The Polish Friar, martyred by the Nazis by lethal injection in 1941, offered his life in exchange for that of a man with a wife and family. He belonged to the Conventual Franciscan Friars, who have a strong presence in this country with a Formation House in Oxford.

St Maximilian Mary had a great devotion to Our Lady. In his childhood, he was granted a vision of the Mother of God, who offered him two crowns – the white crown of heroic virtue, and the red crown of martyrdom. He chose both. His choice was honoured, equally in his life as a Friar and in his death by martyrdom.

May he pray for us, and may God bless you in your own life and calling this day.