After extensive investigation, Pope Francis confirmed that the baby's healing was a miracle attributed to the intercession of Fr. Michael McGivney.
Michelle Schachle was told that her 13th child had Down syndrome along with fetal hydrops, a condition that is usually fatal.
The unborn baby was given “no hope,” meaning no chance of survival. “The doctor that ran the neonatal high risk clinic at Vanderbilt University told us that she had been doing this for 30 years the doctor said she had never seen a child survive the diagnosis,” Daniel, the baby’s father, told CNA.
The couple had already had one stillborn child and were fearful of another loss.
Fr. Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, had long been the family’s go-to person for prayers. Daniel works for the Knights of Columbus and had been Grand Knight of his local council. The Schachles even dubbed their homeschool the “Fr. McGivney Academy.”
“We’ve worn out his prayer card over the years,” said Daniel.
“We knew that (Fr. McGivney) looked out over our family, and we looked to him a lot and asked him to pray for us, anyways. So it was more of a natural, I would say, flow,” added Daniel, sharing with CNA that McGivney had answered prayers “many times” for their family.
Parishioners and friends joined in praying through Fr. McGivney’s intercession. Michelle’s next ultrasound showed no sign of fetal hydrops.
When she learned that her child had been healed, Michelle knew he had to be named Michael, in honor of Fr. McGivney. Mikey, as he’s called, is now 5 years old.
The cause for the canonization of Father Michael J. McGivney was opened by the Archdiocese of Hartford on December 10, 1997.
After extensive investigation, the miracle was confirmed by Pope Francis on May 27, 2020. Because of this miracle, Fr. McGivney will be beatified and then be referred to as Blessed Michael McGivney.