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Our Founder’s Intercessory Power


by Fred Bolen

On the verge of collapse, I turned to Father McGivney for help

I suddenly found myself in the emergency room in April. My heart beat wildly, my blood pressure plummeted and my kidneys stopped functioning. The doctor told my wife, Susannah, to prepare herself, because the outcome might not be good. She pleaded with me not to go because the family needed me.

I said a quick prayer to the Lord to take care of my wife, my children and my grandchildren. Then, as a Knight of Columbus for 45 years, I turned to Father Michael McGivney, and asked him to intercede for me. I believe his prayers saved my life.

Only a few hours earlier, I’d been installing smoke detectors in local homes when I felt a pain in my leg and became dizzy and nauseated. Thinking I was having a heart attack, Susannah called 911 and the medics rushed me to a nearby hospital. In the ER, they quickly put me on IV fluids to flush out my failing kidneys and worked hard get my heart and blood pressure under control.

After praying to God and turning to Father McGivney, I began to stabilize. It was not a heart attack after all, but rather a deep-seated staph infection. I was moved to the critical care unit and started on a suite of antibiotics to see which ones were most effective. Groggy, I still felt in danger of death — until my 6-year-old granddaughter entered my room and gave me a hug.

It’s very difficult to describe just what I felt at that moment. I didn’t think she would be allowed to visit me at her age, and I wondered afterward if it was a good idea for her to see her grandfather so weak, with so many tubes and the oxygen machine going. But I know when she leaned over to hug me that new life was breathed into me. Her hug changed everything. I felt better and I just knew that things would be looking up. I think that Father McGivney brought her to me so I could live to see her and my four other grandchildren grow up.

After all, Father McGivney was a great champion of the family, and he founded the Knights of Columbus to help keep the families of his day intact and safe. The culture has changed so much since then, but our values have not changed as much as you might think. We all hold in our hearts the well-being of our loved ones. That’s what is most important to me, and I think that is why I am still here today, back helping my wife as a Red Cross volunteer, and watching over our grandchildren.

For me, a miracle happened in the emergency room that afternoon. I was at death’s door, and my prayers for Father McGivney’s intercession brought me back. My eyes have been opened to life itself, and I hope to spend the rest of my days giving thanks.

FRED BOLEN is past grand knight of Seaside Council 17 in Waterford, Conn., and faithful navigator of Rev. George Deshon Assembly 110 in New London.

Prayer to Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney
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 venerable 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.

Please report all favors received to the Father McGivney Guild at www.fathermcgivney.org.

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