She Loves You

When we were first producing Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz in 1993, Saint Luke Productions was headquartered in the basement of our house. One late night, when the kids were in bed, Leonardo unrolled a gigantic (9' x 6') transparent image of Our Lady of Częstochowa in front of our standing living room light. I started to cry, because it was so beautiful—the soft light glowing through the face of Mary.

Since we opened the show 23 years ago, Leonardo has performed Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz 691 times for audiences of more than 225,000 people, including concentration camp survivors who were in the line-up with Saint Max at Auschwitz, the saint's personal secretary, and other former prisoners of war. In addition, we've produced a DVD of the drama that has been broadcast and distributed to millions more.

Over and over again in the play, Maximilian asks the question, "Who are you, O, Immaculate Conception, and what would you have me do?" As a convert, that has been my question also.

Mary, Saint Max tells us, is the way to Jesus. Listening and living with his words has led me to consider what that means, and it has helped me to embrace Mary as my mother and friend. There is one line from the play (an exact quote from the saint) that has always stayed with me:

"Never worry that you do not feel this love [for Mary]. If you have the will to love, you already give a proof that you love. What counts is the will to love. Sometimes, my dear ones, the thought, a sad longing, as if a plea or a complaint, may occur to you: "Does the Immaculate still love me?" Most beloved children! I tell you all and each one individually, in her name (mark that: in her name!), she loves every one of you. She loves you very much and at every moment, with no exception."

To know that feeling is not a reliable measure of truth gives me the courage to trust in Mary's intercession, and her love for me.

Thank you, Saint Maximilian, for sharing Mary, the Immaculate One, with all of us.


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