Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Modern Feast of Maximilian Kolbe and V-J Day

524 Mass 1949 Latin
Solemn Mass, Nagasaki Cathedral, 1949 for anniversary of St. Francis Xaver's arrival in Japan
Today in the modern Roman Calendar is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Clearly, it can't be on the traditional one...on that calendar, it is the vigil of the Assumption, on which he died in Auschwitz in the year of Our Lord 1941.

It is traditionally a day of fasting and abstinence. Part of me wishes that Fridays were the only days of fasting and abstinence. Indeed, they are in the new law. Should the traditional law be restored, and indeed, should it ever have changed? Good question. The other part of me says, no, we need more suffering.

Anyways, we talked about coincidence, or rather the hand of God in the world in our 33 Days to Morning Glory discussions on Sunday. J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit utilizes the theme of luck to illustrate that luck is not exactly random. There is a greater force at hand, i.e. by the grace of God things work out.

St. Maximilian Kolbe spent his religious life dedicated to the Immaculata. His works and those of his fellow friars  were vastly disseminated throughout the world, and the Catholic population turned to Our Lady through the Militia of the Immaculata.

It is not a mere coincidence, then, that St. Maximilian Kolbe died on the vigil of the Assumption. Nor it is a mere coincidence that in the shadow of the atomic bombs, the war in the Pacific came to an end on the Assumption in the Far East, and its vigil-four years after the saint's death- in the United States and Europe.

This is striking, as Kolbe had spent time in Japan, and his monastery in Nagasaki managed to escape the blast that devastated the Catholic population (Nagasaki had been the port where priests could enter, and thus the faithful were concentrated there through the centuries of persecution), even though that it was on the side of the mountain that was not in harmony with nature according to Shinto belief.

I reserve the right to hold a torn opinion over the atomic bomb. So no comments on that, please.

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