The Knights of Columbus
“Truly, I am honored to be your compassionate mother…there [at the church] truly will I listen to your cry and sadness in order to remedy and cure all their various troubles, miseries and pains.”
– Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego
In that same spirit of compassion, the Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal organization dedicated to helping those in need.
Founded in 1882 to help the widows and orphans of the largely-immigrant Catholic community in New Haven, Conn., the Knights of Columbus today continues the mission throughout the world, serving families and communities through a vast array of charitable and spiritual activities.
Through its 14,000 councils, each uniquely shaped by the strengths of its members and the needs of its community, the Knights invites Catholic men to form a “band of brothers” strong enough to face the needs of those around us – and committed enough to respond.
Today, the Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization. Last year alone, thanks to the hard work and dedication of its 1.8 million members, the Knights volunteered more than 70 million hours to charitable causes, and donated more than $154 million to charitable needs and projects.
Inspired by the growing host of Knights of Columbus saints, including six Mexican martyrs of the 1920s, today”s Knights are challenged to bring our communities to a better future by being the leaders of charity today.
The Knights and Our Lady of Guadalupe
Ever since 1905, when the “Guadalupe Council” was established in Mexico City (the first in that country), Our Lady of Guadalupe has had a special place in the Knights’ hearts and work.
Recent Knights of Columbus events include the first-ever International Marian Congress on Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2009, which concluded with the 22,000-person Guadalupe Festival in Phoenix. The Knights also cosponsored the 2003 “Tilma of Tepeyac Tour” bringing the relic of the Tilma from the Cathedral in Los Angeles to more than 20 cities in the United States, drawing in excess of 100,000 people.
Today, the Knights of Columbus are lead by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who personally dedicated his administration to Our Lady of Guadalupe at her Basilica in Mexico City in 2000. In 2009, together with Msgr. Eduardo Chavez, Postulator of the Cause of St. Juan Diego, he brought the richness of Our Lady of Guadalupe and her message to thousands in the New York Times bestseller Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of a Civilization of Love.
Until 2013, the Knights’ Marian Prayer Program is spreading devotion to the Mother of the Americas to parishes throughout the world.