Ultimate Sacrifice

An example of laying down your life for another comes from Maksymilian Maria Kolbe, a Polish priest who ministered during World War II. During that time, Kolbe and the friars at the City of Mary Immaculate sheltered approximately 2000–3000 refugees from his homeland. These heroic acts of “aiding Jews and the Polish underground” led to his arrest in February 1941; and later, his imprisonment in Auschwitz, Nazi Germany’s infamous concentration camp. It was there that Kolbe volunteered to take the place of a fellow prisoner who was randomly selected to die by starvation after hearing that this prisoner had a wife and children. After suffering a few weeks without food, Koble died by lethal injection on August 14, 1941. Kolbe laid down his life to save another and is now honored as a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church (“St. Maksymilian Maria Kolbe,” Encyclopedia Britannica, October 6, 2023, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Maksymilian-Maria-Kolbe).