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 Saint Maximilian 
 Maria Kolbe 
             The six friends 


Father Anton Maria Głowiński

Father Anton Maria Głowiński was born in Galati (Romania) on June 12, 1892, on the eve of the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, and that is why on his baptism, which he received in the local parish church of the Friars Minor Conventual, he was given the name of Anton.
The father, Callisto, of Polish origin, was an official of the Romanian State Railway; his job forced him to be absent from home, and his wife, Antonina Antonovici, of Romanian origin, had to take much more care of the Christian formation of the children, Anton and Valeria.
Anton was good-natured, sober, measured in his speech, engaged in studies. After secondary school, Anton felt the call to consecrated life in the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, in whose parish church every day he participated in the Holy Mass.
In September 1911, he was sent to Assisi to complete his novitiate year.
On November 7, 1912, at the tomb of the Seraphic Father, St. Francis, he made his simple profession.
Later he was sent to Montottone (Marche region, Italy) for a philosophical course and to Rome to the Seraphic College for theology, where, on December 16, 1915, he made his solemn profession.
On August 10, 1917, in the church of St. Apollinaris, he was ordained a priest by Cardinal Vicar Basilio Pompilj.
The next day he celebrated his first Mass at the tomb of St. Peter.
The superiors, having noted his deep intelligence, decided that he had to achieve a doctorate in theology.
He received that on September 6, 1918. On September 13, Father Głowiński left for Assisi with the mandate of prefect of the student friars.
In the ancient friary of Le Carceri on Mount Subasio, there were thousands of prisoners of World War II, among which there were a hundred Romanians of Transylvania.
Father Anton often went among these compatriots, bringing them material and spiritual help.
Along with Father Pal he had printed a booklet of prayers in Romanian with brief remarks on the principal truths of the Faith, and he distributed it to all prisoners.
In 1918 throughout Europe there was the great pandemic influenza, called “Spanish flu” because the first cases occurred in Spain. Father Głowiński contracted it during a visit to the Romanian prisoners.
On the evening of October 11, 1918, he was confined to bed. After eight days of illness, he died on the feast of St. Luke, on October 18, 1918, at approximately 9:00 pm, at the age of 26.
Thus, in the exercise of his priestly ministry, the first knight and co-founder of M.I. died. St. Maximilian remembered him with these words: " will never forget the simplicity, the purity that shone from his face.".


Friar Antonio Maria Mansi (Friar Antonio of Hope)

Friar Antonio Maria Mansi was born in London on March 9, 1896, the son of Maria Michela and Bonaventura Mansi of Ravello (Salerno). At age 13, on the feast of St. Anthony, Antonio took the Franciscan habit of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, in the convent of Ravello. He was sent to Bagnoregio (Viterbo) for high school studies, and to Assisi for the novitiate. On the tomb of St. Francis, on October 4, 1914 he made his simple profession.
After the novitiate Friar Antonio was sent to Montottone (Marche region, Italy) for a philosophical course.
For theology studies, he was sent to Rome to the Seraphic College, where he met Friar Maximilian and they became friends.
On March 19, 1918, Brother Antonio Mansi made his solemn profession in the hands of His Eminence Cardinal Boschi and he was ordained a priest on May 9, 1918, in the chapel of the Seraphic College.
As a man of culture, Brother Mansi spoke English, French and Latin well, and knew the Greek language.
He cultivated poetry, singing and music, which he studied at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, showing a keen talent.
Like Father Głowiński, he also fell ill with Spanish influenza, contracted while he took care of a fellow Franciscan priest.
He died on October 31, 1918, giving his life for the good of the Church, for Pope Benedict XV and the Order, invoking the name of Mary. Father Kolbe wrote in his diary: "On October 31, 1918, in the morning, fell asleep in the Lord Brother Antonio Mansi, with a very edifying death.
Before he died he promised ‘to make me walk straight by hook or by crook.’ He cultivated so sublimely humility, obedience, patience, simplicity, religious poverty, fraternal love, the commitment in the exact observance of the rules, the most lively faith, the most tender attachment to prayer, the glory of God, the Church, the Holy Father and to the Order, a firm and unshakable hope.
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Father Enrico Granata

He was born in Lettere (Naples) on August 8, 1888, the son of Giuseppe and Giuseppa D’Antuono.
He entered the Order of Friars Minor Conventual in 1914, when he had already completed his high school studies with the Redemptorists.
He began his novitiate in Montella, but he completed it in Santa Anastasia, where the College and the novitiate had been transferred, and where he made his simple profession on November 23, 1915.
He began his theological studies in Barra, but completed them in Rome (1916-1918), at the Seraphic College, where, on November 21, 1917, he made his solemn vows.
On April 28, 1918, he was ordained a priest by Cardinal Vicar Basilio Pompilj in the Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle.
He was assigned first to St. Anastasia and then to Ravello.
As in those years the Province of Naples helped the Province of Abruzzo, he worked as pastor in Lanciano and Pettorano.
Having survived the martyrdom of Saint Maximilian, Father Granata, on March 12, 1962, testified at the Padua apostolic process for his beatification. With evident emotion, he showed the Miraculous Medal around his neck received by Father Pal along with Father Maximilian on the evening of October 16, 1917.
He was hospitalized in the Retirement Home “S. M. Immaculata” of Bagni di Tivoli, near Rome, where he endured the age and infirmities with peace and contemplation.
He died on January 24, 1964, at the age of 75.


Father Joseph Peter Maria Pal

Joseph Peter Pal was born on October 6, 1889 in Zapodia, Moldova (Romania), the son of Rose and Michael Pal.
At age 16, in 1905, he entered the Seminary of the Friars Minor Conventual of Halaucesti.
Having completed his novitiate, on October 31, 1909, he made his simple profession.
In 1912 he came to Italy to continue his studies in philosophy in the College of Montottone (Marche region, Italy), where he met with Friar Anton Głowiński.
He made his solemn vows in 1913 in the College of Montottone. On October 18, 1913, he was transferred to Rome at the International Seraphic College, becoming a friend and advisor of Brother Maximilian.
On 22 April 1916, with a singular dispensation of Pope Benedict XV, he was ordained a priest in his first year of theology, with the clause to continue his studies, without exercising offices or pastoral services.
On April 23, Easter Sunday, he celebrated his first Mass at the tomb of St. Peter. In 1919, after seven years spent in Rome, Father Pal returned to Romania, where he was appointed guardian and pastor of the parish church in Liuzi-Calugara.
He was later elected Provincial Minister of the Province of St. Joseph, and he maintained this position for 15 years, until his death.
In 1941 Father Pal published the first volume of his work The Catholic origin of Moldova; the following year he published the second volume.
Through this work of high historical and apologetic value, he saved the Moldovan Catholics from sure deportation.
In 1947, during the novena in honor of St. Anthony of Padua, Padre Pal visited a typhus patient who wanted to be reconciled with the Lord, and contracted the disease.
On June 21, 1947, Father Joseph Peter Pal, singing the Salve Regina and the Sub Tuum praesidium, died staring at the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


Father Arcangelo Biasi (Girolamo)

He was born on December 7, 1897, in Sfruz (Trento), the son of Giovanni and Rosa Fedrizzi, the third of nine children. At his baptism he received the name of Archangel, which he changed into that of Girolamo (Jerome) when he received the religious habit. At twelve, in 1909, he entered the College of Friars Minor Conventual of Camposampiero (Padua).
On October 4, 1915, he made his simple profession; then in October 1916 he was transferred to Rome, where on July 18, 1918, at the Lateran University, he graduated in philosophy and, on December 8, 1918, he made his solemn profession.
In the founding of M.I., Brother Jerome has a special place, because “coming back from 'La Vigna,'" as said Father Kolbe, "for the first time I spoke with Brother Girolamo Biasi and Father Giuseppe Pal about the foundation of the Association."
During the first meeting held after the vespers of the evening of October 16, 1917, when M.I. was started, Brother Jerome Biasi served as secretary.
Having fallen sick of tuberculosis, in July 1918 Brother Jerome was sent to Genoa, to the convent of Bolzaneto, to get healthy again.
After the rest period, he returned to Rome, but in December he was forced to interrupt his studies because of the illness that consumed him.
He returned to the Province and was sent to Arcella, for a complete rest. After recovering, in 1920 he resumed his theological studies in Padua. On July 16, 1922, he was ordained a priest in Padua, in the Basilica of Our Lady of Carmel, by Bishop Msgr. Pellizzo.
He celebrated his first Mass over the Holy Ark, and he was later bound to Venice, to the parish of Santa Maria Gloriosa as an associate pastor. He spent seven long years in many hospitals, in Venice, S. Pietro di Barbozza, Cres, Pula, Piran, Camposampiero.
In his suffering way, he learned to keep alive the flame of hope, accepting the will of God, while desiring the healing to be able to work in the Lord’s vineyard.
Despite his suffering, he was able to give peace and joy to his confreres and to the patients he met in the hospitals, despite the most complete inactivity and solitude to which he was forced.
In his bed of suffering, Father Jerome prayed offering, in a heroic way, his priestly service. He wrote: "Jesus does not ask me extraordinary things, but He wants me to be faithful to Him in the small things and that through these things I give Him a proof of my love. "And continues, " erfection does not consist of arduous and difficult things, but of the accomplishment of our duties, accompanied by a great love for God and an ardent love for all men.".
In the eve of the feast of St. Luigi Gonzaga, on June 20, 1929, he died at age of 32, in the hospital of Camposampiero (Padua), consumed by his slow disease, smiling as he did during his whole life. He rests in a chapel of the Basilica of Camposampiero.
On November 17, 2000, he was recognized as Servant of God. His cause of beatification is underway.


Father Quirico Pignalberi

Born in Serrone (Frosinone) on July 11, 1891, son if Egidio and Caterina Proietti. Welcomed by the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, he professed his simple vows on November 14, 1909, and his solemn vows on December 8, 1913.
On August 10, 1917, he was ordained a priest. On March 12, 1918, he left for military service, returning a few months later for a long leave with his family.
He was then assigned to the friary of Capranica in Sutri (Rome).
On April 1, 1979, on the occasion of his pastoral visit to the parish of St. Bonaventure in Rome, entrusted to the Friars Minor Conventual, the Holy Father St. John Paul II met with Father Quirico Pignalberi, the last surviving companion of Father Kolbe and co-founder of M.I. Fr. Pignalberi died on July 18, 1982, at age 94 at Anzio.
He has left some manuscripts, a collection of his personal meditation notes, occasional sermons, instruction, preaching patterns, memories, letters. Because of his reputation for holiness, on June 29, 1992, his cause of beatification was begun.
On March 3, 2016, he was declared Venerable by Pope Francis.