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St. Joe hosting live drama Friday

St. Joseph Catholic Church is sponsoring and hosting a live drama by Saint Luke Productions at 7 p.m. Friday night in the St. Joseph High School gym.

“Maxamilian: Saint of Auschwitz,” by Saint Luke Productions, is a one-man production by actor, president and founder of Saint Luke Productions Leonardo Defilippis. Defilippis illustrates the life of Maxamilian Kolbe, a Polish Catholic priest whose courage against attacks to his faith landed him in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.

At the concentration camp, Kolbe was forced into slave labor, tortured and finally came forward to take the place of a married man, who was condemned to death by starvation. Pope John Paul II canonized Kolbe 41 years after sacrificing his life, calling him “the saint of our difficult age.”

“This play originated in 1993 and first opened at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado,” Defilippis said. “This has done more shows than any other play we’ve done.”

Defilippis said he’s been acting for more than 40 years and started as a Shakespearean actor before starting Saint Luke Productions, which performs about the lives of saints, in 1980.

“When I started Saint Luke Productions, we decided to just do the lives of saints because they’re so incredible,” Defilippis said. “They are some of the most incredible people who ever lived and their stories are entertaining, inspiring and they move your soul. We live in an exciting, challenging time, and we need heroes to show us the way we should live in an increasingly secular world.”

“Maxamilian: Saint of Auschwitz” includes technological artistry in the form of an orchestral soundtrack, theatrical lighting and a video backdrop that sets the story in a historical yet relevant context.

The production is open to the public and suitable for ages 10 and up. Admission is a free-will offering. For more information on Saint Luke Productions, visit www.stlukeproductions.com.