Father Solanus Casey was born in 1870 in Oak Grove, Wisconsin. He came from a devout Catholic family, and worked as a logger, street car operator, and a prison guard. He studied for the diocesan priesthood in Milwaukee, but struggled with the lessons, and discerned a call to go to Detroit and join the Capuchin order.
“It was his time in Detroit that really brought him the notoriety and fame that he has today. He did something very simple—he worked as a doorkeeper and people started lining up just to see him and he soon became known as a great miracle worker,” says Drew Mariani, host of The Drew Mariani ShowTM.
“There was a couple who brought in their 17-month old daughter who had Leukemia and he enrolled her in this Mass association and he said, ‘you’re going to be alright, Elizabeth,’” says Mariani. “The couple was driving home when they noticed that their daughter, who had been like a limp ragdoll at the monastery, was suddenly sitting up by herself, her eyes were open and she was smiling. They stopped at a restaurant to eat and little Betsy even started jumping up and down. All within an hour!”
“The beautiful thing about Solanus’ reputation is that it is really built most entirely on the practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. He really exemplified conforming his life to Christ and his apostolate through kind works, fraternal charity, his love of neighbor, his patience, his obedience to his superiors, and his great and profound humility and simplicity,” says Fr. John Clote, OFM, who produced a documentary about this holy priest.
“When you read and watch the life of Solanus Casey, there’s just a purity, almost a childlike simplicity and beauty that one gains from being introduced to this very holy man,” says Fr. Clote. “He’s somewhat of a local legend in Detroit, and certainly now he’s going to be much more of a universal legend in the universal Church with his beatification. There’s no doubt in my mind this man will be canonized a saint in the Roman Catholic Church and I hope sooner rather than later. He is a wonderful example of virtue.”
Fr. Solanus Casey will be beatified on Saturday, November 18 in Detroit. Blessed Solanus Casey, pray for us!