Thursday, October 10, 2002

St. Maximilian Kolbe's last letter made available to the public

For the 20th anniversary of the canonization of Maximilian Kolbe, the Conventual Friars Minor of Poland opened the archives at Niepokalanow, the "City of the Immaculate," built by the priest himself. Among the saint's manuscripts is the last letter he wrote to his mother. The letter expresses a tenderness not manifested in other writings. Its contents indicates that his sacrifice -- he voluntarily offered his life in place of a father of a family sentenced to death in Auschwitz -- was something that matured over a lifetime. "Dear Mother," he wrote. "Toward the end of May I arrived by railway convoy at the Auschwitz concentration camp. All is well with me, dear Mother. You can be at peace about me and my health, because the good God is everywhere and he thinks with great love about everyone and everything. It would be better if you did not write me until I send you another letter, because I don't know how long I will be here. With kind greetings and kisses, Raymond Kolbe."

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