In times of trouble or anguish, Catholics call upon the saints for their intercession. In most cases, there is St. Rita for impossible cases and there is also St. Jude for when everything seems like a lost cause.
This is exactly what Michelle Schachle of Dickson, Tennessee, did when she found out that her youngest child had Down Syndrome and fetal hydrops (an uncommon and fatal condition where fluids clog the vital organs of an unborn child). Distraught, Michelle and her husband Daniel knew that they needed a miracle. Which was why they sought the intercession of Fr. Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Colombus, for help. (Read: My Pope Readers Share Their Miracle Stories)
Doctors told the couple that their unborn child had no chance of survival with the combination of Down Syndrome and fetal hydrops. Of course, Michelle and Daniel were overcome with fear because they had already experienced having a stillborn child.
Knights of Columbus
For years, Michelle’s family has been seeking Fr. Michael McGivney’s intercession in their everyday lives. It comes as Daniel works for the Knights of Columbus—in fact, he had been Grand Knight of his local council.
“We’ve worn out his prayer card over the years,” says Daniel. “We knew that he looked out over our family, and we looked to him a lot and asked him to pray for us, anyways. So it was more of a natural, I would say, flow.” (Read: 5 Daily Prayers to Teach to Your Children)
So when the couple prayed for their unborn baby, Fr. McGivney answered again. Hundreds of people prayed for McGivney’s intervention for their child. They even had a quick pilgrimage to Fatima with the Knights of Columbus to seek his miracle!
Surprisingly, on Michelle’s next ultrasound, doctors saw no signs of fetal hydrops. She was confused about the development when her doctor began discussing what they would do when the baby was born. (Read: The Miracles of Motherhood: Readers share their soul-stirring stories)
Michelle was shocked. When the doctor asked her what she would name her baby, she knew he had to be named Michael after hearing that her child had been healed in honor McGivney. “I just remember weeping and saying, ‘His name is Michael,’” said Michelle. Mikey, as he is called now, is already five years old.
On May 27, 2020, Pope Francis declared that what the family witnessed was indeed a miracle. After an extensive medical examination, the unexplained healing of baby Michael was decreed a miracle that arose through the intercession of Fr. McGivney. (Read: The miraculous intercessions of saints that will turn even the most stubborn of skeptics into believers)
Fr. Michael McGivney will be beatified as Blessed Michael McGivney.