In 1997, the cause for the canonization of Father McGivney was opened. The Positio, a two-volume extended argument in favor of canonization, was presented in 2002. The Diocese of Hartford, Connecticut has reported one possible miracle attributed to Father McGivney's intercession to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. If you believe you have received a favor through Father McGivney's intercession, please report it to the Knights of Columbus Supreme in New Haven, Connecticut.
"In proclaiming our founder a Venerable Servant of God, Pope Benedict XVI has given the Knights a great spiritual gift."
by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
On Palm Sunday, many of us awoke to the news that the Vatican had declared our founder, Father Michael J. McGivney, to be a “Venerable Servant of God.”
In other words, the Holy Father had determined that Father McGivney indeed lived a life of heroic virtue.
It is clear to the universal Church that Father McGivney is a model of Christian life.
He exemplified the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity as well as the moral virtues of humility, prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. He demonstrated these virtues amid the difficulties of his life as a parish priest and in founding the Knights of Columbus.
Pope Benedict XVI has thus far blessed the Church with two encyclicals, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love) and Spe Salvi (On Christian Hope ). Through these encyclicals he has called Catholics to reconsider the basics of their faith and to deepen their intellectual and spiritual understanding of faith, hope and charity.
Now Pope Benedict has blessed our Order with the new proclamation of Father McGivney as “Venerable Servant of God.” With this action the pope is calling every member to imitate the heroic virtue of Father McGivney precisely in terms of the moral and theological virtues.
Let us take Pope Benedict’s action to heart. When confronting the practical difficulties that can arise in our councils, whether in membership or programs, let us recall the fortitude of Father McGivney. Remember his words at one point in our early history, “…the Order I was endeavoring to establish fell back almost lifeless but not dead.” Yet, Father McGivney forged ahead, undeterred from completing his task.
Surely, Father McGivney is an unparalleled model of hope and fortitude in the history of the Knights of Columbus. Perhaps more importantly, he is also an unparalleled model of the virtues of charity, humility, temperance and prudence – virtues that must remain at the heart of a fraternal brotherhood such as the Knights and which must inform the life of each of our councils.
Each of us is called to imitate Father McGivney as a man of Christian virtue in every aspect of our life – both inside and outside the council chamber. We should all celebrate the important step that has been taken in the cause for canonization of our founder. But it is a celebration that brings a deepening responsibility: A loyal Knight of Columbus must also be a faithful spiritual son of Father McGivney; not only as a member, but also as a man.
Near the close of our 125th anniversary year, the Knights of Columbus received a great spiritual gift from our Holy Father. Like all spiritual gifts, this new recognition of Father McGivney’s holiness must be received with both an authentic expression of gratitude as well as a firm spirit of resolution. Let us determine to have both.
PRAYER FOR FATHER McGIVNEY'S CANONIZATION
God, our Father, protector of the poor and defender of the widow and orphan, you called your priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, to be an apostle of Christian family life and to lead the young to the generous service of their neighbor. Through the example of his life and virtue may we follow your Son, Jesus Christ, more closely, fulfilling his commandment of charity and building up his Body which is the Church. Let the inspiration of your servant prompt us to greater confidence in your love so that we may continue his work of caring for the needy and the outcast. We humbly ask that you glorify your servant Father Michael J. McGivney on earth according to the design of your holy will. Through his intercession, grant the favor I now present (here make your request). Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Father . . .
Hail Mary . . .
Glory be . . .
The tribunal – a panel tasked with gathering additional testimony – interviewed additional witnesses, including several medical doctors, about the circumstances of a reported miracle attributed to Venerable Michael McGivney’s intercession.
The report was signed and presented to Archbishop Henry Mansell on Sept. 22, 2009, and was affixed with the seal of the Archbishop of Hartford.
The postulator of the cause, Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, traveled from Rome to Hartford for the occasion.
The event was held in the chapel at the chancery of the archdiocese and was attended by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, other Supreme Officers, relatives of Father McGivney and archdiocesan officials.
Parish Priest By Their Works
This biography on the Orders founder Profiles 65 Knights of Columbus
was written by best-selling author whose lives span the entire
Douglas Brinkley with Julie M. Fenster. 125-year history of the Order.
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