Solanus Casey will be beatified this month! All around the United States, people will celebrate the life of this holy Capuchin friar in November. Over half a million people are expected to attend the celebration at Ford Field in Detroit, a city where Casey served for 20 years as porter and sacristan at St. Bonaventure Monastery.
With all the buzz about beatification, we thought it would be useful to offer a quick primer on what it means to be beatified.
You’re not a saint … but you’re close. Beatification is the final stop on the path to sainthood. The path starts with being declared Venerable, which means that the Church has found that your life was characterized by “heroic virtue.” Solanus Casey was declared Venerable in 1995. After beatification comes canonization, at which point you are officially a saint.
You have one certified miracle. The Church requires an officially recognized miracle before beatification can take place (to become a full-fledged saint, you need two miracles). In the case of Solanus Casey, a woman suffering from an incurable genetic skin disease was healed after praying at his tomb and asking for his intercession. The Vatican takes its investigation of miracles seriously, interviewing doctors and scientists to ensure the cure has no scientific explanation.
You are truly blessed. Upon beatification, Venerable Solanus Casey will become Blessed Solanus Casey.
If you’re a martyr, your cause may be fast-tracked. You might recall that another American, Stanley Rother, was beatified earlier this year. Fr. Rother did not have the long road to beatification that Solanus did, because he was declared a martyr of the Church.