As we begin the New Year filled with hope and promise I share this
prayer to St. Anthony for inclusion in your daily meditations.
A Prayer to St. Anthony O Loving St. Anthony,
you were a special witness of
God’s power and love in your day.
Hear us now as we seek your powerful
intercession in our time.
We lift up our prayers for all families. Help
them to grow in their faith; may they
persevere in unity, love, and peace.
Bless our children, protect our young
people, and be a companion to those in
their senior years. Help them when they
are tested by sickness, suffering,
loneliness, or whenever they experience
loss in their lives.
Help all of us in our daily struggles, giving
us hope and peace.
Pray for us, St. Anthony, so that we may
continue to grow in God’s love. Intercede
for us through Christ our Lord! Amen.
Franciscans Honor Saint of Auschwitz with Relic Tour
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan who died in the World War II concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland, the Franciscan Friars Conventual of the Our Lady of the Angels Province, are sponsoring a pilgrimage of St. Maximilian’s relics.
The largest tour of his relics ever mounted in the United States, this pilgrimage of St. Maximilian’s relics will start on January 15 at the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City, Maryland, and will visit 38 ministry sites along the east coast and Canada. The pilgrimage of St. Maximilian’s relics concludes with a closing ceremony at the Shrine of St. Anthony on St. Maximilian’s feast day, August 14.
Crafted from bronze and silver and presenting different symbols from his life, the beautiful reliquary houses strands from Maximilian’s beard. Describing the value of relics to contemporary believers, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv., Minister Provincial of the Our Lady of the Angels Province, says, “Relics remind us that saints were real human beings with hair, skin, bones and blood. We venerate relics to connect with the real person behind them – now proclaimed by the Church to be in Heaven, from where he or she remains interested and involved in our lives.” Each visit will include a liturgy, opportunities for veneration, and materials for further prayer and study.
In his lifetime St. Maximilian established the Militia Immaculata (MI), an evangelization movement identifying with Mary, the Immaculate, founded “Cities of the Immaculata” in Poland and Japan, and published countless religious works, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 230,000, and a monthly magazine with a circulation of over one million. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1941 and transferred to Auschwitz, Fr. Kolbe volunteered to take the place of an innocent husband and father who was scheduled to be killed by the Nazis. Still alive after two weeks of starvation, Fr. Kolbe was injected with a lethal dose of phenol on August 14, 1941.
Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian as a “Martyr of Charity” and “Patron Saint of our difficult century” in 1982. St. Maximilian Kolbe is the patron saint of prisoners, journalists, families, the pro-life movement, and the chemically addicted.
Fr. Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv., Provincial Assistant to the MI, says “As Christians, we are called to reveal God’s love by our concrete actions. In our day, St. Maximilian’s martyrdom at Auschwitz is a preeminent manifestation of that.” Following up on what his confrere said, Fr. McCurry added, “His relevance to people in the 21st century lies in his validation that love conquers hate, and goodness will ultimately triumph over evil.”
|See the Detailed Schedule of the Pilgrimage|