Oct. 2, 1881, a small group of men met in the basement of St.
Mary's Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut.
Called together by their 29-year-old parish priest, Father
Michael J. McGivney, these men formed a fraternal society that
would one day become the world's largest Catholic family
fraternal service organization. They sought strength in
solidarity, and security through unity of purpose and devotion
to a holy cause: they vowed to be defenders of their country,
their families and their faith. These men were bound together by
the ideal of Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of the
Americas, the one whose hand brought Christianity to the New
World. Their efforts came to fruition with the incorporation of
the Knights of Columbus on March 29, 1882. They were Knights of
Order has been called "the strong right arm of the
Church," and has been praised by popes, presidents and
other world leaders, for support of the Church, programs of
evangelization and Catholic education, civic involvement and aid
to those in need.