Conn. (WTNH) — The Pope Emeritus was laid to rest in Rome Thursday morning. In New Haven, you can see an exhibit about Benedict XVI and the important link between the former pontiff and a famous New Haven priest.
In the building dedicated to Blessed Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, there already was a display about popes before the passing of the Pope Emeritus.
“So, we just added a few more things on display to honor the legacy of his life,” said Bethany Sheffer, Curator of the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center.
That includes a cassock and skull cap worn by Benedict XVI when he was Pope, as well as a portrait commissioned by the Knights of Columbus.
“And a few pieces of memorabilia from the 2008 visit he made to the United States, which is the only one he actually did as pope,” Sheffer said.
There is always a special relationship between the Pope and the Knights of Columbus, but Benedict XVI played a special role in the ongoing process of possibly someday making the founder of the Knights a saint.
“He is the pope that declared our founder, Father Michael McGivney, venerable,” said Sheffer. “Which is a very important stage of the canonization process.”
Being venerated has a specific meaning in the Catholic church.
“Someone who lived a life that is for us to model ourselves after,” explained Patrick Diener, Director of Charitable Giving for the Knights of Columbus. “Someone who went not just this far, but beyond.”
Pope Francis took McGivney to the next step of beatification in 2020. There is one more step. That is sainthood. That literally requires a miracle. Miracles have been attributed to Blessed McGivney.
“They go to the Vatican, a committee reviews them to see if these are truly something of extraordinary means,” Diener said. “So, we’re waiting, we’re praying, and we’re very hopeful that time will come shortly. “You can follow that process and see the artifacts from Benedict XVI Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center.