Father Solanus Casey was beautified on Nov. 18th in Detroit

Discussion in 'The Saints' started by Rain, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. Rain

    Rain Powers

    A priest known for his steadfast devotion to the needy cleared a threshold on the way to possible sainthood Saturday as the Roman Catholic Church beatified Solanus Casey, who is credited with the miraculous cure of a woman with a chronic skin disease.

    More than 60,000 people attended a Mass in Detroit where Father Solanus, as he was known, has an extraordinary following, decades after his death in 1957. Many insist their prayers to him have led to remarkable changes in their lives. Some of their stories were told on the scoreboard screens at Ford Field.

    . . . The unemployed shared their anxieties with Father Solanus, the parents of wayward kids sought his advice, and the ill and addicted asked him to urge God to heal them. As he listened, he took notes that were later turned into typewritten volumes of his work.

    Later in life, when Father Solanus was stationed at a seminary in Huntington, Indiana, Detroiters boarded buses for a four-hour ride just to see the man with a wispy white beard. Mail piled up from across the country.

    "He had a gentle presence. He left people with a wonderful feeling of peace inside their hearts," Pable said. "He would say, 'Let's just pray about this and see what God wants to do.' Some people were not healed. He told them to bear their problems with God's help."


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  2. Rain

    Rain Powers

    . . . The unassuming priest with amazing supernatural gifts grew up as Barney Casey, a rather ordinary boy in a large Irish immigrant family in Wisconsin. When he wasn't helping to farm the land, he liked to hunt, play baseball with his nine brothers, play an occasional practical joke, and squeak out tunes on the violin.

    Influenced by his parents' strong faith, young Barney developed habits of personal prayer, especially the daily Rosary. He thought about becoming a priest, but instead of entering the seminary in high school, as did many young men of his day, he went to work to help support his family. He drifted from job to job: lumberjack, handyman, prison guard, and, finally, streetcar conductor. He also fell in love and proposed marriage, but the idea was squelched by the young woman's mother, who thought her daughter too young.

    Then one day on the job, still uncertain about his life's direction, Barney brought his streetcar to a screeching halt. A crowd had gathered around a woman lying dead on the tracks as her killer stood over her with a bloody knife. Shaken, Barney spent that night praying for the two and went on to consider what he himself could do to oppose evil and violence. He soon became convinced that God was calling him to become a priest.

    Barney's challenges were just beginning. He entered the diocesan seminary in Milwaukee but was eventually dismissed for low grades. (It didn't help that classes were taught in German, and the textbooks were in Latin!) Disappointed, he returned home. However, after praying a novena, he heard Our Lady direct him to the Capuchin Franciscans and their seminary in Detroit. Entering as a postulant, he took the name Solanus.

    Perhaps this gratitude explains what is most surprising about him: that someone who could have seen himself as a failure surpassed everyone's expectations simply because he kept his eyes focused on God.

    Again, despite his best efforts, Solanus failed to make acceptable grades. His superiors wondered whether he was intellectually qualified for the priesthood. So they had him sign a statement acknowledging his "meager talents" and accepting whatever they might decide about his ordination.

    Three years later, Solanus was ordained — but only as a "simple" priest. That designation meant that while he could celebrate Mass, he was prevented from hearing confessions or preaching formal homilies. He didn't generally discuss his feelings, so we can only imagine what he felt about this disappointing outcome of ten hard years of study.

    Solanus could have contested his superiors' decision or bemoaned his fate. He could also have resigned himself to forever being considered second best. Instead, he joyfully embraced his limited status as God's true vocation for him. In fact, Deo gratias! or "Thanks be to God!" became his trademark response to all sorts of situations. As he later wrote, "If we could only learn to appreciate the holy faith and the innumerable blessings following from it … we could never have time to worry about anything."

    Perhaps this gratitude explains what is most surprising about him: that someone who could have seen himself as a failure surpassed everyone's expectations simply because he kept his eyes focused on God.

    God's Doorkeeper

    At first, no one expected much of Casey. Assigned to a Capuchin parish and monastery in Yonkers, New York, he was given humble tasks, including answering the door and greeting visitors. But this cheerful porter with a thin build, bright blue eyes, and high-pitched voice made himself every visitor's friend.


    People discovered that Solanus had amazing spiritual insights, a comforting presence, and an endless supply of patience. He spent as much time with visitors as they needed. As a result, his reputation began to spread — and not just for being a good listener.

