The friars of the Conventual Franciscan mission in Denmark (a Jurisdiction of the Province of St. Jerome in Croatia) have published a children’s book to commemorate Maximillian Kolbe, who was murdered in Auschwitz eighty years ago. The book is entitled, “Mysteriet om de to kroner. Den Hellige Maximilian Kolbes usædvanlige liv” (The Mystery of the Two Crowns. The Extraordinary Life of Saint Maximilian Kolbe) by Gerhard Wenzel.

Friar Tomaž MAJCEN, OFM Conv., translated the book from German into Danish. He is a member of the Province of St. Joseph in Slovenia and is serving as a parish priest in the Sacrament Church in Copenhagen, Denmark. “Maximillian Kolbe is a saint who is close to my heart,” said Friar Tomaž, “His deep piety towards Mary inspires me. For Kolbe, Mary is the one who shows the way to Jesus. She never points to herself, but always to Jesus”
The story of Kolbe is a story of mercy, goodness, and charity. Although his life ended as brutally as can be imagined, one can see it as a love story. It shows that love and trust in the Virgin Mary can work miracles. Friar Tomaž added, “I would like a little more Marian piety in Denmark, Marian piety is very subdued here.”
Friar Tomaž is from Slovenia. He talked about how difficult it can be to distinguish between one’s own and God’s will. He once dreamed of coming to Canada and working for a Slovenian parish there. Speaking fluent and nuanced English, Friar Tomaž talked about how he first came to Oxford to strengthen his English, and then to Denmark. He mentioned how many of his dreams did not come true, and how he put his trust in Mary’s help. He suggested we all need to trust her and let her guide us.
Miracles of love are possible, according to the experience of St. Maximilian, when we rely on the intercession and mediation of the Immaculate. In an article from 1924, he states, “Rekindle love and trust in Mary Immaculate everywhere and you shall soon see tears flowing from the eyes of the most hardened sinners. You shall see prisons emptied, the ranks of honest workers increased; while home hearths will be redolent of virtue; peace and happiness will destroy discord and pain, for it will be already a new era” (The Writings of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe – Volume II – Various Writings, 1069).

Lisbeth RÜTZ

PHOTOS: Friar Tomaž MAJCEN, OFM Conv., with the book about Maximillian Kolbe. The book cove