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Feast of Saint Maximilian

August 14, 2017

Message of Giovanna Venturi, General Directress

“The doctrine of the Martyr of Auschwitz, Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe, OFM Conv., which flows from the most authentic Franciscan spirituality, has brought forth fruits even among Secular Institutes with the birth of the ‘Father Kolbe Missionaries of the Immaculata.” The spirituality, in fact, which animates the life of the ‘Father Kolbe Missionaries of the Immaculata,’ springs forth from total consecration to the Immaculata, following the example of the Martyr of Auschwitz.   These words of St. John Paul II, in the Decree of Pontifical Approval of the Institute, are an echo of innumerable expressions of Father Faccenda: “The Institute is well known to have a teacher, a model, a theologian, and an inspiration in Father Kolbe.”  Dearest Missionaries and Volunteers, The celebration of the feast of St. Maximilian, 2017, has a special meaning; in fact, it occurs during the centenary of the foundation of the Militia of the Immaculata.  Our feast, therefore, ought to be a moment of action giving thanks and praise to God for the gift that he has given the Church and the Institute with this saint, but also a great responsibility to keep the spirit of St. Maximilian alive.   I share a thought of Father Faccenda with you:

“Today St. Maximilian entrusts us with a priceless gift: his Marian and missionary charism. In fact this charism is the gift of grace which he first received from the Spirit and which can now continue to bear fruit through us. This gift asks to be received as the gift of the dying Christ Crucified: ‘Behold your Mother.”  This gift waits for men and women able to let themselves be inflamed with love for God the Trinity, the Immaculata, the Church, and man, to the point of reaching the martyrdom of charity, in imitation of St. Maximilian. This is what I am pondering and repeating to those I still have the opportunity to meet in my priestly ministry, in particular to the Father Kolbe Missionaries and Volunteers of the Immaculata, and all those who are called to participate in the Marian, Kolbean movement throughout the world." (1)   Let ourselves catch the spirit of St. Maximilian.  Let us seek to be persons of great desires and vast horizons,  Ready to spend ourselves in the everyday “ordinariness” of life. Let us make his wish our own: "I want to be holy, a great saint". 

We entrust to his intercession and to the Immaculate, Assumed in heaven, the path of preparation for the Assembly, that it is a moment of great communion and docility to the Spirit. 

This is my wish for you and your families, 

Giovanna Venturi

(1) Orientamenti di Vita Spirituale


The Cell of Love is Always Open