Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Jim Davis - Florida Catholic A wooden cross holds a tiny relic of St. Max's patron saint. The Latin caption says, "From the hair of Maximilian M. Kolbe." Life-size statue shows a bound St. Maximilian Kolbe embraced by a concentration camp prisoner, recalling the saint's sacrifice of his own life. The bonded bronze statue faces Hiatus Road in Pembroke Pines. God the Father and God the Son bestow a crown on Mary, as the dovelike Holy Spirit flies over them. Jesus rescues a sinking Peter from the stormy Sea of Galilee in this stained-glass window in the church office. The Bible says that Peter was able to walk on the sea at first, but began to sink when his attention strayed to the wind and waves. Andrew is known as the first disciple, leaving his job as a fisherman to follow Jesus -- then bringing his brother Peter as well. Tradition says that after Jesus' resurrection, Andrew went to preach the Gospel in Greece. He is believed to have been tied to an X-shaped cross, where he suffered and even preached for two days until he died. Believed to be the same as the apostle Nathaniel, Bartholomew is said variously to have preached in India, Ethiopia and Parthia (modern Iran). He also brought the Gospel to Armenia, along with Jude. Bartholomew is often shown holding a knife, as a reminder that he was flayed before being martyred. James and his brother John were nicknamed Sons of Thunder by Jesus, perhaps because of their quick tempers. But Jesus also made them part of his inner council of disciples, along with their friend Peter. James was the first of the original 12 apostles to be martyred, and the only one whose death is recorded in the Bible -- in Acts 12:1-2. Also known as James the son of Alphaeus, James was at the first Council of Jerusalem, which commissioned Paul and Barnabas to evangelize the gentiles. In this window, he holds a fuller's club, an instrument used to beat out clothing, which was wielded as a weapon to kill him. A fisherman along with his brother James, John is also known as the "beloved disciple" of Jesus. He wrote the four books of the Bible named for him, plus the Revelation, or Apocalypse. He was exiled to the island of Patmos, but then was released and settled in Ephesus. He was the only one of the original disciples not to be martyred. However, he is often pictured holding a chalice with a serpent, for an attempt to poison him. Jude, also known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of St. James the Lesser. He wrote the second-to-last-book of the Bible, warning Jewish converts against several heresies. He brought the Gospel to the Middle East, especially Beirut and Edessa. He is often shown holding an image of Jesus, for a legend that the king of Edessa was given a cloth with an accurate picture of Jesus' face. Author of the first Gospel, Matthew was born as Levi and worked as a tax collector -- a job despised by other Jews. Various legends say he evangelized in Syria, Persia or Macedonia. In this picture, he holds a quill pen and a money bag, for his original career. Chosen by vote to replace Judas, who committed suicide after betraying Jesus, St. Matthias is believed to have preached first in Judea, then gone to what is now the former Soviet state of Georgia. How and where he died is a matter of dispute; but one legend says he was killed in Judea with an ax. St. Peter holds the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, a common artistic symbol for him. The symbol comes from Matthew 16:19, when Jesus told him, "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." St. Philip preached around northern Africa, from Ethiopia in the east to what is now Tunisia in the west. He died in Hieropolis, where he was crucified upside down as was Peter in Rome. Archaeologists in 2011 claimed to have found Philip's tomb in Hieropolis. St. Simon, also called Simon the Zealot, was a cousin of Jesus and served as bishop of Jerusalem after the martyrdom of St. James. He was sentenced to death by Atticus, the Roman governor after the fall of Jerusalem. St. Thomas is best known for doubting at first that Jesus had resurrected. But he became a bold apostle who missionized in Asia after the resurrection. His carpenter's square stands for churches he built in Babylon and India. He also holds arrows, for the manner of his death. Disciples cluster around Jesus in this bas-relief tabernacle on a wall at St. Max. His Sacred Heart opens to reveal the elements of the Eucharist. Wood-toned crucifix bears a somber, almost meditative Christ figure in the chapel at St. Max.
Photography: JIM DAVIS | FC
PEMPROKE PINES |
St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Pembroke
Pines, is named for a Holocaust-era martyr whose feast day is August 14.
Kolbe was a Franciscan who founded
communities in his native Poland, and in Japan as well. He returned to
Germany in 1936 because of ill health. Five years later, he was arrested and
sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz.
He is revered for his sacrifice in the camp,
offering his life in 1941 for a young husband and father who was scheduled for
execution. Pope John Paul II canonized Kolbe in 1982, the year before the
Pembroke Pines parish was founded.
"His faith gave him the dignity to live and
die knowing that, despite whatever horrendous condition he experienced, God is
always with us," says
the parish website.
Maximilian Kolbe is also the patron saint of drug
addicts, political prisoners, families, journalists, prisoners, and the pro-life
At the groundbreaking of the parish church that
bears his name, members filled a box with symbols of Judaism as well as
Christianity: a New Testament, a ram’s horn and a mezuzah. The box was then laid
in the spot over which the altar was built.
A life-size statue of St. Maximilian Kolbe stands
on the church grounds, facing Hiatus Road. The bonded bronze statue was created
Sister Margaret Beaudette, a sculptor
and member of the Sisters of Charity of New York who lives in Mount Vernon,