Patty Knap calls herself a “born again” Catholic. She planned to be a wife and mother of four or five kids with several girls, but as life played out, she’s a single mom with two young adult boys. She counsels at a crisis pregnancy center, teaches CCD, takes online classes with the Avila Institute, and loves the beach, dalmatians, and America’s national parks. She also saves recipes in a pile until it gets big and then throws them out.
The beloved Fr. Solanus Casey will be beatified on Nov. 18 at Ford Field in Detroit.
The beatification Mass, scheduled for 4 p.m., is expected to draw many thousands of Catholics.
“The beatification is a remarkable moment in all of our lives and one to celebrate Father Solanus, whose compassion and attribution to miraculous cures have endeared him to those in Detroit and across the world,” said Father Michael Sullivan, Provincial Minister of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph. “We welcome as many as possible to be a part of it.”
“Not unlike the Silverdome Mass celebrated by Saint John Paul, this, too, will be a history-making liturgy. The beatification of Father Solanus Casey is an incomparable grace for the Church in the Archdiocese of Detroit and for the whole community. He is an inspiration to Catholics—and to all—of the power of grace to transform one’s life.”
The miracle attributed to Casey was received by a woman who prayed at his tomb in Detroit and was instantly cured her of her lifelong “incurable genetic skin disease,” reported the Michigan Catholic.
Among the thousands of healings attributed to Fr. Solanus during and after his lifetime, Pope Francis recognized the authenticity of this miracle required for the friar to be elevated from “venerable” to “blessed” after extensive study by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, including panels of doctors and theologians.
The woman was visiting friends in Detroit and stopped at Fr. Solanus’ tomb to pray for the intentions of her family and friends. After her prayers, she felt a strong urge to ask for the friar’s intercession for herself, too, and instantly received a permanent visible healing. She has not been named because she wishing to remain anonymous.
Fr. Preuss, director of the Solanus Casey Center, “The miraculous nature of her cure was verified by doctors in her home country, in Detroit and in Rome, all of whom confirmed there was no scientific explanation. In a blessed coincidence — or perhaps not — Fr. Solanus himself died of a skin disease in 1957.”
“She knew the Capuchins and decided to come to Detroit — to the tomb,” Fr. Preuss told The Michigan Catholic. “She came here because she had a whole list of people she wanted to pray for. So she prayed for them, and a voice in her head said, ‘Pray for yourself.’ And she was instantly cured,” said Fr. Preuss. “There were five doctors to whom she explained her condition, and her former physician, and they all said they had no explanation why this should have gone away.”
Fr. Solanus was a key founder of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, which was started during the Great Depression. Unemployed workers would come to the soup kitchen begging for food, where Fr. Solanus would give them large sandwiches and cups of coffee. Today, the soup kitchen serves 60,000 meals a month, one-third of them to children. It also distributes about 250,000 pounds of food a month and, every Christmas season, gives 20,000 toys to children.
Fr. Solanus will be only the second American-born male to be called “Blessed,” after Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom and approved the beatification of Fr. Stanley Rother, in Dec. 2016. If Fr. Solanus is eventually canonized, he would become the first American-born male Saint. Fr. Preuss said that “in a day of secularization, it's extremely important we see signs of God's presence in our midst. It's a continuation of the gospel message.” The Fr. Solanus Guild continues to receive reports of favors received, including miraculous healings, through the intercession of the Capuchin priest.
The beatification Mass is set for 4 p.m. on Nov. 18 (tickets are no longer available) and will be broadcast on EWTN (along with a documentary on the life of Father Casey Nov. 17).