St. Maximilian Kolbe
On the institution of the Militia Immaculata:
I remember when, as a boy, I bought myself a figurine of the Immaculata for five kopecks. I always loved the Immaculata. Later on, in the Franciscan Minor Seminary in Lwow, where we heard Holy Mass in the choir, I prostrated myself on the floor before the altar, and promised that I would fight for her. How I would do this I did not know at the time, but I visualized fighting with material weapons.
A WAR FOR MEN’S HEARTS
When the time came to enter the novitiate – or was it the profession of vows – I don’t remember correctly, I made known to the Master my difficulty concerning the Religious state. Father Dionysius soon changed my mind about this fighting for the Immaculata physically, with material weapons. He told me to recite the “Sub Tuum Praesidium” once daily. From that day until today I recite this prayer daily for I began to understand what that fight for the Immaculata would really be.
At that time I was conscious of a greater tendency to pride; nevertheless I felt the Immaculata drawing me to herself more and more closely… I had a custom of keeping a holy picture of one of the Saints to whom she appeared on my prie-dieu in my cell, and I used to pray to the Immaculata very fervently. One of my confreres, upon seeing the picture, remarked that I must have a great devotion to that Saint. But it was really the Immaculata to whom I was directing my prayers.
Years later, the Freemasons in Rome began to demonstrate openly and belligerently against the Church. They placed the black standard of the “Giordano Brunisti” under the windows of the Vatican. On this standard the archangel, St. Michael, was depicted lying under the feet of the triumphant Lucifer. At the same time, countless pamphlets were distributed to the people in which the Holy Father was attacked shamefully.
Right then I conceived the idea of organizing an active society to counteract Freemasonry and other slaves of Lucifer. In order to be sure this idea was given me by the Immaculata, I sought the advice of Fr. Alexander Basile, a Jesuit, who was my spiritual director as well as the confessor for the students of the Collegio (Serafico). Having listened to me, he put me under obedience to follow up this idea of an organization.