Sunday, November 27, 2016

Vatican 2016 - 75th Anniversary of The Death of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe

ISSUE DATE: 13 September 2016
STAMP/SHEET SIZE: 30 x 40 mm / 174 x 104 mm 
 STAMP DESIGN: Marco Ventura

The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will mark the 75th Anniversary of the death of Maximilian Mary Kolbe, a Franciscan priest declared saint and martyr in 1982 by Pope John Paul II. He was born in Zduńska Wola, Poland, in 1894 and baptized with the name Raymund. Given his parents limited resources, he entered the seminary to complete his secondary studies. After just two years he began his novitiate in the Conventual Franciscan order, taking the name Br. Maximilian. His life immediately became a living witness to the salvific plan of God for all creation through the mediation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. His motto, "To renew all things in Christ through the Immaculate Virgin Mary", was the spiritual foundation of his life and his intense work, as well as the idea behind the religious association he founded, the Army of the Immaculate One. Deported to Auschwitz in May 1941, he continued to witness to his deep faith by offering comfort and instilling hope - love is the only creative force, the song of a redeemed life that never dies. With great courage he sacrificed his life by suffering starvation in order to save another condemned person. As Pope John Paul II said, "the victory through faith and love was won by him in this place, which was built for the negation of faith in God and faith in man". The postage stamp produced by Marco Ventura depicts Saint Maximilian Kolbe preaching the redemptive force of love to people of various walks of life, including a deportee, where he opens his cloak as if to offer shelter and consolation. In the background is a palm branch, his emblem and a Christian symbol of sacrifice, since it flowers just when it seems to be withering, like the martyrs who sacrifice their lives to then find paradise as their reward.


Stamp image and description thanks to Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State