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On Monday evening, Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz was performed at Christendom College by actor Leonardo Defilippis. This one-man play depicted the life of Polish Catholic priest St. Maximilian Kolbe, starting with his childhood, moving to his years of ministry as a Franciscan priest, and ending with his heroic martyrdom in Auschwitz. The performance was gripping and deeply moving, giving viewers the chance to enter into the life and spirituality of this great saint.

To draw viewers into the story, the production incorporated recorded dialogue, an original score, and projected images and videos. In addition, Defillipis switched between characters, and at times even played the role of Satan, making evident the spiritual warfare that was at play during World War II and the Holocaust. Another major theme was Kolbe’s devotion to the Blessed Mother. Defilippis would often sing the words of Kolbe, “Who are you, oh Immaculata.” This play left viewers inspired to emulate the faith and piety of St. Maximilian Kolbe.

“It was a great blessing for our entire community to have Leonardo Defilippis and St. Luke Productions back on campus,” remarked Dr. Timothy O’Donnell. “His performance as St. Maximilian Kolbe was brilliant and moving. St. Luke’s, for more that 40 years, has been bringing the saving light of the Catholic Faith to the world of theater. It is an important outreach which deserves the full support of the faithful. Ad multus annos!”

This performance was held in memory of the late Dr. Patrick Keats, a beloved member of the faculty at Christendom, who died earlier this year. He was a great supporter of the dramatic arts and produced many of Christendom’s plays and musicals through the years. Leonardo Defilippis greeted Dr. Keat’s wife, Lily Keats, after the performance.

This event was held as part of the college’s major speakers program. As such, it was open to the public, and all students attended. Many students and guests stayed after the performance to meet Defilippis and thank him for his theatrical ministry.

 

 

 

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