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maximillianMaximillian Kolbe was born near Lodz Poland in 1894.  He joined the Conventual Franciscans.  Marked by an ardent devotion to the Blessed Virgin who had appeared to him as a child, he set up the Militia Immaculata, preached Marian consecration and founded monasteries in Niepokalanow Poland and Nagasaki Japan.  Eventually imprisoned by the Nazis in Auschwitz, in 1941 he offered himself in exchange for a father who was to be starved to death.  John Paul II canonised him in 1982 and proclaimed him the patron of the suffering of the twentieth century. – CTS New Daily Roman Missal 2012, p 2910

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