Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward (Ps 127:3).
Intention: For the domestic church, the church of the home, seedbed of love and vocation.
Virtue: Openness to God’s will.
Although they lived a century before St. John Paul II, whose memorial we observe today (Oct. 22), Patrick and Mary McGivney embodied the late pope’s message on the domestic church: “Family, become what you are” (Familiaris Consortio, 17). Formed and blessed by God, the family is the place where parents are privileged to bring forth children and serve as the first examples of human love, unity and fraternity, amid daily joys, sacrifices and suffering. The McGivney family knew the grace of cooperating with God’s will, bringing 13 children into the world, as well as the grief that came when six of those children died as infants. Patrick and Mary had left Ireland’s potato famine for America and were married in Waterbury, Conn. Their first child, Michael Joseph, was born Aug. 12, 1852, and baptized a week later. He took on family responsibility early, watching over his younger siblings, earning honors in school, graduating at age 13, and then joining his father in factory work. Though not rich in material goods, the life of this family abounded in grace, and Michael learned discipline, compassion, and the rough-and-tumble fraternal charity that comes naturally in a large family. The McGivneys also received from God the great gift of vocations, as Michael’s younger brothers, Patrick and John, would join him in the priesthood.
Petitions For a deeper appreciation of the importance of family life, that our domestic church may serve as a model of faith, hope and charity. R/ Grant our prayer, Lord, through the intercession of Father McGivney.
For holy marriages founded on God’s love, that husbands and wives may have the grace to generously accept the gift of new life. R/ Grant our prayer, Lord, through the intercession of Father McGivney.
Petitions For many graces to come through the beatification of Father Michael McGivney, that by his example of virtue we may be inspired to put our faith into action for the good of our families, parishes and communities. R/ Grant our prayer, Lord, through the intercession of Father McGivney.
For the personal petitions of those who pray this novena, and for a miracle from God that will lead to the canonization of Father McGivney. R/ Grant our prayer, Lord, through the intercession of Father McGivney.
Prayer for the Canonization of Father 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.