75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe
Week 16 November 27 – December 4
Week 16 – Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
Most people do not aspire to poverty. Jesus However, taught Blessed are the Poor in Spirit for
the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Mt. 5:3. The Son of God emptied Himself and took the form of
a slave, becoming poor so that we might become rich. Phil. 2:7. Every Christian therefore who
wants to follow in the footsteps of Jesus must be Poor in Spirit.
Maximilian desired the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven so he became poor in the eyes of the
world, becoming Poor in Spirit and emptying Himself of everything, relying only on the riches of
When Maximilian founded the first City of the Immaculate in Niepekalanow Poland, they had no
tables, so at dinner time the friars would put planks of wood across their suitcases and sit on the
He used to say debts were his wealth because they induced trust in the help of God through the
Virgin. He was always an optimist and in the hardest times never faltered in courage.
He often said it was fine-proper even-for us to live in shacks, to wear patched habits and
mended shoes, so long as we spared no expense when it came to the most modern machines
and devices to spread the message.
He was actually happiest when the greatest poverty reigned. He said a religious order must be a
school for saints, so the friary must radiate simplicity, penance, and poverty.
“God forbid,” he told his old professor Dominic Stella, “that we ever try to make a profit here in
the City of the Immaculate. Rather than that it would be better if the whole place burned down!”
He was often encouraged by his Provincial superiors and others to adopt more business like
practices but Maximilian chose instead to rely on the generosity of Our Lady.
It was hard to argue with him and his Poverty of Spirit as by the end of 1929 in a country of only
31 million, 343,750 copies of the Knight of the Immaculata magazine was in monthly circulation
with many other publications on the drawing board as well as an electric generating plant and
other new structures had been built housing expensive machinery.
O Mary, your Son, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was born in a lowly stable. May we
become Poor in Spirit in intimation of Him who became poor for our sake so that we might
become rich in Spirit in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Meditations and Questions
1. What does it mean to be Poor in Spirit?
2. How was St. Maximilian Poor in Spirit?
3. How can I be Poor in Spirit?
4. How does my Consecration lead me to be Poor in Spirit?