Blessed Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus
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| Here is a 30 minute video on the life of Blessed Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus. The last part of the video is the story of the miracle that resulted in him being declared a Blessed.|
God bless,Fr. Dan
Founder Fr. Michael J. McGivney Beautified
On October 31, 2020 Fr. McGivney was given his title through an apos-
tolic letter from Pope Francis that was read by Cardinal Joseph Tobin of
Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Mass of beatification at the Cathedral
of St. Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut. A tapestry of Father McGivney’s
portrait was unveiled in the cathedral sanctuary after the letter was read.
Pope Francis credited Blessed Michael McGivney for his “zeal for the
proclamation of the Gospel and generous concern for his brothers and
sisters,” that “made him an outstanding witness of Christian solidarity
and fraternal assistance.”
The pope concluded that the Connecticut priest “henceforth be given the
The apostolic letter also announced that the liturgical memorial of Father McGivney will be observed annually in the Archdiocese of Hartford on Aug. 13 — the day between Father McGivney’s Aug. 12 birth and death on Aug. 14. Votive Masses in honor of Father McGivney can also be celebrated by priests for Knights
of Columbus gatherings with the permission of the local bishop on any day when not superseded by another observance on the liturgical calendar. Afterwards, Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair offered words of ap-
preciation to the pope.
Known in his day as a holy parish priest of the then-Diocese of Hartford, Father McGivney labored tirelessly to improve the condition of his 19th-century immigrant community in Connecticut. He founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 to provide financial support for widows and orphans and to keep Catholic men and their families close to their faith at a time of widespread anti-Catholic bigotry.
The fledgling Knights of Columbus soon became a major force of evangelization, charity, racial integration and the defense of religious freedom. “Nearly a century before the Second Vatican Council, Father McGivney’s vision empowered the laity to serve the Church and their neighbors in a new way — through a greater commitment to charity — and to
build effective cooperation between laity and clergy,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Today’s beatification serves to encourage that vision of lay leadership and fellowship.”
The Vatican announced on May 27 that Pope Francis approved a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of Father McGivney, paving the way to beatification.
The miracle involved the healing of Michael Schachle, now 5-years old, from a fatal case of fetal hydrops, which causes a dangerous accumulation of fluids throughout the body of an unborn child. Michael’s parents, Daniel and Michelle Schachle of Dickson, Tennessee, responded to the seemingly hopeless situation by asking friends, family and Knights to join them in prayer for the intercession of Father McGivney.
Michael’s subsequent healing had no medical or scientific explanation. Daniel and Michelle named their son Michael McGivney Schachle in thanksgiving for their son’s survival.
Fr. Michael McGivney to be Beatified On May 27, 2020 , the Vatican announced the Ĵ Ȭ
sion of the Venerable Servant of God Michael McGivney,
The last couple of years have seen a bit of a boom in American saint making. Before the beatification of Blessed Stanley Rother in September 2017, no American-born man had yet risen to the distinction of Blessed in the Roman Catholic Church. But when Fr. McGivney is beatified, he will become the fourth American-born male Blessed (or fifth depending on when Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s beatification takes place!).
Learn more about Father McGivney’s life
Path To Sainthood
FATHER MICHAEL MCGIVNEY and AMERICAN CATHOLICISM
“FATHER MCGIVNEY’S VISION REMAINS AS RELEVANT AS EVER IN THE CHANGED CIRCUMSTANCES OF TODAY’S CHURCH AND SOCIETY.” – POPE JOHN PAUL II
Is now the time for an American parish priest to be declared a Catholic saint?
In Father Michael McGivney (1852-1890), born and raised in a Connecticut factory town, the modern era’s ideal of the priesthood hit its zenith. The son of Irish immigrants, he was a man to whom “family values” represented more than mere rhetoric. And he left a legacy of hope still celebrated around the world...
In the late 1800s, discrimination against American Catholics was widespread. Many Catholics struggled to find work and ended up in inferno-like mills. An injury or death of the wage earner would leave the family penniless. The grim threat of chronic homelessness and even starvation could fast become realities. Called to action in 1882 by his sympathy for these suffering people, Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, an organization that has helped to save countless families from the indignity of destitution. From its uncertain beginnings, when Father McGivney was the only person willing to work toward its success, it has grown to an international membership of more than 1.8 million members.
At heart, though, Father McGivney was never anything more than an American parish priest, and nothing less than that, either – beloved by children, trusted by young adults, and regarded as a “positive saint” by the elderly in his New Haven parish.
In this incredible work of academic research, Douglas Brinkley and Julie Fenster re-create the life of Father McGivney, a fiercely dynamic yet tenderhearted man. Though he was only thirty-eight when he died, Father McGivney has never been forgotten. He remains a true “people’s priest,” a genuinely holy man – and perhaps the most beloved parish priest in U.S. history. Moving and inspirational, Parish Priest chronicles the process of canonization that may well make Father McGivney the first American-born parish priest declared a saint by the Vatican.