“Greater love than this hath no man than he lay down his life for his friend.”— Unforgettable words of scripture brought alive by the death of Jesus himself. One would probably say that it is one thing to give one’s life for a friend; but, for a stranger? ‘Not me’ many would most likely say. And yet, that is precisely what the Saint of Auschwitz, Maximilian Kolbe did – gave himself up so that another prisoner might live. The story of this 20′ century saint is so fascinating that it is being retold by Elaine Murray Stone who has left no stone unturned to get at the root of the mystery of human love that could compel someone to die for another. Born on 8 January, 1894, Maximilian was baptized Raymond. Born into a pious family, Raymond took the name ‘Maximilian’ – the name of the early Christian saint and emperor of Austria – when he entered the Franciscan Novitiate. Ordained priest on 28 April, 1918 Maximilian had an extra-special love for our Blessed Mother. The story of his sacrificial death that bears close resemblance to that of our Lord himself is as fascinating as the story of his life!