by Fr Richard Heilman | July 27, 2017 11:24 AM
I recently posted that I believe Poland is the spiritual epicenter of the world, right now.
I’m sure others can add to these, but I point to St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy devotion for our times and Pope Saint John Paul II’s gradual turning of the Barque of St. Peter which led to increased devotions, especially Marian devotion and Eucharistic Adoration, and John Paul II’s focus upon Divine Mercy.
But, one of the most important fruits of the pontificate of Pope Saint John Paul II was the emergence of the “JP II Generation” and the resurgence of vocations … especially the AMAZING JPII new priests!! These are dynamic and holy (mostly young) men with great love for our Lady and a great love for their Catholic faith, with no desire to undo the rich heritage handed down to us, but to celebrate “all things Catholic” as a bountiful treasure chest that must be opened and embraced.
The strength of the Polish Bishops in undeniable, in the face of so many forces seeking to upend Catholic teaching. Poland remains the strongest in Europe in restricting abortions. Add to this, that in the middle of spiritual and moral decline worldwide, Poland consecrates their nation to Christ the King on November 19, 2016, at the close of the Year of Mercy.
While Poland has been strong in their Catholic faith for centuries, so was most of the Western world. The difference is that Poland has remained strong, while most of the Western world has, for the most part, abandoned their Catholic faith (e.g., Mass attendance is down near 5% in many parts of Europe).
What, we all want to know, is the “source” of this mighty strength found in Poland?
I am convinced that it all began on October 16, 1917 … just three days after the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal. According to Stephen Herreid,
100 years ago, St. Maximilian Kolbe founded the Militia of the Immaculata, an apostolate of religious and laypeople dedicated to “[winning] the whole world for Christ through the Immaculata, Mother of God and of the Church.” He was just 25 years old.
The young Polish Franciscan was only beginning his journey into the heart of the darkest, bloodiest century in human history. By the time of his death, when he offered his life for a family man in the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, Fr. Kolbe had become one of the most memorable heroes of his time. Pope Saint John Paul II canonized him on October 10th, 1982, calling him a “patron saint of our difficult century.”
St. Maximilian Kolbe was noted for his dedication to the usage of “new media” of his time. He is considered a patron saint of the pro-life movement and of journalism. Stephen Herreid writes,
St. Maximilian Kolbe embarked on another kind of harrowing when he founded the Militia of the Immaculata. He and his Militia marched courageously into the hell of modern, progressive brutality, and “preached unto the spirits” dominated by it.
They founded publications. They evangelized courageously where it was dangerous to do so. They used the most advanced media technology available to shine the light of truth. Fr. Kolbe even planned to establish a film studio.
This utilization of new media granted Fr. Kolbe the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of people, and to lead them to, what I believe, is the reason for Poland’s strength today – Marian Consecration. Yes, hundreds of thousands of people were consecrated to Jesus through Mary, and this is why grace continues to pour into Poland today. And, I believe, this gave rise to such heroic saints of our time in St. Faustina and Pope Saint John Paul II.
“While St. Maximilian Kolbe’s push for consecration was the largest,” according to Father Michael Gaitley, “the one going on right now is the second-largest ever, and the largest since St. Maximilian Kolbe’s.” Father Gaitley went on to say “now is the perfect time” to consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary. He said the “culture of death is strangling our country right now.” He added that Our Lady is trying to “bring Christ back there,” saying she comes when things look hopeless. There’s a “historical reason” for the new push to consecration. Fr. Gaitley said. “there’s something happening, something moving, something ahead,” while no one knows specifically what is coming. “Our Lady wants to be embracing all of us,” he added.
Yes, now is the perfect time!! We are in the womb of the centennial year of the Marian apparitions in Fatima (May 13 – Oct. 13), and we are also celebrating the 100th Anniversary of St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Militia Immaculata (Oct. 16).
This is why, this year – as we join forces for the nationwide 54 Day campaign called, “Novena for Our Nation“ – we have added the Kolbe consecration on Day 54. All participating prayer warriors will also be encouraged to join the Militia Immaculata, which is done by simply signing up HERE.
54 DAYS OF PRAYER TO THE FEAST OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY ON OCTOBER 7.
THIS IS A CALL FROM CARDINAL BURKE
Join tens of thousands of prayer warriors seeking the powerful intercession of the Blessed Mother as we ask God to heal our nation!!
Join to receive the daily prayers & reflections at novenaforournation.com
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