EWTN Catholic Q&A
Knights of Columbus
Question from Yani on 10-14-2013:

Why do they call this group Knights of Columbus?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 10-15-2013:


Christopher Columbus was chosen as a patron because he was believed to be an American hero who happened to be Catholic. When the Knights organized in 19th-century anti-Catholic New England, they wanted just such a Catholic hero to make the point that Catholics had been essential to the establishment of America. As for the word Knights, the founder Fr. Michael McGivney originally wanted to use the word Sons (as in "Sons of Columbus"). The original group Fr. McGivney organized preferred "Knights," presumably because they wanted to inspire Catholic men to chivalry and to the virtues that knights of old were called to uphold and emulate. It also appealed to the organization's desire to promote healthy ritual in the lives of Catholic men.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers