Vatican City, May 27, 2020 / 04:40 am
Fr. Michael McGivney, an American priest soon to be beatified, died amid a 19th-century pandemic which may have been caused by a coronavirus.
Fr. McGivney founded the largest world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization, the Knights of Columbus, in 1882. Today the order formed in his parish basement in New Haven, Connecticut, has grown to more than two million members donating millions to charity each year.
McGivney was serving as a parish priest amid the pandemic of 1889-1890, according to a press release issued by the Knights of Columbus May 27.
Biologists using gene-sequencing methods have attributed the pandemic to a type of coronavirus, according to a Bloomberg report. This virus, which first appeared in Russia, killed a total of 1 million people worldwide, including 13,000 in the United States.