Who Is Father Solanus?

Father Solanus Casey

Father Solanus Casey, Capuchin was born November 25, 1870 on a farm in Wisconsin. His Irish immigrant parents named him Bernard. He was the sixth child in a family of ten boys and six girls. After he left the farm he worked throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota as a logger, a hospital orderly, a street car operator and a prison guard.

At the age of twenty-one Bernard entered St. Francis High School Seminary in Milwaukee to study for the diocese priesthood. Five years later he decided to enter a religious order. He was invested in the Capuchin Order at Detroit in 1897 and received his religious name of Solanus.

After his ordination in 1904, Father Solanus spent 20 years in New York Harlem and Yonkers. In 1924 he was sent to St. Bonaventure Monastery, Detroit where he worked for 20 years . In 1945, he returned to New York for one year. He was assigned to Huntington, Indiana from 1946 to 1956. He was reassigned to St. Bonaventure in 1956.

Father Solanus spent his life in the service of people. At the monastery door, he met thousands of persons from every age and walk of life. In time of trouble and sorrow, they sought his prayers and advice. Many attributed favors to his prayers. He constantly showed his love of God, loving all of God's people. He was always ready and willing to listen to anyone any time of the day or night. In return he asked people to love and support the missions.

During his final illness, he remarked: "I'm offering my sufferings that all might be one. If only I could see the conversion of the whole world." His last conscious act was to sit up in bed and exclaim: "I give my soul to Jesus Christ." He died in Detroit at the age of 86 on July 31, 1957 and is buried at St. Bonaventure Monastery.

On May 4, 2017, Pope Francis Announced that Fr. Solanus will be beatified. The reported healing was investigated and has been accepted by the church as being miraculous, through the intercession of Venerable Solanus.  This allows public veneration of him as being a saintly and holy person and with that he receives the title of “Blessed.” With this declaration, he is acknowledged as one who is in heaven, in union with God, and is given the title of “Blessed.”  There will be official Mass prayers and liturgical devotions allowed to him  – asking for his continued intercession with God for the needs of God’s people.

The Beatification Mass is taking place in Detroit, November 18 at Ford Field.


Pray - For Canonization of Venerable Solanus Casey

O God I adore you. I give myself to You. May I be the person You want me to be and may Your will be done in my life today.

Thank You for the gifts You gave to Father Solanus. If It is Your will, glorify him on earth so that others will carry on his love for the poor, lonely and suffering in our world.

In order that others will joyfully accept Your divine plan. I ask You to hear this prayer...through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen