The Blessed Michael McGivney Candle Program

Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, may in the not too distant future will be Canonized a Saint. We all pray that will come.

Blessed Michael McGivney was inspired to create the Knights of Columbus, the largest Catholic fraternal insurance organization in the world. He also wanted to ensure that Catholic men could remain strong in the faith. His legacy continues to this day. Blessed Michael McGivney continues to exhibit his heroic virtue while in eternity with God.

If you have stepped into a Catholic Church, you have likely seen rows and rows of candles either at the altar or to the side. In Catholicism, lighting a candle is a way to strengthen a prayer. While you don't need to light a candle when praying, it's an old custom that goes back thousands of years. Jesus himself used the symbol of light to guide his followers, and lighting a candle brings followers closer to Christ.

Catholics also celebrate a holiday known as "All Saint's Day." This takes place on the first of November, and it is a time for remembering the examples they have left us. This is followed by "All Soul's Day" which takes place on the second day of November to pray for our deceased. This practice shortens the distance between Earth, Heaven, and Purgatory. Knight's Councils should have Masses in memory of their deceased members and their families each November to honour their fallen Brothers and deceased families. Our Church sets aside the month of November to specifically remember all deceased.

The Blessed Michael McGivney Candle Program will give the councils a chance to place a candle with Blessed McGivney's picture at council meetings. It is the lighting of a candle that will be a way to strengthen prayer and remind us of the presence of God. The candle can be blessed by a council Chaplain or at the Special Mass held each year by the Honoris to Blessed McGivney each August.

After the candle is lit at the council meeting and the opening prayer is completed, the Grand Knight or Chaplain will say the following prayer:

Blessed Michael McGivney Council Prayer

Blessed Michael McGivney help guide us to find the true purpose of our council's charity. To understand the unity we have as brothers with a common cause and the appreciation of our fraternity in our order. May our differences be blessed and our debates work toward our common goals. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son Our Lord, who lives and reigns with You, in union with the Holy Spirit, as one God forever and ever. Amen.

Also used is the Knights Prayer. It is the oldest prayer known to be used by the Knights of Columbus. This prayer is sometimes used at the start of the installation of officers.

A Knights Prayer

Heavenly Father, You are the author of life and source of grace. Without You, we are nothing, and with You, all things are possible. Guide us that we may humbly serve your people. Bless us with your Grace that the work of the Knights of Columbus will make a difference in this small part of the world You have entrusted to us. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son Our Lord, who lives and reigns with You, in union with the Holy Spirit, as One God forever and ever. Amen.

If the McGivney Candle is used at a member's home. The candle is lit and the Knights' prayer is said and the rosary is used.

Devotion to Blessed Michael McGivney Prayer

Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us Blessed Michael McGivney as an example of holiness. Help us to imitate the devotion to You that he showed throughout his life, beginning from the time of his Catholic upbringing. Please bring my petitions before God Whom you served. Pray for us, that we may seek to serve God as faithfully as you did. Pray that we may grow in holiness each day, as He calls us to. Blessed Michael McGivney, pray for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Lighting a Candle During Family Celebrations

We give you thanks O God,
for this happy moment.
And we ask that as we are one,
In this circle of light,
we may always be one with You
In the circle of Your loving presence.

Prayer For Lighting A Candle

Lord, may this candle be a light for You to enlighten me in my decisions, And may it be a fire for You to purify me from all pride and selfishness. May it be a flame for you to build warmth into my heart towards my family, my neighbour and all those who meet me.

There are several ways we emphasis to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and to our founder Blessed Michael McGivney.

  • Have Masses said for your departed brothers and families. Having a Mass is a loving way of affirming the importance of the Mass. We should remember Blessed Michael McGivney in August 14th, the day of his death and throughout the year.

  • Pray the Holy Rosary for the Souls in Purgatory after the Sacrifice of the Mass. The Holy Rosary is the most powerful of prayers. History tells us that Blessed Michael McGivney used the Rosary daily in his prayers.

  • Obtain Indulgences: Indulgences reduce or cancel the temporal punishment that we incur through sin. There are many ways to obtain indulgences through pious actions, and we can apply their merits to the deceased. For example, devoutly visit a cemetery and pray for the dead during a November Memorial Mass. Light a candle in memory of our brothers and say a prayer in remembrance.

  • Give Alms: The giving of material assistance to the poor has always been considered a penance that can be offered for the Holy Souls. "For almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin" (Tobit 12:9). We can make our gift "in the name of our loved ones" or to honour their memory; we can give to their favourite charity, or contribute a gift to our Church. And supporting the works of our council and assembly.

  • The Divine Mercy Chaplet: Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet as Our Lord and Saint Maria Faustina has taught us.

  • Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great: tradition holds that St. Gertrude was told that piously reciting this prayer aids the releasing of souls from purgatory.

    Eternal Father,
    I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus,
    in union with the Masses said throughout the world today,
    for all the holy souls in Purgatory,
    for sinners everywhere,
    for sinners in the Universal Church,
    those in my own home and within my family.

  • When passing by a cemetery, pray the short Eternal Rest Prayer.

    Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
    and let perpetual light shine upon them.
    May they rest in peace.

    This prayer carries a partial indulgence applicable to the poor souls.

  • Visit a cemetery: Pray over the graves of your departed loved ones and sprinkle Holy Water, or visit a random graveyard and pray for those who may have no one to pray for them. Simply doing this gains a partial indulgence for those in purgatory. Spread devotion to the Holy Souls; make others aware of the great need of these suffering souls in our prayers.
Submitted by Brother Bill Country, PGK, FDD.