Denver Newsroom, Aug 14, 2023 / 02:15 am
Last year, the Catholic Church in Poland shared a photo commemorating the 81st anniversary of St. Maximilian Kolbe’s arrest by the Nazis. The image, the last one taken of the saint before his final arrest, was notable for what it didn’t show — his signature long beard.
By the time the photo was taken, Kolbe had already been arrested by the Nazis once but was clearly resolved to continue his nationwide evangelization efforts. The monastery he had established at Niepokalanów, 25 miles west of Warsaw, had become a major Catholic publishing center.
The beard with which Kolbe is often pictured is notable for several reasons, one of which was the fact that not many of his Franciscan counterparts in Poland sported them. He shaved his signature beard in order to blend in with his fellow Franciscans and with society at large.