Raymond Kolbe was born the second son of five (only three of whom will live) to a poor weaver Julius Kolbe and midwife Maria Dąbroska on January 8, 1894. Raymond was born in Zduńska Wola, a small town in central Poland. Shortly after his birth, however; they moved to another polish town, Pabianice, about twenty-five miles east of Zduńska Wola. The Kolbes were poor, but their country was in much worse shape. Poland's lands were split among Russia, Austria, and Prussia. Despite of the changes, the Kolbes clung to their Polish identity.
Raymond's father Julius said that he always knew his son was going to die a martyr’s death because of an extraordinary event in his childhood. In 1906, when Raymond was 12, he had a vision of the Virgin Mary. He…show more content… Maria, Raymond's mother, later said that “wealth was an obstacle to spiritual advancement” (Treece 4). Their poverty created a problem when Julius and Maria were faced with the issue of their son’s education. The Kolbes managed to gather enough money to send one of their sons to school. They chose the eldest, Francis. Raymond helped in their store, did household work, and cared for his younger brothers Joseph and Anthony (Anthony died at the age of four when Raymond was ten) until one day a pharmacist was impressed with young Raymond’s ability to pronounce a powder his mother sent him for in perfect latin. The pharmacist…show more content… In August 1920, Max was sent to a tuberculosis sanatorium in Zakopane. He refrained from work on the Militia but acted as a chaplain to the sanatorium. Max returned to Cracow before Christmas in 1921 and started work again on the Militia. Max asked his superior for permission to begin publishing a magazine to spread word of the militia. He received permission, but no financial support. Max’s youngest brother, Joseph, helped Max write the first issue of the magazine. They called it The Knight of the Immaculata or The Knight for short. They began to give it out on street corners, not requiring people to pay for one. After doing so for a few issues, they did not have enough money to print another issue, so Max went to pray in the church for Mary’s intercession. Praying hard, Max looked up and saw a sack with a note on it that said
“For my dear mother, Mary Immaculate.” Inside was the exact amount due for another issue of The Knight.
Eventually, Max collapsed. He had been ill in 1922 and was ill again 1926. He was rehospitalized for about half a year. Because of his illness, he often had trouble breathing and had awful headaches. Even though he was frequently in pain, he never complained. He constantly neglecting himself, but never anyone