Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz will be performed at Christendom College by seasoned actor Leonardo Defilippis on Monday September 23 at 6:30 PM in the college’s St. Louis the Crusader Gymnasium. This performance is being held as part of the Major Speakers in lieu of the usual lecture format.
Switching effortlessly between characters, Defilippis illustrates the heroic life of Polish Catholic priest Maximilian Kolbe, whose courage in the face of attacks against his faith led to his imprisonment in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Kolbe was forced into hard labor, tortured, and when ten men were being selected to die because one prisoner had escaped, he volunteered to take the place of one of the married man, Francis Gajowniczek. In 1982, 41 years after his heroic act, Kolbe was canonized a saint by St. John Paul II who called him “the saint of our difficult age.”
Now, Defilippis and his company, St. Luke Productions, is taking the show on tour around the country. The updated performance is brought to life by historical images and newsreels of Nazi Germany along with a breathtaking musical score, pulling the audience in to a deeply personal experience of Maximilian Kolbe.
Defilippis himself has focused his life on renewing the culture through professional live Catholic theatre. He founded St. Luke Productions in 1980 after a return to the Catholic faith and, since then, he and his team have worked extremely hard to bring the stories of Christ and His saints to life through performances on stage and on screen. Their shows include the stories of Augustine, Faustina, Tolton, Vianney, and the feature film Thérèse.
Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz is open to the public and suitable for ages 10 and up. The performance runs 90 minutes with no intermission. Admission is a free-will offering.
This performance is being dedicated to the beloved Dr. Patrick Keats who passed away in July. Dr. Keats organized many of Christendom’s plays and musicals, and was a great lover of theater.