Franciscan Spirit Blog

Seven Days with Solanus Casey: A Prophetic Friar

Coming from a large family of sixteen children with parents who truly loved them, Solanus inherited a love for children that was God-centered. He expressed it tenderly in a letter to his niece Helena Wilhite:

  • To raise children for God and society is so manifestly pleasing to God—and this, whether they [are] by natural generation or by adoption (seemingly quite a matter of indifference to Him), that He has given a specially beautiful coloring to the love of those whose privilege it is to have become earnest, faithful parents.

This love for children made Solanus their special intercessor. When the dreaded polio epidemic struck in the thirties, many who called on his prayers were wonderfully restored to health, to the surprise of their doctors.

One case, that of twelve-year-old Charles Rogers, was described vividly by his sister when she was interviewed a few years ago. Young Charles was getting stiff in the neck and limbs. The doctor, a well-known specialist, came to the house to examine him. He wanted to get the boy to the hospital right away, but his father waited. He asked one of his workers to see Fr. Solanus and ask for his prayers. Fr. Solanus enrolled Charles in the Mass Association and told his father, “Don’t worry. The boy will be all right tomorrow.”

During the night Charles startled his parents by walking downstairs. They put him back to bed and called his doctor immediately. When the doctor came, he tested the strength in the boy’s arms and legs, then told him to walk. The doctor was completely surprised. He had never seen anything like this before. He told Mr. Rogers, “You did more than pray; this is a miracle!” Medical men don’t usually use that term.

There were couples who were praying for children but had such difficulties conceiving that they almost despaired. They found that Solanus’ prayers were very effective in obtaining the blessings of children. Even to this day so many people have reported how Solanus’ prayers have helped achieve and maintain pregnancies that he might be considered a special intercessor for such requests.

Blessed Solanus Casey has a lot to say to young Christians today, as Frank Jasper, OFM, explains.

It seems that there were times when Solanus had the gift of prophecy. A young woman came to ask his prayers because she wanted to become a nun.

“No,” he told her, “you will marry a young man, and he will become a policeman, and you will have several children.”

Some years after Solanus’ death, this woman reported that she indeed had married a soldier who became a policeman, and they had eight children.

One evening a lady came into the office. She had just come from seeing her husband in the hospital. She asked Solanus’s prayers and requested that he telephone her husband and give him some words of comfort. Solanus called the man’s room and told him that his wife was in the office and had asked for prayers for his recovery.

After a few words of encouragement, he said to the man, “Now, John, I will be praying for you this evening. I am going to pray for a happy death.” It was not what the man or his wife expected to hear, but Solanus was able to prepare them to accept God’s plan. The following day the man died a happy, peaceful death, and his wife and family found peace also.

“Happiness in this world consists in the hopes we foster. Little children are happy in the vivid hopes that animate them. Ours should be the hope of the saints, springing from the infallible promises of heaven, and imbued with the appreciation of the contrast between the eternal and the temporal.”

Blessed Solanus Casey—

A book about Blessed Solanus Casey


1 thought on “Seven Days with Solanus Casey: A Prophetic Friar”

  1. Richard Bucci

    It’s hard to find the right word that describes the gifts of prophesy and healing exhibited by Solanus Casey. Amazing or awe inspiring come to mind. They brought people to Christ at the time they occurred. Years later reading about them has the same effect. They bring hope.

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