Well we made it safely to Poland. We met up with the group in Warsaw and headed to the small town of Niepokalanow on the outskirts, in our tour bus. The name of this town means Immaculate in Polish.
Niepokalanow has a large Franciscan seminary where St. Maximilian Kolbe was a Superior. St. Maximilian was a priest, a publisher of a Catholic magazine/newspaper, the founder of the Order of Knights of Mary, a missionary to Japan and a martyr.
He was arrested by the Nazis and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. One day a prisoner escaped. The Germans decided they would kill 10 prisoners in retaliation. One of the selected men to die cried out “My wife and children!” Hearing this Fr. Maximilian said “Take me instead.”
Maximilian was duly executed by injection of carbolic acid. He was canonized in the 1980s as a martyr. We had Mass in the Chapel where he and his fellow Brothers prayed and said Mass in. We visited his museum here containing many artifacts including the uniform he wore at Auschwitz.
It was a great start. Now off the sleep.