Real Name: Bernard Francis Casey
Occupation: Priest, Friar
Place Of Birth:Oak Grove, Wisconsin
Date Of Birth: November 25, 1870
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Background: Bernard Casey was born in 1870, one of sixteen. At the age of twenty-one, he decided to dedicate his life to the church. He struggled at seminary school, as he had not even finished high school. He later withdrew and joined the Capuchin Seminary in Detroit, where he was given the name Father Solanus. He still had troubles with his studies. Once again, he was close to failure. However, some of his superiors recognized his spiritual character and proposed a compromise. He was ordained in 1904, but barred from hearing confession, preaching a sermon, or teaching the doctrine.
After he was ordained, he was sent to New York. For awhile, he greeted the parishioners at a church in Yonkers. Soon, parishioners began coming there just to see him. He stayed there for twenty years before being transferred to Saint Bonaventure's in Detroit. For more than fifty years, Father Solanus Casey was a church receptionist and doorman. He was considered by many to be a miracle worker. Many have claimed that Casey has helped them heal in real life and in spirit, even after his death in August 1957.
In 1966, he was proposed as a candidate for sainthood. In 1987, his body was exhumed to allow church officials to look for signs that might validate canonization. While his hands and face were darkened, the rest of his body was natural-looking. Usually, after thirty years, there would be signs of decomposition.
Following the examination, his body was placed in a special sanctuary in Saint Bonaventure's. To this day, many still pray to Father Solanus and visit his grave.
- Charles Rogers - In 1935, twelve-year-old Charles had a severe stiffness in his neck that went down to his legs. He was soon diagnosed with polio. A friend of his parents asked Father Solanus to pray for him. He told the friend that Charles would be better by the next day. Just as predicted, Charles was walking around and healed by the next day. His doctor confirmed that all polio symptoms were gone. He lived to be sixty-four and never again was afflicted with polio.
- David and Joanne Witkop - In the fall of 1990, Joanne developed a lump in her breast. An appointment was scheduled with a surgeon to conduct a biopsy. When the Witkops arrived at the hospital, they noticed a small prayer room. Inside was a portrait of Father Solanus. David prayed to him and asked him to keep his wife safe. Just minutes later, Joanne and a doctor came out. Amazingly, they found that the lump was no longer there. The Witkops believe that David's prayer to Father Solanus helped save Joanne.
Notes: The case was featured as a part of the October 9, 1994 episode.
In 2016, the Catholic Church approved a healing by Father Solanus to be a miracle. He will be beatified on November 18, 2017.
- Father Solanus Casey on Wikipedia
- Canonization candidate's beginnings were in Hudson
- Area priest could be named saint
- Heavenly Help
- Family says prayer cured son, seek U.S. priest's sainthood
- Priest known for humility to be beatified
- Get to Know Father Solanus at solanuscenter.org
- Father Solanus Casey at Find a Grave