fresh, white, blanket.
Piotr knew Our Lady smiled as she looked down from Heaven on their sparkling city on this day.
Today was different.
Piotr was limping behind a small group of friars who were returning to the city for the first time in nearly three months. The group of them had been arrested in September when the Nazis invaded Poland, and kept in prison as the new regime took power.
Father Maximilian was leading the way to the monastery, and as they approached the entrance, a heaviness descended upon them all.
Some of the friars were crying, kneeling down and trying to pick-up the pieces of a statue that had been torn down. Typically, Our Lady was standing there with her arms outstretched, welcoming them into the friary.
This time her face was shattered and her arms were broken off.
Father Maximilian consoled each of the friars and urged them to keep their spirits up.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled, dear brothers! The Immaculata is greater than these statues! Let us get up! She needs our help!”
As Piotr walked the streets of the small city, he saw that many of the buildings were in disarray. His heart grew heavy as he approached the printing house, where they printed their daily newspaper that reached 230,000 souls. Their monthly magazine was even bigger, reaching one million souls with the good news of the Immaculata.
He saw the door off its hinges and Piotr rushed to see the damage.
What he saw was difficult to bear. Nearly all their printing equipment had been taken away by the Nazi pillagers, except for their oldest machines.
The tears began to run down Piotr’s face. He was one of the editors of the newspaper and mourned the loss of their media apostolate.
He heard footsteps behind him and felt a warm hand on his shoulder.
“Courage, dear Piotr. They left us enough machines to start printing again!”
Piotr turned around to see Father Maximilian’s smiling face. Nothing ever seemed to faze him!
“Father Maximillian, do you not see what is in front of you? Look, all of our publications were burned and we barely have enough machines to run our newspaper! Not only that, the Nazis told us that we need their permission to print any literature!”
Father Maximilian looked puzzled.
“Piotr, don’t see what we need to do? We need to ask permission! It’s as simple as that! After we clean-up our beautiful city, let us start planning what our first issue will be. Trust me, the Immaculata will not disappoint!”
Piotr was stunned by this childlike trust Father Maximilian had in Our Lady. Over the years he had both admired and detested this attribute of Father Maximilian. No obstacle was too big for Father Maximilian, and what really bugged Piotr sometimes was that every time he brought up a problem, somehow it would be solved! It simply didn’t make sense, but whenever that happened, he would try to humbly resign himself to the Immaculata’s will.
Father Maximilian led Piotr outside and they watched for a moment all the other friars busily working, repairing doors and restoring statues to where they belonged. He put an arm around Piotr and spoke to him with joy in his voice.
“Isn’t it beautiful how our buildings are still standing?! The thing to do now is to pray well in order to win as many souls as possible. Let us, then, tell the Blessed Virgin that we are content, and that she can do with us anything she wishes.”
Come back next Sunday for the next chapter!