Son of Irish immigrants. Studied at the Saint-Hyacinthe’s Seminary in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada beginning in 1868; finished his studies at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1873. Before he could be ordained, however, his father died, and Michael returned home to support the family. Ordained on 22 December 1877 by Archbishop Joseph Gibbons at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Assistant pastor at Saint Mary’s Church, New Haven, archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. With a small group of parishioners, he founded the Knights of Columbus on 2 February 1882; today the organization has nearly two million members and contributes tens of millions of dollars to charity each year.
- 14 August 1890 at Thomaston, Connecticut of pneumonia, possibly related to tuberculosis
- re-interred in Saint Mary’s Church, New Haven Connecticut in 1982
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 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. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be. – Prayer for the Canonization of Father Michael Joseph McGivney
- “Venerable Michael Joseph McGivney“. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 June 2015. Web. 11 February 2016. <>