How “Vivat Jesus” became the Knights of Columbus Motto

How “Vivat Jesus” became the Knights of Columbus Motto

When the late Supreme Chaplain Bishop Charles Greco was a seminarian he was
deeply moved while reading the story of St. Bernadine of Siena. He adopted the
saint’s favorite prayer — “May Jesus Live,” in its Latin form “Vivat Jesus,” to use
as the motto for his life and priesthood. When he became Bishop of Alexandria,
LA in 1946, Bishop Greco chose the same phrase as his Episcopal motto. Our past
Supreme Knight, Virgil Dechant, thought our Order ought to be devoted to the

name of Jesus and chose Bishop Greco’s motto “Vivat Jesu” as a greeting. The re-
sponse is “SEMPER,” meaning ‘always.’ By its use, the Knights help bring back

the love and devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus.

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