Faith In Action

Why the Name Knights of Columbus?

Why Knights of Columbus?

When Father McGivney, the son of Irish immigrants, proposed a name for the fraternal and charitable organization in 1882, his choice was “Sons of Columbus.” After debate with the founding members — all of them laymen, most of them Irish — the group finally settled upon “Knights of Columbus.”

While “Knights” invoked the chivalric orders, with their code of ethics, aspiration to virtue and defense of the most vulnerable, the adoption of Columbus as patron signified that Catholics had been in the New World from the beginning — that is, from the very day that it became “New.”

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