On March 29, 1882, the then 29-year-old assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., gathered a group of parish men to found a lay organization with the goal of uniting men in the Catholic Faith and protecting the families of deceased members.
Through that act, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, Father Michael McGivney, became a central figure in the growth of Catholicism in America, and remains a model today of faith in action. His example of charity, evangelization and empowerment of the laity continues to bear fruit and guide Knights of Columbus around the world.
Pope Francis, in his Apostolic Letter that was read at the Mass for Beatification on Oct. 31, 2020, stated that Blessed Michael McGivney’s “zeal for the proclamation of the Gospel and generous concern for the needs of his brothers and sisters made him an outstanding witness of Christian solidarity and fraternal assistance.” The Holy Father set the annual feast day for the new blessed as August 13, the day between Father McGivney’s birthday (in 1852) and the day of his death (in 1890).
A miracle attributed to our founder, Father Michael McGivney, healed Mikey Schachle of a life-threatening condition. The miracle paves the way for Father McGivney's beatification on October 31, 2020.
This 5-Minute version of "Father Michael McGivney, An American Blessed," explores the life, legacy and impact of Fr. Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus and America's newest blessed.
This video explores his all-encompassing vision for an empowered laity, spiritual brotherhood, the rejuvenation of parish life, and the transformation of communities through mutual love and charity.
The beatification ceremony in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut, was a high point in a long process that began with the opening of the Cause for Canonization in December 1997. Shortly after Father McGivney was named a Venerable Servant of God in March 2008, Pope Benedict XVI cited him as a key figure in “the impressive growth” of the Church in the United States, stating, “We need but think of the remarkable accomplishment of that exemplary American priest, the Venerable Michael McGivney, whose vision and zeal led to the establishment of the Knights of Columbus.” Through the spiritual genius of Father McGivney, the Knights of Columbus has become a way for Catholic men to transform friends into brothers—brothers who care for one another and work together for the good of their parishes and communities.
Visitors are welcome at the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center. To ensure everyone’s well-being, we have implemented COVID-19 protocols based on Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Connecticut Department of Public Health guidance while ensuring our visitors enjoy their experience.