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St. Maximilian Kolbe Relic Visit to New Bedford Church

A reliquary containing a relic of St. Maximilian Kolbe will visit Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, New Bedford, July 8-10 as part of a pilgrimage to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Conventual Franciscan Friar who gave his life for a fellow prisoner in a World War II concentration camp. The program of events for the visitation is as follows: Friday evening (July 8) arrival of the relic at 6 p.m. with a prayer service and veneration. A movie on the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe will follow the prayer service in the church hall. Following Masses on July 9 (7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.) and again on July 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be an opportunity to view and venerate the relic. The visitation of the pilgrimage of the relic will conclude with a prayer service at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The reliquary is one of four that was created in 1971 (11 years prior to his canonization) to hold a portion of his beard that was shaved in 1938 because it was provoking increased persecution under the growing presence of National Socialism in Poland. The design of the reliquary also includes many symbols from the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe.