Father McGivney, the Vincentians, and the Shrine

The founder of the Knights of Columbus, Venerable Father Michael J McGivney (1852–1890), will be officially beatified Oct. 31 in St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hartford, Connecticut. He could become the first American-born parish priest to reach sainthood.

Fr. McGivney was motivated to create the Knights of Columbus because the existing fraternal organizations of the day excluded Catholics and immigrants because of bias. Since then, the Knights of Columbus has gone on to become the largest lay Catholic organization in the world with two million members.

It is worth noting that Fr. McGivney has connections to the Vincentians of the Eastern Province and the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia.

Many have reported that Fr. McGivney formed the idea of the Knights of Columbus during two years of his seminary training at the College and Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, which became Niagara University, an Eastern Province Vincentian institution. Later in life, Fr. McGivney had a Philadelphia-based Vincentian as his secretary.

What’s more, Fr. McGivney is believed to have visited the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at St. Vincent’s Seminary in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, which was eventually transformed into the Miraculous Medal Shrine.

Blessed McGivney, pray for us.

To read more about ‘saintly visitors’ to the Miraculous Medal Shrine, click HERE.


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