I’ve had St. Francis Solanus on the brain since we met online this past summer. Call it a crescendoing mix of awe and discomforting disequilibrium, so it wasn’t just the miracles that hooked me. Finding conflicting information on Solanus fueled both my confusion and my need to know, but I was too busy to look for answers at the time.
In the months that followed I was pestered by the same questions. Why does Solanus have different backgrounds and dates of birth? Are there two? If so, what’s the connection? And why do I need to know this?
Then, Sunday afternoon while reading the news online, Solanus derailed my train of thought. Just like that I went into search-and-find mode to clear up my Solani misconceptions… and became even more smitten with curiosity than before.
First, St. Francis Solano (or Solanus, 1547-1610), a Spanish Franciscan missionary, fervently believed in the power of Baptism and went to extreme measures to safeguard and Christianize the indigenous. And he was quite a miracle worker, too.
According to St. Francis Solanus— Apostle to America (Royer, 1955), miracles included saving a group of slaves drowning at sea; preaching in a language different from that of various South American tribes yet being understood simultaneously; bringing a five-year-old girl back to life after she died from a fall; crossing a wide river in an unconventional manner; traveling without provisions but always arriving well taken care of; and converting nine thousand South American natives during one sermon.
St. Francis Solano was canonized in 1726, and his feast day is July fourteenth.
Second, Father Barney Francis Casey (1870-1957), the sixth of sixteen children, was born to Irish immigrants on a farm near Oak Grove, Wisconsin. His academic challenges kept him from becoming a diocesan priest, but he persisted in the call of service when Our Lady told him to go to Detroit. Father Casey took the name Solanus when he joined the Capuchin Order at St. Bonaventure Monastery in 1897.
Although disallowed from formal preaching and hearing confessions, Father Casey was known not only for delivering feverinos— spiritual fires which gained him many listeners and ardent supporters— but also for always making time for those who sought his assistance and guidance. Daily, he visited with 150 to 200 people who flocked to him for special favors— cures from illnesses, relief from economic woes, and many such miracles— that, in twenty-one years’ time, he filled seven notebooks with more than 6,000 requests for help from petitioners!
Again and again, in his letters, [Father Solanus Casey] repeated his life’s message— that confidence in God is the very soul of prayer and becomes the condition for supernatural intervention in our lives. “God condescends to use our powers if we don’t spoil his plans by ours…” (Baulach, 1996).
In 1995, Father Casey was deemed Venerable, and his feast day is November fifth.
What a gift! Not one but two Solani miracle workers. They loved those they served and were loved in return.
When you love people you see all the good in them, all the Christ in them. God sees Christ, his son, in us and loves us. And so we should see Christ in others and nothing else, and love them (Servant of God Dorothy Day, 1897-1980).
May 13, 2011
OMG!!! After waiting a long time, I finally received Father Casey’s relic badge and a prayer card in the mail today! I’m so excited!
If you’d like a relic badge, you can easily request one. Whether you email, write, or call, please remember that a donation will offset the postage and help the Father Solanus Guild with its various projects within the community. The address is 1780 Mt. Elliott, Detroit MI 48207-3427; the phone number, 1.313.579.2100.
June 11, 2011
Oh, happy day! I received my lifetime membership certificate along with the items I ordered— photos, books, and more— from the Father Solanus Guild! And my order included a relic badge and a prayer card, too.
April 28, 2012
Oh, yes! At long last another wish came true! Steven and I spent most of the day at the Solanus Casey Center in Detroit. I even sat at Father Casey’s desk. Wow! What an incredible pilgrimage! Joseph Taylor, our self-appointed guide, made our visit truly unforgettable. We can hardly wait to be there again!
November 5, 2012
There’s something about loving God with our whole heart that naturally flows into loving other people. Perhaps it is because God has created us in his own image. There’s a picture of him, a treasure from him, in each of us. So when we see each other, we are seeing a reflection of the Lord. Or maybe it’s because God loves each of us with such fierce devotion that for us not to share that love with each other would be an offense to him. Or maybe it’s both! (the Word among us, November 2012, p. 23).
April 6, 2013
Jesus, thank you for inviting me to become your companion. Show me how to share your love with the people around me (the Word among us, April 2013, p. 26).
May 18, 2013
“Lord, your sheep are all so different!”
“That’s right. And I love each one in a unique way. Set your heart on loving me, entrust others to me, and I’ll show you the way.”
Jesus, I want to follow you with all my heart. Show me the way! (the Word among us, May 2013, p. 37).
October 19, 2013
My hope is in God who does not need our help to accomplish his designs. We must endeavor to be faithful to him (St. Isaac Jogues).
September 5, 2014
I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people. And find out about your next-door neighbor[s]— do you know who they are? (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta).
September 17, 2014
“Above all, always see Jesus in every person and, consequently, treat each one not only as an equal and as a brother or sister, but also with great humility, respect, and selfless generosity” (Blessed Charles de Foucauld).
September 18, 2014
“If God were our one and only desire, we would not be so easily upset when our opinions do not find outside acceptance” (Thomas à Kempis).
October 6, 2014
“Love God above all so that, warmed by his embrace, you may be aflame with divine love” (St. Bruno).
Solanus Casey Center – Detroit, MI
Links of interest… Capuchin Franciscans: blog / website… Franciscan calendar: national fraternity / printable / saints / traditional… Praying with fire from above (podcast)… Solanus Casey: about / article / blog / books / Capuchin / cards / devotion / doorkeeper / ecards / favors / center / garden (paver) / guild / legacy / man who shed his ego / meets Father Flanagan, SOLT / memorial / message / mystic / novena / opening the door to miracles / ordination / photos / pilgrims & porters / prayer / priest / red-blooded American miracle worker / relic badge (story) / saint / saintmaker / simple man / story / venerable / vocation / words of wisdom (daily audio readings)… Solanus Casey Center: anniversary & novena / Beatitude people (videos) / home / live stream / shrine / virtual tour / Year of Mercy video presentations & study guide (ordered and/or online)… St. Francis Solano: about / life / mission / missionary / violin player… Surprising case of Solanus Casey… Thank God ahead of time… Visit to Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey… the Word among us…
Filed under: call of service, holy relics, Our Lady, prayer, spiritual gifts, St. Francis Solano, Venerable Solanus Casey | Tagged: building community, Father Solanus Guild-Detroit MI, God's master plan, overcoming adversity, Solanus Casey Center-Detroit MI, St. Bonaventure Church-Detroit MI |