Friday, XIX Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, Pray for us

Readings: 1st: Ez 16:1-15. 60. 63; Ps (Is 12); Gos: Mt 19:3-12

This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on:,,   

Today, the Friday of the nineteenth week of ordinary time, the Church honors a great saint, Maximilian Mary Kolbe, priest and martyr.

Born in Poland on 8 January 1894, he entered the Franciscan Order in 1910. After his studies, he was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome in 1918.

On his return to Poland, he founded the Militia of the Immaculate Movement of Marian Consecration in 1917. This order flourished and became one of the largest Catholic religious orders in the world.

In 1941, he was imprisoned by the Nazis in the Auschwitz death camp. There, he offered his life for another prisoner who had a family to take care of. Maximilian was killed with a fatal injection on August 14, 1941.

In 1982, Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian as a “martyr of charity”. Maximilian Kolbe is the patron saint of journalists, families, prisoners, the pro-life movement and the chemically addicted.

Today, the Pharisees asked him: “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” If this question was tough at the time it was put to Christ, today some say it is a thousand times tougher to answer. However, others suggest that it is easier and simpler to answer today.

The reason is simple. We live in a world where marriage has taken a relative definition, and where most marriages end up in divorce.

Although, the pharisees knew what was right, their motive betrayed them. They came for their own selfish reason and to put Christ to test.

However, Christ knew their plot and condemned divorce. He taught that the root of divorce is selfishness. Through this, he preserved the sacredness of the marriage institution.

Today, many of us are faced with questions like these. Some come with genuine intentions, while others come to test us, and to make us fail into error, or deny what our faith teaches us.

So, we must always ask God to keep us firm and grant us the wisdom to say and do what is right. Especially, to defend the sacred institutions upon which our existence and faith depend.

Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, Pray for us

Peace be with you.



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