Saint Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941) was a Polish friar. Before becoming a priest, he had a vision of the Virgin Mary asking him to remain pure and to become a martyr. He agreed. During World War II, he hid 2,000 Jews in his friary. He was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Auschwitz. During his internment a prisoner went missing, so the 10 men from the block were sent to starve to death. One of the men cried out lamenting for his family and children, so Father Kolbe volunteered to take his place. He led the men in songs and prayer. At the end of three weeks Father Kolbe and three men were still alive. He was then killed with an injection of carbonic acid. He was later beautified and made a saint.
Because of his courage for accepting Christ's call (through Christ's mother) and taking the place of a family man without objection or violence toward his murderers, I salute Saint Maximilian Kolbe as the Peace Activist of the Week.