Knights at the Foot of the Cross
The Knights at the Foot of the Cross (KFC) is an outreach within the MI movement, comprised of Catholics afflicted by the cross of suffering - physical, spiritual or emotional.
As MI members, KFCs consecrate themselves to Mary. As did Mary at the Cross of her Son, they also participate in "redemptive suffering" (also called sacrificial or reparational suffering). This means they offer some of their daily prayers and trials to Jesus and Mary, who apply these gifts where grace is needed most, such as to convert hearts and save souls, to make amends for the sins of others, and ultimately to bring about the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. KFCs especially offer up their difficulties for the success of the MI. They thus become a special core group or vanguard within the movement. Though often unable to actively evangelize because of infirmity, nonetheless KFCs generate untold graces as they link their sufferings with those of Christ. Through the intercession of Mary, they offer up all to the Father as a "sacrifice of praise."
Supernaturally, KFCs are perhaps the most important members of the MI - a spiritual powerhouse.
"Declaring the power of salvific suffering,
the Apostle Paul says:
'In my flesh I complete what is
lacking in Christ's afflictions
for the sake of his body, that is, the Church.' . . .
Thus to share in the sufferings of Christ
is to suffer for the kingdom of God."
Pope John Paul II
How was the KFC Started?
Envisioned earlier in the writings of St. Maximilian, the KFC was founded May 31, 1983. On the feast of Mary's Visitation, sixteen aged and sick Conventual Franciscan friars, all MI members, decided to make use of their ailments and encourage others to do the same.
Sensing a good idea, the friars asked, "Why not harvest the immense reparational potential within the suffering MI community at large?" Thus a spiritual vanguard was formed: individuals no longer isolated or frustrated in sickness or agedness, working in solidarity for the conversion of the entire world. The very first Knight at the Foot of the Cross was Fr. Simeon Kaczmarek, OFM CONV. Bedridden for two years with cancer, Father offered his pain and prayers for the KFC cause while it was still being organized.
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Theology of Redemptive Suffering
Sacrificial suffering is a rich Christian faith expression, modeled after Christ himself. It is a partial answer to the age-old question, "Why does God allow human suffering?"
The Church has always taught that physical pain, mental distress, even minor annoyances, are not meaningless but are meant to be put to valuable use. As Jesus used the anguish of his Passion and the agony of Calvary to accomplish our salvation, so do our sufferings have supernatural value when joined to the Cross. By willingly accepting our struggles and presenting them back to God as a "burnt offering" for the intentions of others, we cooperate with Christ and become real participators in the mystery of his saving act.
Mary And Maximilian:
Models of Reparational suffering
Mary Immaculate is a special model of reparational suffering. Standing at the Cross in interior distress, her soul "pierced by a sword" (Lk 2:35), she offered all to the Father in a silent, "Thy will be done." She invites us, and strengthens us, to do the same through our MI consecration as a KFC.
St. Maximilian Kolbe also is a model of reparational suffering. Imprisoned at the Auschwitz death camp, Maximilian "emptied himself" for the Gospel (Phil 2:7). He shared his meager food and water with fellow prisoners while tending to their spiritual needs. He persevered in charity toward his Nazi captors though they singled him out for special brutalities as a Catholic priest. He willingly endured the torture of the starvation bunker by taking the place of another prisoner. In this way, Maximilian became "another Christ," making satisfaction in the divine economy for the numberless atrocities of his Nazi captors.
According to Pope John Paul II, St. Maximilian's holy example has made him a "sign and a prophet of the new era, the civilization of love."
Why should I join the KFC?
Consecrating yourself to Mary through the ideal of St. Maximilian will be one of the most important days of your life. You will be placing yourself under the protective mantle of Mary's care as the Immaculate Conception, Mother of the Church and Comfort of the Afflicted.
Through total consecration you cooperate with Mary in the work of building up and renewing the Church of the third millennium. She will enlighten your mind, guide your will, empower your efforts and intercede for you in a special way before our Heavenly Father.
You will share in the intercessory prayers of MI religious communities, who pray daily for the MI movement and the sanctification of its members.
You will also have the support that comes from being a part of an international movement of spiritual renewal, including access to MI conferences and resource materials, and to Immaculata magazine.
How do I enroll in the Knights at the Foot of the Cross
Prepare yourself for the day of consecration by using the Nine-day Preparation found here, and, or:
If possible, attend daily Mass,
Recite the Rosary,
Do spiritual reading
Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on or before the
day of your consecration.
Recite the Knights at the Foot of the Cross Prayer of Consecration, then Enroll here.
Prayer of KFC Consecration
O Immaculata, queen of Heaven and earth, health of the sick, and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. You stood at the foot of the Cross, uniting your self with the sufferings of Jesus, and so you became for all the Church a model of compassion.
I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my daily sufferings and crosses, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.
If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head, and "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world." Through my prayers and sufferings, let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help, to extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies.