Bernard Francis Casey (November 25, 1870 – July 31, 1957) was born in Oak Grove, Wisconsin. A Capuchin priest, Casey was known for his great faith, humility, and role as spiritual counselor and intercessor. The first United States-born man formally to be declared "Venerable" by the Roman Catholic church, Casey is a candidate now for beatification and possible sainthood.
Death and Legacy
The sixth of sixteen children of Irish immigrant parents, "Barney" left the farm to work in a series of jobs in his home state and Minnesota: as a lumberjack, hospital orderly, a prison guard in the Minnesota state penitentiary, and a street car operator. A diphtheria epidemic in his youth permanently damaged his voice, leaving it wispy.
He attended St. Francis High School Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the age of 21, hoping initially to become a diocesan priest. Five years later, though, he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, a Roman Catholic religious order for men. He took the name "Solanus" after St. Francis Solanus, a 17th century Spanish nobleman, intellectual, missionary and preacher.
On July 24, 1904, at the age of 33, Solanus Casey was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood by Archbishop Sebastian Messmer at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Milwaukee. Because he was judged to have performed insufficiently well in his seminary studies, Casey was ordained a "sacerdotus simplex," a priesthood rank that prevented him from hearing confessions or preaching doctrinal sermons.
After his ordination, Solanus served for twenty years in a succession of assignments in Capuchin friaries in New York, Harlem, and Yonkers. In 1924, he was transferred to St Bonaventure Friary in Detroit, where he worked for a further twenty-one years. During these years, Solanus formally served primarily as "porter," or receptionist and doorkeeper. He became well known, though, for his great compassion and the miraculous results of his consultations with visitors.
Death and Legacy
Father Casey died on On July 31, 1957 in Detroit, Michigan at the age of 86. His last words reportedly were: "I give my soul to Jesus Christ." An estimated 20,000 people passed by his coffin prior to his burial in the cemetery at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit, Michigan.
On July 8, 1987, Father Solanus Casey's incorrupt body was exhumed and subsequently reinterred inside the Father Solanus Casey Center at the St. Bonaventure Monastery.
Solanus Casey's cause for sainthood was opened in 1982. In 1995, Pope John Paul II declared Father Casey to be venerable, the first step in the path to sainthood. Many miraculous cures have been associated with Father Solanus's intercession, both when he was alive and after his death. Pilgrims from around the world continue to make pilgrimages to the tomb of Father Solanus.
Father, 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 of 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.*
Information taken from various source on the internet.