Today in Ford Field stadium, Detroit, Michigan, USA, the beatification will take place of Father Solanus Casey OFM Cap (1870-1957). This Beatification Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect, Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Father Solanus had strong connections with Ireland. Born Bernard Francis Casey in Wisconsin, he was the sixth of sixteen children of Bernard James Casey and Ellen Elizabeth Murphy. His father originated from Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, while his mother was born in Camlough in the Parish of Lower Killeavy, Co Armagh. He took the name Solanus on entering the seminary and was ordained a priest for the Capuchin Order in 1904. During his ministry he showed great faith, was much sought after as a spiritual director and confessor. Father Solanus had great compassion for the sick and poor, and started the Capuchin soup kitchen in Detroit.
Archbishop Eamon Martin has written to Archbishop Allen Vigneron offering his prayerful congratulations to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit on this special occasion. Archbishop Martin said, “I want to express the joy of the Church in Ireland at the beatification in Detroit of Father Solanus Casey OFM Cap. Father Solanus was the son of Irish emigrants from the counties of Monaghan and County Armagh, so his beatification today is also a moment of great pride in the faith of those who have passed on to us a trust and belief in Jesus Christ. As the Universal Church marks the first World Day of the Poor tomorrow, it is entirely fitting that the Church commemorates a friar who was outstanding in the care of all of God’s people, especially those in particular need. May I convey my good wishes to all who are gathered for the Beatification Mass, and please be assured of a special remembrance in prayer for the Archdiocese of Detroit.”
Because of his holiness, Pope John Paul II – now Saint John Paul II – declared Father Solanus Casey Venerable in 1995.
· Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland.
· Beatification, which confers the title ‘Blessed’, means that his or her heavenly intercession must be judged responsible for a miracle on earth, which must always be a physical healing. Thus a man or woman is considered to be truly holy and worthy of veneration at a local level. In the case of martyrs, their deaths for the Faith alone suffice for beatification. A panel of doctors has to rule that the healing is scientifically inexplicable, while theologians examine whether it occurred as the result of the intercession of the person whose beatification is being considered. If the doctors and theologians judge the case positively, it is then examined by the Cardinals and Bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints of the Holy See. The results of these discussions are communicated to the Pope who alone can declare a healing to be a true miracle. Only when all these stages have been successfully completed does the Pope authenticate the miracle. A second miracle has to be recognised for a person to be canonised, that is declared to be a saint.
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