1917 was also the 200th anniversary of the foundation of freemasonry, this secret society that tries to “de-catholicize” the world, and that has been condemned by the Church ever since Pope Clement XII in 1738.
To celebrate their bicentenary, everywhere in Rome itself the freemasons put flags and posters depicting St Michael the Archangel being conquered and trampled upon by Lucifer. Long processions winded their way through the Eternal City towards St Peter’s Square singing blasphemous songs, and right under the pope’s windows carried banners with slogan such as: “Satan will reign in the Vatican and the Pope will be his servant”.
Young Franciscan brother Maximilian Maria Kolbe, studying in Rome, was compelled to witness all this. “Is it possible that our enemies should make such a display of force in order to defeat us, while we fold our hands on our laps and do nothing? After all, do we not have much more powerful weapons: can we not count on all of Heaven, and especially on the Immaculata?”
“The essence of the M.I. consists of belonging to the Immaculata un-conditionally, irrevocably, unreservedly, and entirely. That is why anyone who joins the M.I. becomes entirely Her property. And in precisely this way he belongs to Jesus, just as She belongs to Jesus, and the more he is Her property, the more he belongs to Jesus.”
“The M.I. calls itself a militia, a knighthood, because anyone who belongs to Her does not limit himself to consecrating himself totally to the Immaculata, but he also strives, as much as he can, to win the hearts of others for Her, so that others, too, may consecrate their hearts to Her, just as he has consecrated himself to Her.”
“The object of the M.I. is to strive for the conversion of sinners, heretics, schismatics, etc., and especially of Freemasons, as well as for the sanctification of all, under the protection and through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin.”
Fr. Maximilian Kolbe distinguishes three degrees in the M.I., depending upon the members’ zeal, their capabilities and their state in life.
1. “In the first degree of the M.I. each one consecrates himself to the Immaculata and endeavors to realize the purpose of the Militia individually, according to his own circumstances and the rules of prudence.” This degree is the basis, the foundation of the Militia: in his individual, personal life, the Knight of the Immaculata prays, sacrifices and works like a soldier in single combat.
2. “In the second degree of the M.I., the Knights bind themselves by special statutes and programs. they unite their forces, in order to reach their declared goal more quickly and effectively.”
3. “The third degree of the M.I. consists in an unlimited devotion to the Immaculata. Thus She can do with us what She wills and as She wills. This is, so to speak, the summit of the M.I.: the consecrated state. the Knight dedicates himself completely and exclusively to the apostolate of the Immaculata and seals this consecration by taking religious vows. “
In this way, the first degree is restricted to individual action, the second degree, to the public and social apostolate, whereas the third degree goes beyond all limits and aims at heroism.” (From a letter dated May 25, 1920).
NB: Second solemn enrollment in the M.I.: December 8th after evening Mass. Give your name at the M.I. Corner and prepare yourself !