In an answer on this closed question, Is there a sect of Christians that believe in the divinity of Mary, mother of Jesus? is found reference to St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, founder of the Militia of the Immaculata.

He was beatified on October 17, 1971 by Pope Paul XI as a "Confessor of the Faith", which title acknowledges that one has borne witness to the faith under difficult circumstances, and on 10 October, 1982 Pope John Paul II canonized Kolbe and declared him a martyr of charity. The Catholic Church venerates him as the patron saint of drug addicts, of prisoners, of families, and of the pro-life movement. - from Catholic.org

He was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar and a martyr in the German death Camp of Auschwitz during World War II. St. Maximilian Kolbe was very active in promoting the Immaculate Virgin Mary and is known as the Apostle of Consecration to Mary. Much of his life was strongly influenced by a vision he had of the Virgin Mary when he was 12.

St. Maximilian Kolbe founded the organization known as Militia Immaculata (Army of the Immaculate One). Kolbe also founded monasteries in both Japan and India. To this day, the monastery in Japan remains prominent in the Roman Catholic Church in Japan. Following are 3 passages from the MI website:

The Militia of the Immaculata (MI) is a worldwide evangelization movement founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe in 1917 that encourages total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a means of spiritual renewal for individuals and society. The MI movement is open to all Catholics over 7 years old. It employs prayer as the main tool in the spiritual battle with evil. Members of the MI also immerse themselves in apostolic initiatives throughout society, either individually or in groups, to deepen and spread the knowledge of the Gospel and our Catholic Faith.

The first page of the membership leaflet carries a picture of the Immaculata crushing with her foot the head of the serpent that holds the world in its toils.From her hands, rays of grace rain down on the globe. This representation sums up the entire essence of the MI. The members of the MI consecrate themselves to the Immaculata without any restriction, so that she may fully dispose of them as instruments in carrying out her own task, which is to combat Satan and help souls sanctify themselves.

As mottoes, two texts are used. The first from Genesis 3:15 where God in sentencing the serpent foretold to him: “She will crush your head!

This last quotation is a potential misrendering of both the meaning and text of Genesis 3:15 where God declares to the serpent that it is the offspring of the woman, not the woman herself, who will crush his head. See here for a question regarding this anomaly.

Next following are 5 quotes directly attributable to St. Kolbe, founder of the MI:

“Modern times are dominated by Satan and will be more so in the future. The conflict with hell cannot be engaged by men, even the most clever. The Immaculata alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan. However, assumed into Heaven, the Mother of God now requires our cooperation. She seeks souls who will consecrate themselves entirely to her, who will become in her hands effective instruments for the defeat of Satan and the spreading of God's kingdom upon earth.”

“Niepokalanow (a radio broadcast) is a home like Nazareth. The Father is God the Father, the mother and mistress of the home is the Immaculata, the firstborn son and our brother is Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. All the younger brothers try to imitate the elder Brother in love and honor towards God and the Immaculata, our common parents, and from the Immaculata they try to love the divine elder Brother, the ideal of sanctity who deigned to come down from heaven to be incarnated in her and to live with us in the tabernacle...”

“The whole world is a large Niepokalanow where the Father is God, the mother the Immaculata, the elder brother the Lord Jesus in all the tabernacles of the world, and the younger brothers the people.”

“Prayer is powerful beyond limits when we turn to the Immaculata who is queen even of God's heart.

“If anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his Mother, he will not have Christ for his Brother.”

The spirit of the MI profoundly penetrates the act of consecration to the Most Holy Virgin Immaculate. It is divided into two parts. In the first part, the soul consecrates itself entirely to the Immaculata and says to her, “O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners, and our most loving mother, God willed to entrust the entire order of mercy. I, … an unworthy sinner prostrate myself at your feet beseeching you to do with me, with all my faculties of soul and body, with my whole life, death and eternity whatever most pleases you.” This is the essential part of the MI: the unlimited consecration of oneself to the Immaculata to become hers ever more, ever perfectly hers, under every aspect, and forever, eternally and irrevocably hers.

The Militia Immaculata has over 3 million members in 48 countries. The MI aims at the conversion of all and of each individual who needs such conversion, and at the sanctification of every person now living, or who will live in the future, without any exception. The specific characteristic that distinguishes the MI from many other associations, which strive for the salvation and sanctification of souls, is that the MI carries on its own activity under the protection and through the mediation of the Immaculata.

For further reading (if interested) on Kolbe's teaching of Mary as the quasi-incarnation of the Holy Spirit see here and the spouse of the Holy Spirit here.

My question is: If the teachings, requirements, and goals of the Militia of the Immaculata are not completely synchronized with Orthodox Christianity, does it then qualify as a sect within Christianity?

1 Answer 1


If the teachings, requirements, and goals of the Militia of the Immaculata are not completely synchronized with Orthodox Christianity, does it then qualify as a sect within Christianity?

The teachings of the Militia Immaculata are entirely within permissibility of Catholic orthodoxy, and thus not a sect. Total consecration to Mary does not originate with the MI, but they promote it heavily and use their own particular formula. The concept traces its origin (at least in a form recognizable today to St. Louis de Monfort's True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin).

Catholic theology can at time delve into significant nuances with subtle distinctions, but nothing that the MI outlines fundamentally conflicts with the general Catholic understanding of the role of Mary in relationship to Christ.


The first from Genesis 3:15 where God in sentencing the serpent foretold to him: “She will crush your head!”

Different manuscripts exist with different pronouns in the verse. Some have masculine (favored by Protestants) and some have feminine (used by Catholics). The Catholic Church does not deny the role of Christ in the crushing of the serpent as forecast in the protoevangelium (Genesis 3:15) but the Church does also see a foreshadowing of Mary's role.

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