Today is a historic day for the Knights of Columbus and for the Catholic Church — it is the first feast day of our Founder, Blessed Michael McGivney.
This is a day of celebration, reflection and prayer. The Church has chosen August 13 to honor our Founder because it falls one day after the anniversary of his birth and one day before the anniversary of his death, when he entered eternal life. During the 38 years in between, Father McGivney answered God’s call to defend the family and the faith, most notably by founding the Knights of Columbus. In the words of our Supreme Convention theme, which were drawn from the Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis on St. Joseph, our Founder truly embodied “creative courage” in service to God — and his example should inspire us all to live boldly in faith.
The Papal Message to the Supreme Convention observed that “The joyful event of Father McGivney’s beatification, celebrated this past year in Hartford, marked a significant milestone in [the Order’s] distinguished history and represents a summons to renewed fidelity to the founding principles of faith, fraternity and charitable assistance to those in need.”
For many years, Knights and our families have prayed for our Founder’s intercession. His presence in heaven was confirmed by the miraculous healing of an unborn child, the son of a brother Knight. That miracle paved the way for Father McGivney’s beatification last October, when he was raised to the honors of the altar (Highlights, Recap). Now, we hope and pray for a second miracle, so that we may soon call Father McGivney a saint.
August 13 will be a special day for the Knights of Columbus going forward. In the new opening prayer written for Masses honoring our Founder, we will hear the celebrant ask our Lord to grant that, like Blessed Michael, “we too may become vessels of mercy in our day and so enter into our heavenly inheritance.” This prayer is meant for every Knight, for in these words we find our life’s work.
On this blessed day, I offer this prayer and pledge to work alongside you — creatively building up the Knights of Columbus, and courageously defending the family and the faith. And together with you, I give thanks to God for the good work He began in our Founder, and continues in us.
Blessed Michael McGivney, pray for us! Happy Feast Day!
Patrick E. Kelly
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