The founder of the Knights of Columbus, Father Michael J. McGivney was a central figure in the growth of Catholicism in America, and he remains a model today. His example of charity, evangelization and empowerment of the laity continues to bear fruit and guide Knights of Columbus around the world.
In his Apostolic Letter that was read at the Mass for Beatification on Oct. 31, 2020, Pope Francis stated that Blessed Michael McGivney’s “zeal for the proclamation of the Gospel and generous concern for the needs of his brothers and sisters made him an outstanding witness of Christian solidarity and fraternal assistance.” The Holy Father set his annual feast day for Aug. 13, the day between Father McGivney’s birthday (in 1852) and the day he entered eternal life (in 1890).
Blessed Fr. Titus Brandsma, O. Carm
Born in the Frisian city of Bolsward, Holland, in 1881, Bl. Titus Brandsma joined the Carmelites in 1898 at the age of 17. He made his first profession in 1899 and then he was ordained to the priesthood in 1905. He undertook further studies in Rome and was awarded a doctorate in philosophy at the Gregorian Pontifical University.
Returning to Holland, he taught in a number of schools before taking up a post as Professor of Philosophy and the History of Mysticism at the Catholic University of Nijmegen where he was later appointed Rector Magnificus. A noted writer and journalist, in 1935, he was appointed adviser to the bishops, for Catholic journalists. He was noted for being ready to receive anyone in difficulty and to help in whatever way he could. In the period leading up to and during the Nazi occupation in Holland, he argued passionately against the National Socialist ideology, basing his stand on the Gospels, and he defended the right to freedom in education and for the Catholic Press. As a result, he was imprisoned. So began his Calvary, involving great personal suffering and degradation whilst, at the same time, he himself brought solace and comfort to the other internees and begged God's blessing on his jailers. In the midst of such inhuman suffering, he possessed the precious ability to bring an awareness of goodness, love and peace. He passed from one prison or camp to another until he arrived in Dachau where he was killed on 26th July 1942. He was beatified as a martyr by Pope John Paul II on 3rd November 1985.
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