Today we honor Father Maximillian Kolbe, a Polish priest who in 1941 was put to death in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.
Born in 1894, Kolbe Joined the Franciscans who sent him to Rome to obtain doctoral degrees both in Philosophy and Theology. After teaching and publishing in Poland, Kolbe was sent to Japan where he managed the language well enough to establish a monastery at Nagasaki.
Back in Poland at the Nazi invasion, with his having a German father he escaped imprisonment until he was caught running an underground railway for saving Jews.
In 1941 three Auschwitz prisoners escaped, and the commandant condemned ten prisoners for assisting the escapees. He had them locked in a room deprived of water and food.