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 Saint Maximilian 
 Maria Kolbe 
             THE SIX FRIENDS 
 A LIFE GIVEN   |   CHRONOLOGY   |   SPECIAL PATRON OF OUR DIFFICULT TIMES


January 8, 1894
Raymond Kolbe was born in Zdunska Wola, Sieradz district, province of Lodz, Diocese of Wlocawek. He was the second of the five sons of Julius Kolbe and Maria Dabrowska. He was baptized the same day in the parish church of the Assumption.

June 29, 1902
He received First Communion in the parish church of St. Matthew in Pabianice, from the hands of the parish priest, Father Edward Szulc.

August 18, 1907
He received the sacrament of Confirmation in the parish church of the Assumption in Zdunska Wola, from the hands of the Bishop Msgr. Casimir Zdzitowiecki.

Joining the Friars Minor Conventual

September 1907
Raymond Kolbe started his novitiate in the Order of Friars Minor Conventual in Lviv, wearing the Franciscan habit and taking the name of Friar Maximilian.

September 4, 1910
Raymond Kolbe started his novitiate in the Order of Friars Minor Conventual in Lviv, wearing the Franciscan habit and taking the name of Friar Maximilian.

5 settembre 1911
Friar Maximilian made his temporary simple profession in Lviv, in the hands of the Minister Provincial, Father Pelegrin Haczela.

Studies in Rome

November 10, 1912
He began his studies of philosophy at the Gregorian University in Rome.

November 1, 1914
Friar Maximilian, in the International Seraphic College Chapel in Rome, made his solemn profession in the hands of the Vicar General of the Order, Father Domenico Tavani, and added to his name, Maximilian, that of Our Lady, Maria.

October 22, 1915
He obtained his doctorate in philosophy at the Gregorian University.

November 4, 1915
He began his theological studies at the St. Bonaventure Pontifical Theological College of Friars Minor Conventual in Rome.

January 20, 1917
On the day of the 75th anniversary of the apparition of the Immaculata to Alphonse Ratisbonne, he had the inspiration to found a Marian association.

October 16, 1917
With six fellow Franciscans of the International Seraphic College of Rome hefounded the "Militia of the Immaculata" (M.I.).

April 28, 1918
He was ordained a priest by Cardinal Basilio Pompilj in the church of Sant'Andrea della Valle.

April 29, 1918
He celebrated his first Mass in the church of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, at the altar where the Immaculata had appeared to Alfons Ratisbonne in 1842.

March 28, 1919
At the request of Msgr. Dominique Jaquet, Pope Benedict XV blessed verbally the M.I.

April 4, 1919
The Vicar General of the Order, Fr. Domenico Tavani, blessed and confirmed in writing the M.I.

July 22, 1919
Fr. Maximilian obtained his doctorate in theology at the St. Bonaventure Pontifical Theological College in Rome.

The Return to Krakow

July, 23-29, 1919
Father Maximilian left Rome and returned to Poland.

October 1919
He started teaching Church history at the seminary of the Friars Minor Conventual in Krakow.

December 20, 1919
The Archbishop of Krakow, Msgr. Adam Stefan Sapieha, authorized the print of the statute of the M.I. in Polish.

August 11, 1920
Father Maximilian went to Zakopane for a treatment of tuberculosis; simultaneously he served as chaplain of the Climatic Hospital and remained there more than eight months.

January 2, 1922
The Vicar of the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Pompilj, approved the M.I. as "Pious Union of the Militia of Mary Immaculate."

January 1922
The first issue of the M.I. journal, entitled Rycerz Niepokalanej, was published in Krakow; with a print run of 5,000 copies.

Grodno's Years

October 20, 1922
Fr. Maximilian settled at the friary of Grodno, and there began the publication of the monthly magazine Rycerz Niepokalanej (The Knight of the Immaculata).

December 1922
The issue of January 1923 of the Rycerz Niepokalanej was printed with its own printing press, operated by hand.

November-December 1924
The first calendar-almanac of Rycerz Niepokalanej for the year 1925 was printed with a print run of 12,000 copies.

August 28, 1926
During the first Congress of Catholic Poles in Warsaw (28-30 August) Father Maximilian talked about the vocation and responsibility of the journalist. The meeting, among other things, hoped for the publication of a Catholic newspaper.

September 18, 1926
Father Maximilian had to return to Zakopane for treatment of his tuberculosis. There he remained for about seven months.

November 20, 1926
Pope Pius XI sent his blessing to Rycerz Niepokalanej on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of its foundation.

December 18, 1926
Pope Pius XI granted indulgences to M.I. erected at the International Seraphic College of Rome.

