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Knights of Columbus announce novena ahead of founder’s beatification

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CNA Staff, Oct 22, 2020 / 07:00 pm MT (CNA).- The Knights of Columbus has launched a nine-day novena to prepare for the beatification of the organization’s founder, Fr. Michael McGivney, at the end of the month.

The novena starts October 22 and continues through October 30, the eve of Fr. McGivney’s beatification.

During the novena, participants will reflect on different aspects of McGivney’s life, including his pastoral leadership, charity toward the poor, and support for family life and the domestic church.

Each day of the novena will include prayers for McGivney’s intercession and reflections on virtues to imitate. It will also include a prayer for McGivney’s canonization, which will require one more approved miracle.

“We are praying that many graces will come through the beatification of Father McGivney, that by his example of virtue we may be inspired to put our faith into action for the good of our families, parishes and communities,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in a press release.

“We will also pray for a miracle that will lead to the canonization of Father McGivney.”

McGivney will be beatified October 31 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut.

The priest 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. Over the past year, the Knights of Columbus have volunteered over 77 million service hours and donated $187 million in charitable funds.

Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1852, 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.

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.

Pope Francis approved McGivney’s first miracle in May. The miracle 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 McGivney.

Following his beatification, 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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