Day 7 – A Holy Death
Wednesday, Oct. 28
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us (Rom 8:18).
Intention: For the dying and those suffering from serious illness.
Virtue: Hope for eternal life.
Falling ill amid the influenza pandemic of 1889-90, Father McGivney traveled far to find effective treatments but always returned to his parish to tend to his duties while his health lasted. In his final days, priests visited to comfort him, learn from him, and administer the Last Rites. For his own part, he prayed fervently for his parishioners and his Knights, offering his sufferings for their spiritual and temporal welfare. A man of practical action till the end, he updated his will, providing for the seminary education of his youngest brother and dividing his goods among his siblings. The flu, known as the “grippe,” that consumed the world’s attention also grabbed hold of his body. He was confined to bed in his rectory for much of the summer before succumbing to the virus, with an underlying condition of tuberculosis, on Aug. 14, 1890, two days past his 38th birthday, on the vigil of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was a model of goodness and patience and — in his last priestly act on earth — offered himself to God in a holy death. As one of his Knights remembered, “He was a man of the people. He was zealous of his people’s welfare, and all the kindness of his priestly soul asserted itself more strongly in his unceasing efforts for the betterment of their condition.” The remembrance card at his funeral quoted a passage from the Book of Wisdom that highlighted his holiness of life and closeness to God: “Being made perfect in a short space, he fulfilled a long time; for his soul pleased God, therefore He hastened to bring him out of the midst of iniquity” (Wis 4:13-14).
For our loved ones who have died, that they may soon see the face of God in the land of the living. R/ Grant our prayer, Lord, through the intercession of Father McGivney.
For those who suffer in mind, body or soul, that they may be comforted and healed by God’s gracious hand. R/ Grant our prayer, Lord, through the intercession of Father McGivney.
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.