Thomas Griffin (8/14/20)
Excerpt: “The man that cried out for his family that day, who Maximilian gave his life for, was named Franciszek Gajowniczek. He survived the camp, and he was able to go back home to his family after the war. In 1971 Fr. Kolbe was beatified and one year after Kolbe’s beatification, Franciszek Gajowniczek and nearly 150,000 pilgrims went to Auschwitz on the anniversary of his beatification. The survivor of this death camp provided inspiring introductory remarks which included his first sentence:
‘I want to express my thanks, for the gift of life.’
Life is a tremendous and precious gift which Fr. Kolbe lived in a dynamic manner. The characteristics that surrounded his existence were his response to the gift of life and included profound prayer, intense charity, radical trust, and an awe-inspiring hope in God’s victory. Franciszek Gajowniczek was the recipient of Fr. Kolbe’s sacrificially
driven and gift-living self. His only reaction could be gratitude and a call for others to give thanks for the gift of life they have also been given.”
Thomas Griffin teaches Apologetics in the religion department at a Catholic high school on Long Island and lives with his wife. He received a master’s degree in theology and is currently a master’s candidate in philosophy. He writes for several Catholic media outlets.
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