Japanese Catholics gratefully commemorated St. Maximilian Kolbe
Japanese Conventual Franciscans celebrated the ninetieth anniversary of the arrival of Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe to Nagasaki. During a Mass celebrated in the monastery founded by Father Maximilian, the Franciscans commemorated the person and work of the Polish saint.
“The situation of pandemic helps us to look at life as St. Maximilian, for instance in the perspective of eternal life,” said Father John Masatoshi Yamaguchi.
“Polish Knights of the Immaculate and pilgrims from Poland were to participate in the Holy Mass, but the pilgrimages were canceled because of the pandemic,” he added.
Father Maximilian came to Nagasaki in 1930 and started to publish the monthly “Knight of the Immaculate.” The first ‘Knight’, which has been printed in Japanese until today, was published a month after his arrival. As a doctor of philosophy, Father Maximilian also became a lecturer at the seminary in Nagasaki. A year after his arrival, he founded a convent of conventual Franciscans.
During the six-year stay of Father Kolbe in Nagasaki, about twenty Polish monks came to the Conventual Franciscan monastery. A smaller seminary was also established there.
St. Maximilian Kolbe is especially known for saving a man’s life in the German death camp of Auschwitz by volunteering to be killed instead of one of his inmates.