Seven Days with Solanus Casey

Photograph of Solanus Casey

The monastery doorbell rang at two o’clock in the morning. Father Solanus ran down the steps to the door before anyone else was awakened. When he opened the door, a big, burly fellow blurted out, “Where’s that Father Solanus? I want to kill him.”

“Well, now,” said Solanus, “we’ll have to talk that over.” He ushered the man into the small office next to the door and sat down with him. The man said he was a communist and hated all priests. Solanus patiently listened to his angry tale of a dissolute life. Then Solanus gently spoke of God and God’s love for all people, even sinners. 

The man calmed down and gave up all thought of violence. Solanus told him to come back later in the day and make his confession. He returned, met another priest in the church who helped him to make a sincere confession, and after receiving absolution soon turned his life around.

Many people have said that after meeting Fr. Solanus and listening to him speak of God, they left with the feeling that a great weight had been lifted from their shoulders. I know that meeting Fr. Solanus had a profound effect on my life, and now I would like to share his life and goodness with people everywhere. This is the story of a man whom, once you have met him, you will never forget.

Enjoy this seven-day excursion into the spirituality of Blessed Solanus Casey…. 

Day 1: Simple, Sublime Faith 

Solanus (Barney) Casey was a simple man, a simple priest—not a man of letters, not a man of degrees—yet his thought reached to profound poetic and theological depths. Like a prophet, he was a man with a message for the future. Read more on simple, sublime faith.

Day 2: Relying on Mary

Throughout the summer and fall of 1896, Solanus prayed often that he might discover God’s will for his life. He asked himself, “Does God want me to become a priest?” He sought out Fr. Eustace Vollmer, whose spiritual advice had guided him before. Read more on relying on Mary.

Day 3: Holy Witness to History

Immersed as he was in the work of the Church for the salvation of souls, Solanus yet remained attentive to the times in which he lived. Daily events in the world around him frequently called for prayers of supplication, especially when suffering was involved. Read more on Holy witness to history.

Day 4: A Prophetic Friar

A love and deep care for the well-being of 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. Read more on a prophetic friar.

Day 5: An Attitude of Gratitude

Many were the occasions, when speaking with the friars or other people, that Solanus would extol the importance and necessity of gratitude. His letters express this theme over and over. He calls gratitude “the first sign of a thinking, rational creature.” Read more on an attitude of gratitude.

Day 6: A Creative Spirituality

As I look back now, I realize how fortunate I was to be in the presence of Fr. Solanus. I could see the patience and compassion with which he greeted each person who came seeking help for body or soul. Solanus treated each person like a member of his own family. Read more on a creative spirituality.

Day 7: From Holy Life to Eternal Life

Lying back on the pillow, Solanus breathed forth his soul. It was eleven o’clock in the morning, at the very hour and on the very date of his first Holy Mass, fifty-three years before. The sisters and the doctors were consoled on entering the room to see the look of peace on Solanus’ face. Read more on from holy life to eternal life.

Buy Gratitude and Grit: The Life of Blessed Solanus Casey