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Published:October 15th, 2012 14:43 EST
Catholics to Observe Anniversary of St. Kolbe`s Canonization

Catholics to Observe Anniversary of St. Kolbe`s Canonization

By SOP newswire


As Catholics prepare to enter into the Year of Faith, they also mark the 30th anniversary of the canonization of one of the greatest saint of modern times. In recognition of this milestone, the story of Maximilian Kolbe, the brave Catholic priest who stood up to the evil forces of Nazism and offered his own life for a total stranger at Auschwitz, is being brought to life in the dramatic theatrical production Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz, now touring the U.S. 

The 1982 canonization ceremony, which elevated Franciscan Friar Maximilian Kolbe to sainthood in the Catholic Church, took place at St. Peter`s Basilica in Rome and was celebrated by fellow Pole, Pope John Paul II, who referred to Kolbe as "the apostle of our difficult age." It`s interesting to note that the only Polish Pope in history was also subjected to the oppression of the same regime in Poland as a young man, and narrowly survived capture at the hands of the Nazis during one of the darkest periods in history. Incidentally, Pope John Paul II first decided to become a priest during 1941, the very year Fr. Maximilian died, lending a timeless and poignant connection between these two holy men of God. 

It is fitting that right now, at a time when religious freedoms and Christian values are under attack in our culture, that Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz should launch a nationwide tour bringing a gripping yet hope-filled message to our culture. 

Starring actor and film producer Leonardo Defilippis, the drama delivers Saint Luke Productions` signature live drama experience -- a one-man drama offering an encounter with a real person in an intimate atmosphere which lends a striking personal quality to the story. Audiences come face-to-face with Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, whose intense and unwavering love of Christ and Mary, the Mother of God, led to his imprisonment at the infamous Auschwitz death camp in 1941. There, Kolbe was subjected to forced labor, suffered unbelievable torture, and finally, boldly stepped forward to take the place of a married man with children, who was condemned to death by starvation. 

When he proclaimed the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI noted in his apostolic letter, Porta Fidei, "By faith, the martyrs gave their lives, bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel that had transformed them and made them capable of attaining to the greatest gift of love: the forgiveness of their persecutors." 

As the Catholic Church enters the Year of Faith and all are called to this opportunity to experience a renewed conversion to Christ in a deeper way, this makes the drama Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz even more timely. St. Maximilian stands as a perfect model for this special year -- after all, Kolbe not only lived for his faith by spreading the message of Christ as a journalist through the mass media, he also died for his faith by suffering forced labor, torture, beatings and starvation. Like Christ, he offered forgiveness to his enemies and persecutors and showed his love by voluntarily dying for a complete stranger. 

Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz is a gripping production, with professional multimedia elements which include a dynamic set, theatrical lighting, video imagery and a beautiful musical score which many audience members claim stays with them long after the production. 

To view the powerful trailer and learn more about the production, visit

To schedule interviews with Leonardo Defilippis, the actor, president and founder of Saint Luke Productions, please contact Janice Gonzalez, (360-487-9979 or of Saint Luke Productions.