Saint Maximilian Kolbe was a saint who ultimately sacrificed everything during a time of great death and sin. Try to use that line to entice a middle school or teen to read more about his life? Might be tough until you show them this great graphic novel about the life of St. Kolbe.
Written by Jean-Francois Vivier and illustrated by Denoel, this story begins the day Fr. Kolbe was condemned to death and then goes into the story of his life and how the Virgin Mary changed it forever.
During this time of deep suffering and starvation, he kept hope alive by preaching to the other prisoners condemned to death. He shared this mission that was given to him by Mary with the other prisoners.
Fr. Kolbe goes on to explain how he became a priest and shares his devotion to the Miraculous Medal. The story is often interrupted by the solders in the concentration camp, but after they leave then the prisoners would ask for more of his story. Fr. Kolbe goes on about his founding of the Militia Immaculatae, creating a popular religious magazine and radio station, how he hid thousands of Jews in his monastery and created and published a religious newspaper that was circulated throughout Europe. As if that wasn’t enough, he also traveled to Japan to establish another Monastery.
Ultimately, Fr. Kolbe was one of four still living in the “hunger bunker”, and was killed by lethal injection. Pope John Paul II canonized Fr. Kolbe. By the grace of God, the man who Fr. Kolbe saved from death, Franciszek Gajowniczek, attended his canonization.
Maximilian Kolbe: The saint of Auschwitz, written by Jean-Francois Vivier and illustrated by Denoel, is a powerful story of the life and death of this beautiful saint. The graphic novel will keep kids focused upon the story and engage them into asking more questions about St. Kolbe and suffering of the concentration camps. It is important for them to know history presented in a way that shows how faith in God can get us through any dire situation – and that if we are called to suffer for our faith, we can do it with dignity even if there is indignity all around us.