The Crusade of Mary Immaculate
At the heart of this spiritual movement is the desire to love our Lord Jesus Christ with and through Mary; to offer prayer and personal sacrifices for the sanctification of souls; and by so doing to labour for the coming of the Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The propagation of the Miraculous Medal as the sign of one's personal consecration to Mary for the sake of Christ's Kingdom remains an essential work of the Crusade. The founder of the Crusade, Fr. Maximilian came to regard the press media as a key means for the spread of the Crusade. He established in Poland in 1927 a "City of the Immaculate" (Niepokalanow) to foster this goal. In 1930, the Crusade spread to Asia, whither Fr. Maximilian journeyed as a missionary to establish a "Garden of the Immaculata" in Nagasaki, Japan. After returning to Poland, and later being imprisoned by the Nazis, Fr. Maximilian was martyred at Auschwitz (Oswiecim) in 1941. He was beatified a Blessed of the Catholic Church in 1971, and canonised a Saint in 1982. Now known as Saint Maximiian Kolbe, the apostle of evangelisation, he assists his Conventual Franciscan confreres all over the world to explore the immense powers of the mass media as a positive means for preaching the Gospel of Christ more effectively.
In England, the printing and world-wide circulation of our magazine The Crusader of the MI is our outstanding apostolate in the area of mass media evangelisation. Each month The Crusader Magazine is distributed to more than fifty countries of the world, including several African countries; from Ethiopia to Ghana , to Nigeria, Zambia and South Africa; rom as far away as New Zealand to as close to home as Ireland; to the United States and Canada; to Brazil, Jordan and Japan, India and Sri Lanka. Annually we sent 29,784 single copies of the magazine. Additionally, on the first Saturday of each month we distribute 18,000 copies: making a grand total of 283,844 copies of the magazine circulated every year.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Conventual Franciscan Friar & Martyr
By Friar Gerard Toman OFM Conv.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, OFM Conv., was born in Poland in 1894. As a seminarian in Rome he witnessed a well-organised Freemasons demonstration against the Catholic Church beneath the very windows of the Vatican. This event inspired him to found the Militia Immaculatae (MI) evangelisation movement in October 1917.
Kolbe’s method of outreach was to encourage each and every individual to make a total consecration of themselves to the Immaculate Virgin Mary. This act of abandonment would result in personal sanctification, the conversion of Church opponents and ultimately the establishment of the universal reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.
After being ordained a priest, Kolbe began forming MI prayer groups and publishing a magazine. ‘Knight of the Immaculata’. The publishing ministry grew so rapidly that in 1927 he built an evangelisation centre near Warsaw called ‘Niepokalanow’ – City of the Immaculata. By the time of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, the City contained 650 friars and was the largest Catholic religious house in the world.
Kolbe utilised the most modern printing and administrative techniques available, enabling he and his friars to publish a daily newspaper and a number of periodicals. The Knight reached a circulation of over 1 million. Niepokalanow became the largest publishing house in Poland, perhaps the world.
In his zeal to win the world for the Immaculata, Kolbe, in 1930, established a missionary centre in Japan, and had plans for centres in India and China. He built an airship to better distribute his newspapers, had his own radio station, and had drew up plans for evangelising through television and films.
Whilst the Gestapo was thundering toward Niepokalanow to whisk him away to the death camp, Kolbe hurried to complete his essay on Mary’s self-title at Lourdes, France, “I am the Immaculate Conception’. His keen insights further developed the Church’s century old understanding that the blessed Virgin in the Mediatrix, or ‘gateway’ of all the graces that flow to humanity from the Trinity. Pope Paul VI called Kolbe, “clairvoyant” in his anticipation of the Marian theology of the Second Vatican Council. Blessed Pope John Paul proclaimed him, “Apostle of a new Marian era”.
Fr. Maximilian was imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in 1941, where he was singled out for special brutalities as a Catholic priest. In a supreme act of love, he defended the right to life of a prisoner who had been condemned to a starvation bunker by offering to take his place. Two weeks later, on Aug. 14th 1941, Kolbe’s impatient captors ended his life by a fatal injection. Blessed John Paul II canonised him a saint and “martyr of charity” in 1982.
Truly a saint for our difficult times, St. Maximilian Kolbe is the patron saint of journalists, prisoners, the pro-life movement and the chemically addicted.
(Edited extracts taken from the book, ‘Aim Higher: Spiritual and Marian Reflections of St. Maximilian Kolbe’)
The Crusader Magazine
If you have been inspired by the life and sacrifice of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, and feel that you would like to support his wonderful legacy in some way, then we encourage you to become one of the many subscribers to The Crusader Magazine.
In the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) the magazine is available for just £8 per year (the fee of £8 is for postage & packing) and, because St Maximilian wanted it, is available free of charge quarterly.
You can obtain the Crusader Magazine by writing to this address:
The Crusade Director
All Saints Friary
or if you would like a complimentary copy email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include your postal address and we will send you a recent copy of the magazine free of charge and without any obligation.