The Militia of the Immaculata
Militia of the Immaculata, USA
The Militia of the Immaculata of St. Maximilian Kolbe
The Militia of the Immaculata seeks to captivate the masses for Jesus Christ and renew demoralized society through union with Mary Immaculate.
Specifically they strive for:
1) the conversion of sinners and non-believers beginning with themselves;
2) the growth of all in holiness;
3) reparation for sin and building up the kingdom of the Sacred Heart of Jesus through consecration to Mary, and participation In the Mass, Holy Communion and Eucharistic Adoration.
While still a student friar, not yet a priest, St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, OFM CONV., founded the MI on October 16, 1917 in Rome, Italy. The MI today continues to follow the original charter he gave to it then.
The Original Charter of the MI
"She shall crush your head" (Gn 3:15). "You alone (Mary) have crushed all heresies in the whole world" (former Office of the BVM).
"Modern times are dominated by Satan and will be more so in the future. The conflict with hell cannot be engaged by men, even the most clever. The lmmaculata alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan. However, assumed into heaven, the Mother of God now requires our cooperation. She seeks souls who will consecrate themselves entirely to her, who will become in her hands effective instruments for the defeat of Satan and the spreading of God's kingdom upon earth."
Pursue the conversion of every person living in sin, heresy, schism and especially Freemasonry, and the growth in holiness of all persons, under the sponsorship of the B.V.M. Immaculate.
II.Conditions for Membership
1. Make a voluntary and total oblation of oneself to the B.V.M. Immaculate as an instrument in her most holy hands.
2. Carry or wear the Miraculous Medal.
3. Have one's name placed on the register of the Pious Union of Rome at the Primary Center or at some canonically erected Affiliated Center.
III. Means of the Apostolate
1. Once a day if possible, beseech the Immaculata with the ejaculation: "O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all who do not have recourse to you especially for the Freemasons."
2. Use all the legitimate means that one's particular state in life, condition, and varying opportunities make possible, the choice of which is left to the zeal and prudence of each member, and especially, propagate the Miraculous Medal.
The Meaning of the Initials "MI"
"MI" is the monogram for Militia Immaculatae, the international Latin name of the movement. All of its members - men, women or youth - are called "Militia of the Immaculata." This title signifies gallant generosity and a readiness to fight hard and even to sacrifice our lives for the Immaculata's cause just as our founder did.
Am I Ready to Consecrate Myself Totally to the Immaculata and Join the MI?
The spirit of the MI is the spirit of continual progress in Marian consecration. Its members strive to become every day more and more the PROPERTY of the Immaculata and work as diligently as they can to win the hearts of their neighbors for her. Not everyone who enrolls as a knight understands perfectly in the beginning the excellence of this consecration, but when lived in the spirit of the MI, the Immaculata enlightens and strengthens us more and more and gradually leads us to growth in holiness and fruitful service within the Church.
How Do I Go About Enrolling in the MI?
A. Select the date on which you want your name recorded in the official register of the MI and send it with your name to the canonically established National Center.
The Address for the National Center is:
Militia of the Immaculata
P.O. Box 5547
Peoria, IL 61601
Dates on which to have your name recorded in the official register of the MI:
January 1, Solemnity of the Mother of God
February 11, Our Lady of Lourdes
March 25, Annunciation
May 13, Our Lady of Fatima
May 31, Visitation
May / June, Mary, Mother of the Church
June, Immaculate Heart of Mary
July 16, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
August 15, The Assumption
August 22, Queenship of Mary
September 8, Nativity of the B.V.M.
September 15, Our Lady of Sorrows
October 7, Our Lady of the Rosary
November 21, Presentation of Mary
December 8, IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
December 12, Our Lady of Guadalupe
B. Prepare yourself for the day of enrollment by daily Mass if possible, the Rosary, short meditation, and some spiritual readings.
C. If at all possible, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on or before the day of your enrollment, or at least within the week following.
D. On the day of your enrollment, renounce all attachment to sin, even the least sin, and ask Jesus to give you the Plenary Indulgence the Church grants on the day of your enrollment. In this way you remove all the obstacles you can to our Lady's complete possession of you in the Holy Spirit.
E. On this same day, attend Mass and receive our Lord in Holy Communion. After Mass, in front of an altar or statue of our Lady (in church if possible), recite the official act of consecration. Finally, pray for the Pope's intentions.
This will be one of the most important days of your life. Therefore, take your time and ask our Lady and the Holy Spirit for enlightenment and ask St. Kolbe to pray for you.
Official Act of Consecration for Militia of the Immaculata:
O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, N., a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.
If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head, " and, "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world." Let me be a fit instrument in your Immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth, in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies.
Who Is St. Maximilian?
St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (1894-1941) was born at Pabiance, in Russian Occupied Poland. He was baptized Raymond at the Parish Church. Already proficient in virtue, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him in 1906 A. D., about the time of his first communion.
She offered him the graces of virginity and martyrdom and asked him which he wanted. Filled with zeal, he begged for both, and was filled thereafter with the most ardent desire to love and serve this Immaculate Queen.
He joined the Order of Friars Minor Conventual at Lvov in Austrian Occupied Poland, where he took the name Maximilian, and after finishing preliminary studies he was sent to the International Seraphic College in Rome to pursue doctorates in philosophy and theology.
In 1917 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbon, renowned anti-Catholic and agnostic of Jewish lineage, St. Maximilian was moved by divine grace to found a pious association of the faithful known as the Militia of the Immaculate.
The Militia was to be a loosely organized tool in the hands of for the conversion and sanctification of non-catholics, especially those inimical to the Church. Its members consecrated themselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary, invoked Her daily for the conversion of sinners, and strove by every licit means to build up the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart throughout the world.
Ordained to the priesthood in 1918, St. Maximilian returned to Poland to teach Church History in Cracow, where he organized the first group of the Militia outside of Italy. Because of ill health he was freed to devote his time exclusively to the promotion of the Militia, whereupon he founded the "Knight of the Immaculate," a monthly Roman Catholic Magazine promoting the knowledge, love and service of the Immaculate Virgin, in the conversion of all souls to Christ Our Lord.
The phenomenal growth of this apostolate led to the foundation of the first city of the Immaculate, Niepokalanow in 1929. This was a friary of Franciscan priests and brothers engaged in the use of all kinds of modern equipment so as to promote via the mass media the Militia through all parts of Poland.
Two years later St. Maximilian, heeding the call of the Holy Father to all religious, to come to the aid of the missionary efforts of the universal Church, volunteered to go to the Orient to found another city of the Immaculate, Mugenzai No Sono.
St. Maximilian returned to Niepokalanow, as it spiritual father, in 1936 and under his able direction the number of the friars there grew above 900 in the months preceeding World War II. Publishing apostolate was producing 1,000,000 magazines monthly as well all 125,000 copies of a daily paper for the 1,000,000 members of the Militia worldwide.
After the invasion of Poland by the German Wermacht in September of 1939, the friars dispersed and Niepokalanow was ransacked. St. Maximilian and about 40 others were taken to holding camps, first in Germany, and later in Poland. By the mercy of the Immaculate they were released and allow to return home on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the same year.
During the war the friars turned to caring for about 5,000 Jewish refugees of the Poznan district as well as providing a repair shop for the farming machinery of the locale.
To incriminate St. Maximilian, the Gestapo permitted one final printing of the "Knight of the Immaculatae" in December of 1940. In February of 1941, they came to Niepokalanow and arrested St. Maximlian. He was taken to Pawiak Prision in German Occupied Warsaw, Poland, and later was transferred to Auschwitz.
Over the entrance gate of this concentration camp was a sign in German, "Work makes free!". In reality, upon entering the prisoners were told that all Jews had the right to live only two weeks, Roman Catholic priests 1 month.
At Auschwitz several million Roman Catholics were put to death along with another several million persons of Jewish lineage. The objective of Hitler, in his hatred for Jesus Christ, was both to remove all witness to the truth of the original revelation of the God of Israel (the Jewish nation), as well as all who came to believe in Him in His Incarnation by Mary (Roman Catholics).
Thus, St. Maximilian, Knight of the Immaculate Virgin, was placed by Divine Providence at the very center of the ideologic and spiritual conflict of the century, and was destined by God to be the sign of contradiction to a nation given over to diabolic hatred of God and His people.
St. Maximilian, in response to the vicious hatred and brutality of the prison guards, was ever obedient, meek, and forgiving. He gave counsel to all his fellow prisoners "Trust in the Immaculate!" "Forgive!" "Love your enemies and pray for your persecutors!" He was noted for his generosity in surrendering his food despite the ravages of starvation that he suffered, for always going to the end of the line of the infirmary, despite the acute turberculosis afflicting him.
In the end, by the maternal mediation of the Virgin Mary, he received the grace to be intimately conformed to Christ in death. For on the night of August 3, 1941 a prisioner sucessfully escaped from the same section of the came in which St. Maximilian was detained. In reprisal, the commandant ordered death by starvation for 10 men chosen at random from the same section.
One of the condemned, Seargent Franciszek Gajowniczek, shouted out, lamenting that he would never see his wife and children again. In his stead, St. Maximilian Mary, who had remained standing all night long during the selection of the condemned, stepped forward and offered his own life in exchange for this man. Ten days later, having led the other 9 in prayers and hymns, St. Maximilian was given a lethal injection of carbolic acid, and passed into eternal glory.
Pope Paul VI beatified St. Maximilian in 1973 and Pope John Paul II canonized him in 1982 as a martyr of charity.
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