Friar lived out faith, hope, charity every day, says cardinal

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, concelebrates the beatification Mass of Blessed Solanus Casey Nov. 18 at Ford Field in Detroit. At least 60,000 attended the beatification of the Capuchin Franciscan friar. - CNS photo | Jeff Kowalsky, courtesy Michigan Catholic

By Mike Stechschulte

Catholic News Service

   DETROIT (CNS) — A humble priest and porter, Blessed Solanus Casey thanked God daily for the gift of those who came to his door in his small corner of the world.

   On Nov. 18, tens of thousands of those whom he touched gathered to thank God in return for the gift of the holy Capuchin’s life.

   “Others, above all the poor, were seen by him not as a weight or obstacle to his climb to perfection, but as a way to the light of the splendor of God,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, told the tens of thousands of people gathered at Detroit’s Ford Field for Blessed Solanus’ beatification Mass.

   A congregation of more than 60,000 — young, old, clergy and laity, those of all races and ethnicities — flooded into Ford Field for the Mass, with tens of thousands more watching live on TV or the internet.

   Countless others visited the Solanus Casey Center and St. Bonaventure Monastery over the weekend to pray and leave prayer intentions at the tomb of a saintly friar known for miraculous healings, intercessions and a compassionate listening ear.

   True to Blessed Solanus’ spirituality, a special VIP section of the main floor was set aside for those with illness and disabilities.

   Father Michael Sullivan, provincial minister of the Detroit-based Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, welcomed those in attendance, “especially those whom Father Solanus so loved — the sick and the poor.”