+ Michael was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, to Irish-immigrant parents and baptized
in St. Peter’s Church (predecessor to what is now the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception).
+ Ordained priest in 1877, he was assigned to St. Mary’s Church, New Haven, where his
remarkable ability to relate to all people of every social, economic, and religious background made him known and loved. In 1882, he founded the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal benevolent association that offered spiritual and apostolic direction to Catholic men.
+ Father McGivney died of tuberculosis on August 14, 1890, while pastor of
St. Thomas’ Church in Thomaston, Connecticut, and was beatified in 2020.
For prayer and reflection
“May his example encourage all of us to witness to the Gospel of charity.”—Pope Francis reflecting on the beatification of Blessed Michael McGivney
On this day we also remember Blessed Gertrude of Altenburg. The daughter of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and Louis IV of Thuringia, she became a Cistercian nun in Altenberg Abbey. She served this community as abbess for many years before her death in 1297. Devotion to Blessed Gertdue was confirmed by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729.
God of eternal mercy,
who set your priest Blessed Michael in the Church
to comfort the suffering and the weary, the lonely and the oppressed
with works of charity and a gentle heart,
grant that, through his intercession,
we too may become vessels of mercy in our day
and so enter into our heavenly inheritance.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Collect for Blessed Michael McGivney as established by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.