Monday, September 17, 2012

Surviving The Furnace

Scripture Daniel 3:19-26


Then (king) Nebuchadnez'zar was full of fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he ordered certain mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their mantles, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were cast into the burning fiery furnace. Because the king's order was strict and the furnace very hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnez'zar was astonished and rose up in haste. He said to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?" They answered the king, "True, O king." He answered, "But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods." Then Nebuchadnez'zar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace and said, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, servants of the Most High God, come forth, and come here!" Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego came out from the fire.

Comment – Surviving The Furnace
The deathcamp Auschwitz became the killing centre during WWII where the largest numbers of European Jews were murdered by the Nazis. One Christian man who died here became a martyr to the truth of evils of Nazism - a true hero for our time, a saint who lived what he preached, total love toward God and man ...

http://auschwitz.dk/Kolbe.htm


Maximilian Kolbe studied philosophy, theology, mathematics, and physics.

During his time as a student, he witnessed vehement demonstrations by the Freemasons against Popes St. Pius X and Benedict XV.

In 1918, Kolbe was ordained a priest. Kolbe left Poland for Japan in 1930, spending six years there.

During the Second World War, he provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews whom he hid from Nazi persecution in his friary in Niepokalan├│w.

On 17 February 1941, he was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison. On 28 May, he was transferred to Auschwitz as prisoner #16670.

At the end of July 1941, three prisoners disappeared from the camp, prompting the deputy camp commander, to pick 10 men to be starved to death in an underground bunker in order to deter further escape attempts.

"There is no greater love than to give up your life for your friends" (Jn 15, 13).

When one of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, "My wife! My children!", Maximilian Kolbe who was not one of the 10 chosen to be executed, offered himself to die in the this man’s place. The commander of the concentration camp accepted the exchange.

In the starvation cell, he celebrated Mass each day and sang hymns with the prisoners.

Each time the guards checked on him, he was standing or kneeling in the middle of the cell and looking calmly at those who entered.

After two weeks of dehydration and starvation, only Kolbe remained alive. (I understand it is rare to survive more than a week without water – Gary)

He was taken out of the gas chamber only to be put to death by injection.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian_Kolbe


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