Road to Beatification for Father McGivney

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Do You Believe in Miracles?

A miracle is defined as an extraordinary event

that has no current medical or scientific explanation.

Dan and Michelle Schachle of Dickson, Tennessee, believed in them so much that they even prayed to Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, to intercede with God to save their son, still in his mother’s womb, who was given no hope of surviving a life-threatening case of fetal hydrops, a dangerous accumulation of fluids throughout the body.

This story unfolds in late 2014, when Michelle learned that she was pregnant.  After an ultrasound, she learned that her son had Down syndrome and hydrops.    They turned to McGivney for help. The Knights of Columbus have been promoting his sainthood cause since 1997 and the Schachles were members of the Father McGivney Guild (, an organization established to support the cause. They asked others to pray to the priest for his intercession, too. They went on a Knights-sponsored pilgrimage in March 2015 to the Vatican, Spain, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal and they prayed for his intercession.

Four days after their return from the pilgrimage, Michelle went back to the doctor’s office for another ultrasound to check the baby’s fluid levels and the status of the hydrops. Doctors confirmed there was no sign of the life-threatening condition. Today Mikey is a healthy 5 year old.

When Dan Schachle told folks at the Knights’ Supreme Council in New Haven, Connecticut, about his son Mikey’s cure in utero and his birth, they asked if they could inform those working on Father Michael J. McGivney’s sainthood cause. Dan quickly agreed.

To verify an event is a miracle, “you have to prove two things,” Brian Caulfield, vice postulator of McGivney’s cause said. “The first thing is to prove this was a healing that’s not explained by medical science.” The second is to clearly identify who people were praying to for their intercession, in this case, whether the intercession of McGivney was clearly invoked.

“We never prayed to have Down syndrome healed. That wasn’t life threatening,” they answered. “We thought a child with Down syndrome would be a blessing for our family.”

On May 27, after a long formal process of review, the Vatican announced Pope Francis had signed the decree recognizing the miracle through the intercession of McGivney. Once he is beatified, he will be given the title “Blessed.”  Read more about this story (click here).

Prayer for the Canonization of Father Michael J. 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. (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.)