“Triumph of the Heart” is an independent film about the triumph of Saint Maximilian Kolbe and his companions at Auschwitz. The release date is set for 2025.
In the video, D’Ambrosio shares his journey of leaving the Church and the unique way Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s holy example drew him back.
He begins the video citing his background as both a seminary graduate and the son of “theologian professional catholic dad,” Marcellino D’Ambrosio.
Anthony D’Ambrosio explains how he struggled with lust and addiction while in a relationship with a woman whom he believed to be his future spouse. In fact, said he heard the Lord tell him that this woman would be his wife in what he refers to as the most profound experience he has ever had.
During this time, a moment of healing occurred that he cannot explain.
“My addiction was gone. My fears of marriage were gone. My sense of shame was gone and I was healed and it was amazing,” he said.
Before the pair was set to be engaged, D’Ambrosio began to experience some intense health issues–both mental and physical. This prompted him to end their relationship so he could focus on his health.
It took him more than a year, and the woman married someone else during that time. This, he explains, made him question his faith entirely.
“I was experiencing my faith unraveling.”
“I remember waking up from this horrible nightmare and walking out into my garden and trying to pray and just feeling like that part of me that believed in God was completely gone. Like, there was not a single inch of faith in God left. It was like walking up to a locked door.”
He then details how everything in his life was tied to his faith.
He was a youth minister at the time, his family was very Catholic, and so were his friends. It was incredibly hard for him to speak to others about his loss of faith. He felt like those close to him were challenged by his experience.
While his friends tried their hardest to help him, they were unsuccessful. In some cases, it made the situation worse.
However, there was a heavenly friend who entered the picture.
“During those sleepless nights, I was finding myself for some reason beginning to meditate on the story of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. And not the story of the guy who traded his life for somebody else,” D’Ambrosio says.
He goes on to explain his encounter with this powerhouse saint.
“I was experiencing, in some way, in my own suffering, what it was like being in that cell with Kolbe. Starving to death with no hope of salvation.”
He felt like his life was pointless.
D’Ambrosio elaborates on the role Saint Maximilian Kolbe played within his cell at Auschwitz as they awaited death. Kolbe inspired his fellow prisoners and instilled in them the strength to fight for their lives.
Kolbe and his fellow cellmates lived for two weeks without food or water. During this time, D’Ambrosio explains, Kolbe took on their suffering.
“That act of love. Yeah, it still makes me want to cry every time I think about it.”
D’Ambrosio becomes visibly emotional as he continues,
“This is what began to give me meaning and to give me a foundation for faith again. When I couldn’t really believe in God or believe in miracles, I could believe in the example of love that could come into darkness to just be with me. I think that is what people need who are in doubt and who are in suffering…”
D’Ambrosio believes that those who find themselves in a similar position don’t need apologetics, they need love.
“They need to feel Christianity next to them, beside them, holding them in their loss of meaning,” he says.
The video concludes with D’Ambrosio highlighting his upcoming film, which points to the part of Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s story that moved him most.
“Most stories about Saint Kolbe end with his choice to volunteer to enter the cell. But our story starts there, as Saint Kolbe fights to forge a rebellion of hope with nine other prisoners in the darkest place on earth,” the film’s website states.
You can find the film’s Kickstarter campaign here.