April 13, 1927
Father Maximilian returned from Zakopane.

April 23, 1927
Pope Pius XI elevated the headquarters of M.I., located at the International Seraphic College in Rome, to Sedes primaria, that is, as headquarters for the entire M.I., thus giving it the right to aggregate the branches erected by local bishops.

June 13, 1927
Father Maximilian met with Father J. Ciborowski, priest of Adamowice, to examine the possibility of obtaining from Prince Jan Drucki-Lubecki a plot of land near Warsaw, to build a "friary-typography."

The First Period of Niepokalanów

July 11-12, 1927
He started the negotiations with the administrator of Prince Drucki-Lubecki and the prince himself to get the land for the building of the new "friary-typography." The prince specified the conditions under which he would sell a plot of five morga of his estate of Teresin (40 kilometers from Warsaw), that would host the friary-typography, eventually called Niepokalanów (City of the Immaculata).

July 21, 1927
During the Provincial Chapter held in Lviv, 19-21, July, 1927, Father Maximilian was awarded the title of "Master of the Order" by the Minister General Father Alfonso Orlini, who also gave his approval for the establishment of Niepokalanów.

August 6, 1927
The blessing of a statue of the Immaculata took place in Teresin, as the "first stone" on the forecourt of the future "friary-typography."

October 5, 1927
Fr. Maximilian and his confreres started the construction of the "friary-typography."

October 31, 1927
Canonical erection of Niepokalanów friary.

November 21, 1927
During the Provincial Chapter held in Lviv, 19-21, July, 1927, Father Maximilian was awarded the title of "Master of the Order" by the Minister General Father Alfonso Orlini, who also gave his approval for the establishment of Niepokalanów.

December 7, 1927
The Minister Provincial, Fr. Cornelio Czupryk, blessed the new friary. The religious family consisted of two Fathers and 18 Brothers. The superior was Father Maximilian Kolbe.

July 21, 1928
The novitiate was transferred from Lviv to Niepokalanów.

September 19, 1927
Opening of the minor seminar in Niepokalanów.

January 14 - February 5, 1930
Father Maximilian, in order to prepare the foundation of a mission in the Far East, undertook a pilgrimage visiting Vienna, Rome, Padua, Assisi, Turin, Marseilles, Lourdes, Paris (Rue du Bac), Lisieux, Augsburg, Strasbourg, Wurzburg, Berlin and Torun.

February 26, 1930
The first missionaries (Father Maximilian, Friar Zeno Zebrowski, Friar Hilary Lysakowski, Friar Severin Dagis, Friar Sigismund Krol) left Niepokalanów by train to the Far East.
They embarked the ship "Angers" from Marseilles to Hong Kong. Father Maximilian stopped for twelve days in Shanghai where two friars remained in the hope of setting up a Marian magazine in Chinese.

The Stay in Japan

April 24, 1930
Father Maximilian, Friar Zeno and Friar Hilary arrived in Nagasaki. The local bishop, Msgr. Januarius Hayasaka, graciously welcomed the missionaries and authorized the publication of a Marian magazine in Japanese. Father Maximilian committed to teaching philosophy at the diocesan seminary. The missionaries rented a house near the cathedral.

May 24, 1930
The first issue of Mugenzai no Seibo no Kishi was published in Nagasaki, with a print run of 10,000 copies.

June 12- July 3, 1930
Father Maximilian went, through Siberia, to Poland to participate in the Provincial Chapter (21-24 July).

July 24, 1930
The Provincial Chapter confirmed Father Maximilian as superior of the Japanese mission and appointed his brother, Father Alfons Kolbe, as Guardian of Niepokalanów.

August 13-25, 1930
Father Maximilian with two clerics, Friar Mieczyslaw Mirochna and Friar Damien Eberl, returned to Nagasaki through Russia, Siberia and Korea.

December 3, 1930
Father Alfons Kolbe, superior of Niepokalanów, died in Warsaw. He was succeeded by Father Florian Koziura.

May 16, 1931
The editorial office of Kishi was transferred to the suburb of Hongochi, at the foot of Mount Hikosan, where the Polish missionaries built a friary that was called Mugenzai no Sono (Garden of the Immaculata).

May 29 -July 24, 1932
Father Maximilian travelled to India in order to explore the possibility of establish a third Niepokalanów. After several meetings, he returned to Nagasaki.

April 7, 1933
Father Maximilian returned to Europe to participate in the Provincial Chapter to be held in Krakow.
August 31 - October 4, 1933
Father Maximilian returned to Japan with Father Cornelius Czupryk, new superior of Mugenzai no Sono.

