In 1927, St. Maximilian founded Niepokalanów (City of the Immaculate), near Warsaw, Poland. Niepokalanów is a community of Franciscan friars dedicated to living a radical consecration to the Immaculate Virgin through prayer, asceticism and media evangelization. By the mid-1930’s, it was the largest religious community in the world, housing nearly 900 men.
During the Second World War, the friary provided shelter to approximately 3,000 Polish refugees. When the Nazis forbade media evangelization, the friars turned to Eucharistic Adoration as their common apostolate. The Nazis placed severe restrictions on Niepokalanów shortly before Father Kolbe´s arrest in 1941. The friars re-activated operations after the war.
St. Maximilian wished to found a “City of the Immaculate” on every continent. During his lifetime, he founded Mugenzai no Sono (“Garden of the Immaculate”) in Nagasaki, Japan. He also traveled to India to initiate a “City of the Immaculate” in Kerala.
Today, there are Cities of the Immaculate in Poland, Japan, India, Brazil, Italy, the Philippines and the United States.