Knights at the Foot of the Cross (KFC)
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
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.”