The most admirable quality of St Maximilian Kolbe would be selflessness. He was a selfless man who volunteered to sacrifice his own life in order to save another man’s life. His selflessness had no boundaries as he spent his whole life in the service of God and helping those in need. At the meagre age of 13, he received a vision of the Virgin Mary. This vision was significant because he selflessly chose to follow both the path of sanctity and also the path of a martyr. St Maximilian Kolbe went on to receive ordination 1918. However, shortly after, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

His disease in no way stopped the brave heart from continuing the work of God. Being a strong devotee of the Virgin Mary, he looked at his illness as an opportunity to suffer for the Mother of God. He was selfless and determined in converting sinners and the enemies of the Catholic Church to the path of God and the Virgin Mother. In 1941, owing to his selfless nature, he volunteered to willingly suffer death in place of another prisoner. The deed and courage of Maximillian Kolbe spread around the Auschwitz prisoners, offering a rare glimpse of light and human dignity in the face of extreme cruelty. After the war, his reputation grew and he became symbolic of courageous dignity. Kolbe was beatified as Confessor of the Faith in 1971 after which he was canonised as a martyr by in 1981.

As Christians we must inculcate the quality of selflessness in ourselves. Jesus suffered death on the cross for our sins. St Maximilian Kolbe offered his life to save another one’s. These are true acts of selflessness, which makes them truly great individuals.

Being selfless is a mindset. On a simple level, it’s about putting someone else before you. It’s about doing somebody a favour even when it hurts you a little. It’s about realizing that life isn’t just about your own needs and preferences, but rather looking out for another’s as well. As Christians we must help those who are in need of various things more than us. Jesus sacrificed for us, we must sacrifice for others. It can be through simple acts such as during the days of fasting, we abide from eating our favourite dish, we should make the same and give it to feed the hungry. Only then would fasting be fulfilled in its true sense. Thus even through simple acts like this, we must continue to pray and be selfless children of God.