Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish conventual Franciscan friar. He is famous for volunteering to die in place of a stranger in the German death camp of Auschwitz. The camp was located in then German-occupied Poland during World War II.
He remained in a monastery during World War II, where he organized a temporary hospital. He was released in 1939, but released just a few months after. He refused to sign the Deutsche Volksliste.
His monastery was shut down in February, 1941. He was arrested by the Gestapo. During his time in prison, he provided prayer for prisoners.
When one prisoner escaped the camp, the Commander randomly selected 10 people to be starved to death in an underground bunker. Kobe volunteered to take a place of a prisoner who screamed calling for his wife and children.
On October 10, 1982, Pope John Paul II canonized Father Kolbe and declared him a martyr of charity.
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