FACT Mission Statement

We are :
From various churches
Assisting and serving our communities
Christians working together
To make a difference

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Maximilian Kolbe and Manche Masemola

Maximilian Kolbe - Roman Catholic, Priest - born 8th January 1894, died in Auschwitz Concentration Camp 14th August 1941

Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish priest who was ordained in 1918. He spent time working in the newly independent Poland after ordination. Between 1930 and 1936 he worked as a missionary in Nagasaki, Japan. He built a monastery on a mountainside. He choose ( against advice ) a side of the mountain which wasn't considered in harmony with nature. Ironically it was this choice which saved the building and the friars when the atomic bomb fell on the city, as the other side of the mountain took the full force.

On his return to Poland he lived in the friary at Niepokalanow and here he sheltered up to 2000 Jews during the early days of the Nazi occupation. He then began amateur radio broadcasts against the Nazis and inevitably he found himself arrested by the Gestapo in February 1941. In the May he was transferred to Auschwitz.

In July, someone escaped from the block that Kolbe was held in and there were to be deaths of prisoners as a reprisal. One of the 10 men chosen, was a married man with children and Maximilian stepped forward to take his place. His offer was accepted. After surviving 3 weeks in a starvation and dehydration cell, he was finally executed by lethal injection.

He was canonised in 1981 in the presence of the man whose life he had saved.

Manche Masemola - Anglican, catechumen - Born 1913 Died 1928

A member of the Pedi tribe in South Africa, she came from the Transvaal. There was already a small Christian minority within the tribe and against the wishes of her parents, Manche attended preparation classes for Baptism. Each time she returned home from a class, she was beaten by her parents. They practised traditional religion and believed their daughter to be possessed by evil spirits. She died after such a beating and before Baptism. Her mother was Baptised 40 years later.

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