The Emblem of the Knights

The Emblem of the Order dates from the Second Supreme meeting, May 12, 1883, when it was designed by James T. Mullen, who was then the first Supreme Knight. A quick glance at the Emblem indicates a shield mounted upon a cross similar to a Maltese cross, turned sideways. The shield is that associated with a medieval Knight. The cross of Malta is the representation, in a traditionally artistic design, of the Cross of Christ through which all graces of redemption were procured for mankind. This, then, represents the Catholic spirit of the Order.

Mounted on the shield are three objects; a mace standing vertically, and crossed behind it, an anchor and a dagger or short sword. The mace from Roman days of authority, which must exist in any tightly-bonded and efficiently operating organization. The anchor is the mariner's symbol for Columbus, patron of the Order, while the short sword or dagger was the weapon of the Knight when engaged upon an errand of mercy.

Thus the shield expresses Catholic Knighthood in organized merciful action, and with the letters K. of C., it proclaims this specific form of activity. The red, white, and blue in the background of the shield and the foreground of the Cross of Malta are the colors of our beloved country As such, red is the color of stout-hearted courage, of pulsing activity and a full measure of devotion. Blue is the symbol of hope, of calm tranquility under God, and of confidence in the protection of our country, established under God. White is the symbol of nobility of purpose, of purity of aim, and of crucible-tried ideals to be carried out.

Faith, Hope, Charity

But there is another symbolism of color in red, white, and blue. This is the ecclesiastical symbolism in which red becomes the reflection of the drops of Christ's redemptive blood, shed upon Calvary, and of the Martyr's blood shed in defense of the faith.

Red, then, is the symbol of Faith, of belief in Christ, in the Redemption, and in the mission of every man to spread the knowledge and love of...Jesus Christ.

White is the color of the Eucharistic Host, pledge of God's Eucharistic presence among men, of the infinite love God had for man, and of the overwhelming affection which the God-man had for each individual. White then is the symbol of Christ-like Charity.

Blue is the color of Our Lady's mantle, in which she draped her beloved Son, through Whom salvation came to a sinful world. Blue is then the symbol of Hope.

The 4th Degree - Patriotism

Emblem for the Fourth Degree of Patriotism

On February 22, 1900, the first exemplification of that degree was held in New York City. The ritual added patriotism to the three original principles of the Order: charity, unity and fraternity. Any Third Degree member in good standing, one year after the anniversary of his First Degree, is eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree. The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship and a love of and loyalty to the Knights' respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups called assemblies. Fourth Degree members must retain their membership as Third Degree members in the local council to remain in good standing.

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History of Father Michael J. McGivney - Founder

Seal of the Father McGivney Guild

Father Michael McGivney was born in Waterbury on August 12, 1852. The oldest of thirteen children of Irish immigrants Patrick and Mary (Lynch) McGivney, Michael learned early about sorrow, the harsh grip of poverty, love and faith, and family fortitude. Six of his siblings died in infancy or childhood. At the age of 13 he left school to work in a spoon-making department of a brass factory to provide a few more dollars for family survival. When he reached the age of sixteen, he traveled to Quebec, Canada with his Waterbury pastor and registered at the French-run College of St. Hyacinthe. With the priesthood clearly in mind, he worked hard on subjects that would prepare him to apply for seminary admission. He studied two additional years at Our Lady of Angels Seminary in Niagara Falls, New York. He then moved to Montreal to attend seminary classes at the Jesuit-run St. Mary's College.

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