Knights at the Foot
of the Cross
Knights at the Foot of the Cross (KFC) is an outreach within
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.
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
the KFC Started?
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
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.