Bishop Richard F. Stika has received a first class relic of St. Maximilian Kolbe, a martyr of the Church who died at the German WWII concentration camp at Auschwitz in 1941.
Bishop Stika received the relic while leading a diocesan pilgrimage to Poland.
During a visit to the Niepokalanów monastery founded in 1927 by then-father Kolbe in Teresin, just west of Warsaw, Bishop Stika was presented the relic by Father George, superior at the monastery.
Cardinal Justin Rigal accompanied Bishop Stika to the monastery and was present when the relic was offered.
St. Maximilian Kolbe was canonized by Pope (Saint) John Paul II on October 10, 1982. His feast day is August 14, the anniversary of his death.
Images of St. Maximilian Kolbe and 15 other saints are located in the dome of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Knoxville.