By Jim Fair

Fr. Michael McGivney became Blessed Michael McGivney in ceremonies today at Saint Joseph’s Cathedral in Hartford, Connecticut.  The mass for beatification was presided by Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark.

Fr. McGivney, a priest in the St. Mary’s Parish in New Haven, founded the Knights of Columbus 138 years ago to enable Catholic men to support one another and their families with spiritual and temporal needs. On May 27, 2020, Pope Francis approved a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to Fr. McGivney’s intercession, qualifying Fr. McGivney for beatification.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said, “For members of the Knights of Columbus and many others, the news of the beatification is a time of great joy and celebration. Father McGivney ministered to those on the margins of society in the 19th century, and his example has inspired millions of Knights to follow his example in their own parishes and communities.”

Father McGivney served his flock during the pandemic of 1890, before himself becoming ill and dying of pneumonia. Nearly a century before the Second Vatican Council, Blessed Michael McGivney’s prescient vision empowered the laity to serve Church and neighbor in a new way. Today, the Knights of Columbus is one of the largest Catholic organizations in the world with 2 million members in North and Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe.

The miracle recognized as coming through Father McGivney’s intercession involved an unborn child in the United States who in 2015 was healed in utero of a fatal condition after prayers by his family to Father McGivney.

In March 2008, he was declared a Venerable Servant of God by Pope Benedict XVI, who during his visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral cited the “remarkable accomplishment of that exemplary American priest, the Venerable Michael McGivney, whose vision and zeal led to the establishment of the Knights of Columbus.”

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