April 16, 1936
The minor seminar opened in Mugenzai no Sono.

May 23 -June 23, 1936
Father Kolbe returned to Poland permanently.

The Second Period of Niepokalanów

July 13-16, 1936
Father Kolbe took part in the Provincial Chapter in Krakow. He was appointed as Guardian of Niepokalanów.

October 1, 1936
The Minister General of the Order, Father Bede Hess, at the request of the Provincial Chapter, appointed Father Maximilian as a "perpetual definitor" of the Polish religious Province.

December 8, 1936
On the initiative of Father Maximilian, the Order of Friars Minor Conventual consecrated itself to the Immaculata.

January 21 - mid-February 1937
Father Maximilian travelled to Italy (Rome, Piglio, Assisi, Padua) to reorganize the M.I. and participate in the celebration of the two decades of M.I.

December 8, 1937
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the founding of Niepokalanów he talked on Radio Warsaw. He also began a five-year plan to make more efficient the action of M.I. in Poland.

December 8, 1938
The first of the new radio broadcaster SP3RN (Polish station 3 Radio Niepokalanów)A Niepokalanów took place. Father Maximilian opened the transmission.

August 23, 1939
The Polish religious Province of Friars Minor Conventual was divided into two provinces: the first, of St. Anthony of Padua and Blessed James Strepa, based in Krakow: the other, of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with headquarters in Warsaw. Niepokalanów was aggregated to the Province of the Immaculate Conception.

August 25, 1939
Father Maximilian was confirmed as Guardian of Niepokalanów from Krakow Provincial Chapter held on 23-25 August.

II World War

September 19, 1939
Father Maximilian, along with other 35 friars, was arrested by German troops. They remained prisoners in the internment camps of Lamsdorf (Lambinowice) from November 21, Amtitz (Gebice) from 24 September, and Ostrzeszow from 9 November

December 8, 1939 Father Maximilian and his confreres were released.

November 20, 1940
The German authorities, at Father Maximilian's request, gave permission to print one single issue of Rycerz Niepokalanej (December 1940 - January 1941) exclusively for the Warsaw area, with a print run of 120,000 copies.

February 17, 1941
Father Maximilian was arrested and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison in Warsaw with four Fathers: Father justin Nazim, Father Urban Cieslak, Father Pius Bartosik and Father Antonin Bajewski (Father Pius Bartosik and Father Antonin Bajewski were beatified on June 13, 1999 by Pope St. John Paul II).

May 28, 1941
From Pawiak, Father Maximilian was taken in a train full of prisoners to the concentration camp of Auschwitz, where he was assigned the registration number 16670.

Between July 28 and August 1, 1941
The director of the concentration camp of Oswiecim, Fritsch, in reprisal for the escape of a prisoner from block 14 A, to which Father Maximilian belonged, chose 10 inmates condemning them to death by starvation. Father Maximilian expressed the desire to take the place of one of the condemned, a family man (Francis Gajowniczek). Fritsch agreed. The prisoners were locked up in the bunker of the block 13 (later block 11).

August 14, 1941
Father Maximilian Kolbe, still alive after several days of starvation, was killed by an intravenous injection of phenol.

August 15, 1941
The body of Father Maximilian was burned in one of the Auschwitz crematoria and his ashes were dispersed.

The Universal Recognition

March 12, 1959
Public Consistory during which the cause of beatification for Father Maximilian Kolbe was exposed in the presence of Pope John XXIII.

March 16, 1960
Pope John XXIII decreed the introduction of the cause for the beatification of Father Maximilian.

September 23, 1961
The apostolic process for the beatification started in Padua.

November 13, 1965
At the joint request of the Polish and German Conference of Bishops, Pope Paul VI granted the dispensation of canon 2101 of the Code of Canon Law, allowing to start the discussion on heroic virtues of Father Maximilian although fifty years since his death had not passed.

October 17, 1971
On the anniversary of the founding of M.I. and during the Synod of Bishops on the ministerial priesthood, Pope Paul VI presided personally over the solemn ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica, during which he beatified Father Maximilian.

November 5, 1978
For the first time, in Assisi, Pope John Paul II defined Father Maximilian "patron of our difficult century."".

June 5, 1982
The bishops of Poland and Germany wrote together to the Pope to ask that Maximilian Kolbe be venerated as a martyr.

October 10, 1982
At the end of the year dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, on the eighth centenary of his birth, in St. Peter's Square, Pope St. John Paul II proclaimed Father Maximilian Kolbe a Saint and a Martyr of Charity.

March 25, 1983
Decree that extended the liturgical memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe to the universal Church.