St. Maximilian Kolbe Relic 2016 Pilgrimage

As the new year quickly approaches, we friars would like to remind you of our upcoming
Pilgrimage of the Relics of St. Maximilian Kolbe.”

Kolbe relic final

From some of those strands, four identical reliquaries were created, one of which will be venerated during this pilgrimage.

In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Conventual Franciscan Friar, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Our Lady of the Angels Province has scheduled a pilgrimage of a relic throughout our province U.S. and Canadian territory. The reliquary pictured here is one of four that was created in 1971 (11 years prior to his canonization – thus marked as B. Max. Kolbe as he was then only elevated to blessed) to hold a portion of his beard that in 1938 was shaved after Friar Maximilian received permission from his Minister Provincial. It contains many symbols from the life of St. Maximilian: the base is in the shape of his birthplace of Poland, covered in the “thorns” of occupation by the Third Reich. Out of those thorns, however, burst forth a lily of purity and a tulip of martyrdom – symbols of love triumphing over hate. The strands of our saint’s beard are housed in a glass case entwined with our Franciscan knotted cord representing his vocation to our Order and our vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.

St. Maximilian first grew out his long beard to enhance his missionary work in Japan where the beard helped to earn the respect of the people he served. Upon his return to Poland, under the National Socialism, the beard instead provoked not only his own persecution but the persecution of his fellow friars, “Beards provoke the enemy who rapidly is approaching our friary. Our Franciscan habits also will provoke him. I can part with my beard. I can’t sacrifice my habit.” After having shaved Maximilian’s beard, one of the friars placed it in a pouch. Strands of the beard still are preserved in the Niepokalanow archives. (Claude R. Foster, Mary’s Knight, Marytown Press 2013, p. 586) From some of those strands, four identical reliquaries were created, one of which will be venerated during this pilgrimage.

Click the above image to order copies of St. Maximilian Kolbe: Martyr of Charity

Click the above image to order copies of St. Maximilian Kolbe: Martyr of Charity

In 1941, St. Maximilian demonstrated heroic charity by giving his life in place of fellow prisoner, Franciszek Gajowniczek; a husband and father who was one of ten men chosen to suffer death by starvation after being subjected to hours of standing in the hot summer sun, in the Auschwitz (Poland) concentration camp during World War II as consequence for one prisoner’s successful escape.  Franciszek’s a cry of despair,” What will become of my family?” moved Saint Maximilian to step forward and ask to be taken instead. Canonized October 10, 1982, St. Maximilian Kolbe was declared the “Patron Saint of our difficult century,” and a Martyr of Charity, by Pope Saint John Paul II.

2016 Itinerary
(Updates Will Occur Upon Change)

The Shrine of St. Anthony, Ellicott City  ~  January 15-17 (Opening Ceremonies)
Provincial House (Portiuncula Friary), Ellicott City  ~  January 18-21 (Private)
St. Casimir Church, Baltimore  ~  January 22-25 (Cancelled due to weather)
St. Wenceslaus Church & St. Ann, Baltimore  ~  January 29-31
Archbishop Curley High School, Baltimore  ~  February 2-4
St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore  ~  February 5-12
St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Church, Baltimore  ~  February 13-15

The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC ~  February 17-21
Post Novitiate (St. Bonaventure Friary), Silver Spring, MD  ~  February 22-24 (Private)

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Burlington ~ February 27-29
Holy Cross Catholic Church, Durham ~ March 4-6
Newman Catholic Student Center Parish, UNC at Chapel Hill ~ March 7
Iglesia Catolica de St. Julia (Catholic Church), Siler City ~ March 11-13
Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, Winston-Salem ~ March 15-18

St. Lucie Catholic Church, Port St. Lucie ~ April 1-3
St. Mark Catholic Church, Boynton Beach ~ April 8-10

Holy Cross Catholic Church, Atlanta ~ April 15-17
St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, Jonesboro ~ April 19-24

Mother Cabrini Catholic Church, Shamokin ~ April 30
St. Patrick Parish, Trevorton ~ May 6-8
St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Johnstown ~ May 13-15

St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, Athol Springs, NY ~ May 20-22
St. Francis High School, Athol Springs, NY ~ May 24-26
The Franciscan Church of St. Bonaventure, Toronto, ON ~ May 28-29
St. John the Apostle, Kingston, ON ~May 30-31
Holy Family, Kingston, ON ~ June 1-2
The Franciscan Church of the Assumption, Syracuse, NY ~ June 3-5
National Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine, Fonda, NY ~ June 10-12
Sisters of the Resurrection, Castleton, NY ~ June 14

Our Lady of the Cross Parish, Holyoke ~ June 17-19
St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Chicopee ~ June 21-23
Basilica of St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, Chicopee ~ June 24-26

Felician Franciscan Sisters (Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice), Enfield  ~  June 28-30
St. Paul Catholic Church, Kensington ~ July 1-3
St. John Catholic Church, Cromwell ~ July 4

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, New Bedford ~ July 8-10

St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Church, Elmhurst ~ July 15-17
San Damiano Mission, Brooklyn ~ July 18-20
The Roman Catholic Community of Most Holy Trinity-St. Mary ~ July 22-24

St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Point Pleasant Beach ~ July 29-31
The Church of St. Catharine of Siena, Seaside Park
and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Seaside Heights  ~  August 7

Return to MARYLAND
The Shrine of St. Anthony, Ellicott City ~ August 12-14 (Closing Ceremonies)

St. Maximilian playing chess

A bearded St. Maximilian smiles over the heads of his fellow friars, over whom he served as Guardian

              O God, who gave the Church and the world the priest and martyr
Saint Maximilian Kolbe,

burning with love for the Immaculate Virgin Mary
and with apostolic zeal for souls and heroic love of neighbor,
graciously grant, through his intercession,
that striving for Your glory by eagerly serving others,
we may be conformed, even until death, to Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, forever and ever. Amen

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