Intention: For all who suffer on the peripheries of society,
Day 3 – Ministry to the Marginalized
Saturday, Oct. 24
I have become all things to all men,
so that I may by all means save some (1 Cor 9:22).
Intention: For all who suffer on the peripheries of society, including immigrants, those persecuted for their Christian faith, and persons who are imprisoned, poor, homeless or addicted.
Virtue: Perseverance amid adversity and trials.
Father McGivney did not confine himself to the sacristy or rectory. The needs of his people took him far from the church doors as he served as an advocate for families in court; a friend of those from other Christian faiths; a consoling presence to a prominent Protestant minister whose daughter had died; the director of public plays and fairs; and, of course, the founder of the Knights of Columbus. In these and many other ways, he was a man ahead of his time, anticipating by nearly a century the Second Vatican Council’s teachings on ecumenical dialogue, a more active and engaged laity, and the “universal call to holiness.”
In a notable case, he ministered to James “Chip” Smith, a 21-year-old Catholic who was on death row for fatally shooting a police officer while drunk. Father McGivney visited him often over many months to offer guidance, prayer and Mass in the city jail, to great effect. The young man’s change of heart was so marked that local newspapers hailed Father McGivney’s ministry. After Mass on execution day, the priest’s grief was profound. Smith comforted him, saying, “Father, your saintly ministrations have enabled me to meet death without a tremor. Do not fear for me, I must not break down now.” Father McGivney walked with him to the end, leading him in prayer and blessing him at the scaffold. He still walks with us in our needs today as we look to him for guidance in times of affliction, grief and hopelessness.
For those who are neglected and in need, that we may respond to the Lord’s call to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, give shelter to the homeless, care for the sick and visit the imprisoned (see Matt 26:31-46). R/ Grant our prayer, Lord, through the intercession of Father McGivney.
For those throughout the world who are persecuted or killed for their Christian faith, that the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund may continue to provide help in their time of great need. R/ Grant our prayer, Lord, through the intercession of Father McGivney.
For many graces to come through the beatification of Father Michael 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. R/ Grant our prayer, Lord, through the intercession of Father McGivney.
For the personal petitions of those who pray this novena, and for a miracle from God that will lead to the canonization of Father McGivney. R/ Grant our prayer, Lord, through the intercession of Father McGivney.
Prayer for the Canonization of Father McGivney
God, our Father, protector of the poor and defender of the widow and orphan, you called your priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, to be an apostle of Christian family life and to lead the young to the generous service of their neighbor. Through the example of his life and virtue may we follow your Son, Jesus Christ, more closely, fulfilling his commandment of charity and building up his Body which is the Church. Let the inspiration of your servant prompt us to greater confidence in your love so that we may continue his work of caring for the needy and the outcast. We humbly ask that you glorify your venerable servant Father Michael J. McGivney on earth according to the design of your holy will. Through his intercession, grant the favor I now present (here make your request). Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Get full novena here.
And see our coverage of Fr. McGivney here.