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Apostle

A limitless apostolic zeal burned in St. Maximilian. His secret was love for the Immaculata, to bring every man to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through her. This mission, in his own words, was "worth living, working, suffering, and even dying for, if God wants, as a martyr." 
 
Even sickness and the "cloister" of the hospital in Zakopane did not succeed in extinguishing his apostolic zeal. From his notes at this time we read: 
"I am reduced to the action of an MI member, and even this moderately, I do not organize anything; I only pray, help the others pray, and speak a little...” (KW 55)
 
A nurse from the hospital recalls: "I remember the night of a violent thunderstorm, when I phoned him and told him that there was not time to lose. He arrived with communion for a young woman who was dying, without the slightest worry about the rain and flooding. He left happy."

"...Humble, loving, unlimited, trusting abandonment to Mary, the Immaculata." (KW 972)

It was through this surrender that St. Maximilian hoped to accomplish his high calling: to be a saint. And, not only a saint, but "the greatest possible saint.  ... (for the) greatest possible Glory of God through the salvation of souls and the most perfect sanctification of oneself and others who live now and will live in the future, through the Immaculata." (KW Spiritual Exercises 1920)

St. Maximilian thought "big."  If the activity of the Militia was to be open to the grace of God for a great purpose, with all zeal, St. Maximilian was ready to spread devotion and filial love for the Immaculata. These "big" thoughts coupled with conviction, led to the apostolate of the press. The following excerpts from his writings shed light on its beginning: 
 
"The conferences in the 'Italian Room' were no longer sufficient, since the MI had already spread beyond the wall of Krakow. Only a magazine could join the dispersed individuals. So at the beginning of the year 1922, with the extraordinary help of the Immaculata, the Rycerz Niepokalanej begins." (KW 989 B)
 
"... The aim of the Rycerz Niepokalanej is not only to deepen and strengthen the faithful, but also to undertake the work for the conversion of those far from the church.  The tone of the magazine will always be friendly towards all, without minding the diversity of faith and nationality... its characteristic will be love, which learned from Christ..." (KW 944)

The day arrived in which Kolbe had no money to pay the bills for the press. His friend, brother friar, and co-founder of the MI, Father Quirico Pignalberi recalls: 

"He was in the church and was praying with all his heart to obtain the intercession of the Madonna, when he lifted his eyes, he saw a little bag on the altar. There was written: 'To my dear mamma, Mary Immaculate.' Inside was the money, the exact sum that was needed to pay the bill.  Full of joy, he brought it to his Superior, who gave him permission to use it."