On November 18, in Detroit’s Ford Field, the Catholic Church will recognize this Capuchin Franciscan as Blessed Solanus Casey. Declaring him a saint seems only a matter of time—and one more sanctity-proving miracle.
Enjoy these features about Blessed Solanus Casey.
Casey came from a large family in Oak Grove, Wisconsin. At the age of 21, and after he had worked as a logger, a hospital orderly, a streetcar operator, and a prison guard, he entered St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee—where he found the studies difficult. He left there and, in 1896, joined the Capuchins in Detroit, taking the name Solanus. His studies for the priesthood were again arduous.
Why did they follow him? Why did they line up by the hundreds on a Detroit sidewalk or in New York, day after day, patiently waiting their turn to talk with him? This man was deemed not sharp enough to be a diocesan priest. Yet the faithful came by the thousands to hear simple counsel from this ordinary man.
Solanus Casey’s struggle to find his place as a priest and member of the Capuchins followed him, in a sense, to his first assignment. Sacred Heart parish in the New York suburb of Yonkers, where Solanus arrived in 1904, looked down from a hill onto the Hudson River. The view from his window reminded Solanus of his childhood home in Wisconsin. He would make a lasting impression among the people there.
Throughout his life, but especially toward the end, Solanus Casey’s thoughts turned more and more to death. His statements on this subject show a remarkable familiarity, even friendliness, with death, which well reflect the words of his spiritual father Saint Francis of Assisi, who prayed in his Canticle of Brother Sun, “Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no one living can escape.”
Solanus Casey, known as God’s doorkeeper, loved his simple but important job. It brought him in touch with people with every sort of need. Send a Solanus Casey e-card to someone in need of a hopeful word!