ROME, Italy — The founder of the Knights of Columbus, the influential U.S.-based lay Catholic organization, is moving a step closer to possible sainthood.
Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Rev. Michael McGivney.
McGivney is a Connecticut priest who died at age 38 of pneumonia in 1890 during a pandemic similar to the current coronavirus outbreak.
The Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints noted Father McGivney was born on August 12, 1852 in Waterbury.
According to officials, he founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 in New Haven to encourage greater, active participation of lay Catholics in their faith and to care for families when the breadwinner died.
He would be the first U.S. parish priest to be beatified, the first major step before canonization.