Today, August 14th, is the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe. St. Maximilian was born in 1894 and ordained at age 24. He founded a magizine called, Knight of the Imaculata. (I wonder if he would have a blog today?)
St. Maximilian spent several years in Japan but moved back to his homeland in Poland. He was arrested in 1939 and again in 1941. You may not realize this but Hitler was not real fond of those Catholics either and St. Maximlian on May 28th he was sent to Auschwitz. St. Maximilian's time as Auschwitz as prisoner 16670 was harsh. He was beaten severely several times because of his dedication to the faith and his compassion towards the other prisoners.
In July, a prisoner escaped and to set and example and prevent further escapes, the commandant decided to execute ten random men by starvation. Ten men were selected and St. Maximilian stepped up and volunteered to take the place of Francis Gajowniczek because the man had a wife and children.
The commandant allowed the switch and the men were put into a block house and for the next three weeks, St. Maximilian was starved but he led the others in prayer and son. Finally after three weeks of being starved, St. Maximilian was given a shot of carbolic acid to kill him. His body was burned.
St. Maximilian was canonized in 1982. I can't really say why I like St. Maximilian so much. I think it's because he spent his life spreading the word of God and under harsh circumstances caring for his fellow man. In the end, he calmly gave his life for a man he did not know.