still a young child in Poland, St. Maximilian Kolbe (8 January 1894 - 14
August 1941) was known to be rather boisterous, so much so that his mother
asked him once in exasperation, "What is going to become of you?" Her question
made him think, and he asked Our Lady the same question:
"I felt very sad
and went to the Blessed Virgin and asked Her what would become of me. After
that, I asked Her again in church. Then the Blessed Virgin appeared to me,
holding two crowns. One was white [representing purity], and the other red.
[representing martyrdom]." Our lady then asked him which he would choose.
"I choose them both." Our Lady smiled and disappeared.
St. Maximilian grew up, became a priest, and founded the confraternity (a
fraternity that includes laymen) known as the Militia Immaculata (also known
as "The Militia of the Immaculata"), a movement whose purpose is "to convert
sinners, heretics, and especially Masons, and to sanctify all under the patronage
and through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary." To this end,
he encouraged conscecration to Mary and, because he was so inspired by the
story of the converison of the Jew Alphonse Ratisbonne, the wearing of the
Though very sick with tuberculosis, he published a magazine, Knights of
the Immaculate, to fight religious apathy and founded monasteries in
Poland and Japan. When the Nazis invaded Poland, he was arrested and sent
to Auschwitz. There, in July 1941, a prisoner escaped, and in retribution
for such, the Nazis' method was to kill ten of the remaining prisoners. One
of these apparently doomed prisoners was a married man with children. St.
Maximilian asked the Nazis if he might die in that man's place, and his wish
was granted. He was starved and dehydrated for three weeks -- weeks spent
spiritually tending to and singing hymns with the nine prisoners with him
-- and then given a lethal injection of carbolic acid on 14 August.
The Militia Immaculata
In St. Maximilian's
"system," one consecrates oneself to Mary by joining the Militia Immaculata
to help in the conversion of souls through the intercession of Our Lady.
In joining a Confraternity, your prayers and intentions are explicitly shared
by others (hence the more "corporate nature" of St. Maximilian's way of Total
Consecration as contrasted with that of St. Louis de Montfort). You will
also be the recipient of mailings, magazines, etc., intended to deepen your
resolve and assist you in trusting Mary. To do this, three steps are necessary:
resolve to offer
yourself as an oblation to the Blessed Virgin and to act as an instrument
of her holy hands in bringing souls to her Son;
enroll in the Militia
piously wear the
After you've decided
to consecrate yourself and become a member of the Militia Immaculata, choose
a Marian Feast Day on which to have your name enrolled. The greatest of these
Feasts are listed below (because the Militia Immaculata follows the
post-conciliar calendar, I've chosen only those dates that are the same on
both Novus Ordo and traditional calendars so that there will be no "issues"
for traditionalists when trying to enroll):
of the Immaculate Virgin Mary at Lourdes
||Our Lady of
the Blessed Virgin Mary
||Our Lady of
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
||Our Lady of
Now, notify the
closest Militia Immaculata center of your intentions. At the bottom of
page (will open in a new browser window), you will find a form with which
to relate your personal information and the date you want to be enrolled.
Prepare yourself in the days preceding the date you've chosen. Attend Mass,
go to Confession, do penance, pray the Rosary, engage in spiritual readings,
especially the writings of St. Maximilian and other Marian Saints.
On the chosen day, make the intention of receiving the indulgences attached
to the consecration; consciously renounce all attachment to sin, even venial;
go to Confession; attend Mass; receive the Eucharist; pray 6 Paters, 6 Aves,
and 6 Glorias for the (Catholic and holy) intentions of the Pope; and pray
the prayer of consecration written by St. Maximilian:
Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother,
God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to thee. I, N___, a repentant
sinner, cast myself at thy feet humbly imploring thee to take me with all
that I am and have, wholly to thyself as thy possession and property. Please
make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and
eternity, whatever most pleases thee. If it pleases thee, use all that I
am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of thee:
"She will crush your head," and, "Thou alone have destroyed all heresies
in the whole world."
Let me be a fit instrument in thine Immaculate and merciful hands for introducing
and increasing the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls,
and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed Kingdom of the most Sacred
Heart of Jesus. For wherever thou enters, one obtains the grace of conversion
and growth in holiness, since it is through thy hands that all graces come
to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise thee O Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against thy enemies.
If the steps above
are followed, a Plenary Indulgence is received.
If there is attachment to venial sin, a partial indulgence is received instead.
Finally, wear the Miraculous Medal
Once the consecration is complete, continue to build up your trust of and
devotion to Mary. Ask for the intercession of St. Maximilian to help you
become a good child of Mary.