    When he enrolled people in the Seraphic Mass Association, which Capuchins used as a means of intercessory prayer, so many of them reported blessings received that Solanus' superiors directed him to keep a record. The blessings continued when Solanus transferred to the Detroit monastery, where he answered the door for the next twenty-one years. They persisted even during his "retirement," as people shared prayer intentions with him either in person or by mail. By the end of his life, Casey had filled seven notebooks noting more than six thousand cases of answered prayers!

    Favors and Foibles

    Some of these "favors," as Solanus called them, were physical healings. A woman given three days to live was cured of pneumonia. A boy whose limbs had been stiffened by polio stunned his parents by walking down the stairs. Blindness, gangrene, memory loss, cancer, deafness, heart disease — all sorts of healing reports came flooding in.

    There were emotional and spiritual healings as well. People were delivered from alcoholism and depression. Some were brought back from the brink of suicide. There were miracles of conversion. One day an impassioned Communist came in saying he hated priests and wanted to kill Fr. Casey. "That's something that should be discussed," Solanus replied. Within a few minutes, the man was moved to repentance.


    Solanus also had prophetic gifts. He could often read hearts and tell people what would happen to them or their loved ones. Almost casually, he would say things like "Yes, you will be a nun" or "You haven't been praying" or "Don't worry; he'll be better by morning." One woman, distraught that her father had left the Church, approached Solanus at a parish picnic. He listened while eating his hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut, and predicted — correctly — that her father would return to the faith. To a man whose wife was facing an operation, Solanus replied that she wouldn't need it and would be back home soon; then, always the baseball fan, he said, "Now, tell me how the Detroit Tigers are doing."

    The thousands who came to him probably didn't expect a miracle worker to seem so ordinary. "Quirky," some of his fellow Capuchins might have added. He did have some unusual ways: combining all his food — cereal, coffee, orange juice, potatoes, ice cream — into one bowl at mealtimes, for example, and playing his harmonica to calm the bees in the monastery's hive. He was also known to play his squeaky violin before the Blessed Sacrament!

    Thank God ahead of Time

    Another surprise for visitors was that Solanus expected something of them. Typically, after hearing their stories, he would urge them to pray and "thank God ahead of time" for blessings to come. "Have faith! Trust in God!" he would say, sometimes with tears in his eyes. Then he would ask them to demonstrate their faith in some concrete way, like giving to the poor or doing some spiritual reading.

    Almost casually, he would say things like "Yes, you will be a nun" or "You haven't been praying" or "Don't worry; he'll be better by morning."

    Of course, no one was a more persevering and faith-filled intercessor than Solanus himself. Despite spending twelve or more hours a day with people in need, he was in the chapel, often lost in prayer, early in the morning and late at night.

    Finally, at age eighty-six, plagued by a severe and long-standing skin disease, Solanus began to fail. Painful sores had him writhing in agony. "My whole body hurts," he admitted, but with a radiant face that showed nothing but gratitude. So did his final words, delivered as he lay dying on July 31, 1957. Suddenly sitting up in bed, Solanus stretched his arms out and said, "I give my soul to Jesus Christ."

    Excerpt from:

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  3. gracia

    gracia Archangels

    How beautiful!
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  4. AED

    AED Powers

    Rain thank you for this. Do you know of a prayer for his intercession?
    gracia likes this.
  5. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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  6. Rain

    Rain Powers

    I found this unofficial-looking prayer for his intercession:

    Blessed Father Solanus Casey, tender intercessor of heroic patience and virtue, fill our hearts with thanksgiving constantly voiced to our merciful Creator Who has so favored your compassion by swiftly granting miraculous responses to your prayers. Pray for us, kind and humble shepherd, as miracles continue from your aid that glorify the Most Holy Trinity throughout the whole world. Thanks. AMEN.


    We talked about him back in 2012 and Padraig was wondering why he hadn't been canonized yet. Looks like he's on his way. :LOL:

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  7. AED

    AED Powers

    Thanks for posting ‘‘tis prayer!!
  8. Agnes rose

    Agnes rose Archangels

    I lo
  9. djmoforegon

    djmoforegon Powers

    AED and Rain like this.
  10. Rain

    Rain Powers

    Some of my family members and I are currently on day four of a novena to Father Solanus Casey. After the novena, we were talking about him, so your post was very timely! Thank you!
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  11. Katfalls

    Katfalls Powers

    Here is a relic of Bl. Solanus Casey. A very holy Capuchin Priest from Detroit, Michigan. I have been to his shrine years ago. The Capuchins still have a soup kitchen in Detroit where they feed the poor.

    Attached Files:

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  12. Rain

    Rain Powers

    Very cool.

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