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Vatican Approves Decree of 'Heroic Virtue'
Pope Benedict XVI declared Father Michael J. McGivney
venerable March 15, 2008 approving a decree of "Heroic Virtue"
for the parish priest who founded the Knights of Columbus.
This step significantly advances Father McGivney's cause for
Knights of Columbus Founder Fr. Michael McGivney to be Beatified
A press release from the Knights of Columbus May 27,
2020 said the miracle recognized by Pope Francis involved an unborn
child in the United States who was healed in utero of a life-threatening
condition in 2015 after his family prayed to Fr. McGivney.
Catholic News Agency
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to the
intercession of Fr. Michael J. McGivney Wednesday, paving the way for the
beatification of the founder of the Knights of Columbus.
During a May 26 meeting with Cardinal Angelo Becciu,
the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the pope
authorized the congregation to issue a decree recognizing the miracle.
Fr. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882. Today it is the
world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization, with nearly
two million members in more than a dozen countries.
Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1852, Fr. McGivney played a critical
role in the growth of the Church in the United States in the latter part
of the 19th century. After his ordination in Baltimore in 1877, he served
a largely Irish-American and immigrant community in New Haven.
Amid an anti-Catholic climate, he established the Knights to provide
spiritual aid to Catholic men and financial help for families that had
lost their breadwinner.
A press release from the Knights of Columbus May 27 said the miracle
recognized by Pope Francis involved an unborn child in the United States
who was healed in utero of a life-threatening condition in 2015 after his
family prayed to Fr. McGivney.
It added that a date would be set soon for the beatification Mass, which
will take place in Connecticut.
Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said: “Fr. McGivney has inspired
generations of Catholic men to roll up their sleeves and put their faith
into action. He was decades ahead of his time in giving the laity an
important role within the Church.”
“Today, his spirit continues to shape the extraordinary
charitable work of Knights as they continue to serve those on the margins
of society as he served widows and orphans in the 1880s.”
“Fr. McGivney also remains an important role model for parish priests
around the world and left us a transformative legacy of effective
cooperation between the laity and clergy.”
Father McGivney’s sainthood cause officially opened in 1997 in the
Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI declared
the American-born priest a Venerable Servant of God in recognition of his
life of heroic virtue.
In 2000, an investigation into a miracle attributed to McGivney’s
intercession was completed. But in 2011, the Vatican ruled that the event
was not miraculous in nature.
In 2012, another possible miracle was reported and placed under investigation.
Following his beatification, Father McGivney’s cause will require one more
authenticated miracle before he can be considered for canonization.
He would not be the first member of the Knights of Columbus to be canonized.
A group of six Mexican members of the organization were martyred during the
Cristero War of 1926-29 and its aftermath.
The six are St. Luis Batis, St. Rodrigo Aguilar, St. Miguel de la Mora, St.
Pedro de Jesús Maldonado, St. José María Robles, and St. Mateo Correa.
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