“Knight of the Immaculata” No. 20
This year we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the M.I. Traditional Observance. In Warsaw on the first Saturday of May 2000 (May 6th), Fr. Karl Stehlin enrolled the first 50 Knights into the Militia Immaculatæ, renewed according to the principles of St. Maximilian. The first Knights received the “dyplomik” (little diploma), a copy of the one written and signed by St. Maximilian himself.
This is how the Militia Immaculatæ Traditional Observance was initiated, and it was allowed to function by the then Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay. He did this in accordance with the principles of substitute jurisdiction.
Why was the M.I. of Traditional Observance created?
On the eve of the Second Vatican Council, the Militia Immaculatæ had four million members in Poland and worldwide. In 1997 the new statutes of the M.I. were published and these were very different from those laid down by Fr. Maximilian Kolbe. One of the bestsellers of the time was a book by the General Moderator of the Militia, Fr. Simbula, who strongly criticized the holy founder for his narrowness and ‘being stuck in the opinions of his times’.