Friday, November 5, 2010

Fr. Solanus Casey

Recently we enjoyed the canonization of André Bessette of Montreal. St. André spent most of his religious life as a porter. There are a few other saints who also acted as porter - Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J., of the island of Majorca, Saint Nuno de Braganza of Portugal and for a time, Saint Padre Pio. Today we think of the Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey, who also lived life as a porter.

Brian Kelly writing in says..

In 1924, Father Solanus was reassigned to St. Bonaventure’s where twenty-eight years before he had received the brown habit of a Capuchin. His reputation for sanctity, the gift of healing, and the ability to read souls had preceded his arrival, so, once again, he was given the porter’s post, and the crowds would line up after Mass to open their hearts to him and receive his blessing and advice. The humble porter’s apostolate was a cherished blessing to the monastery but it was also a trial, a welcome one, but still a bit burdensome. You see, a good number of the visitors needed to have their confessions heard and the humble doorkeeper had no faculties to forgive sins. Father Casey would spend almost his whole day with his needy children and the confession bell was rung frequently.

In his early years in religious life the holy porter had to work hard to discipline a nature that tended to be overly sensitive and impatient. Capuchin biographer, Michael H. Crosby, in his study, Thank God Ahead of Time: The Life and Spirituality of Solanus Casey, wrote that the emotional Irishman would “battle with feelings that could easily get expressed in anger, intolerance, and excessive concern over little things.” In his younger years, even in religious life, the humble friar was rather impulsive, thinking later and acting first, and sometimes too critical of others; yet when it came to himself he could be a bit defensive, and he didn’t mind compliments. With the help of God’s grace he completely overcame these tendencies and nurtured within himself a very congenial, humble, and patient disposition. Keeping in mind his own past sins helped forge the holy porter’s own deep humility of soul and it gave him patience in dealing with the sins of the tens of thousands who sought his counsel over the fifty years of his priestly labors. Casey was literally re-made through his cooperation with grace for this special vocation which God had prepared for him. At peace with God and, therefore, himself, he exuded peace to all who came seeking the “good things.”

* What I think we can learn from the good life of Fr. Solanus, is that whatever place or state of life we live, we can do great things. And if our faith is strong, God can perform many miracles through us.

O God, I adore You. I give myself to You.
May I be the person You want me to be,
and may Your will be done in my life today.

I thank You for the gifts You gave to Father Solanus.
If it is Your Will, bless us with the beatification of
Venerable Solanus so that others may imitate
and carry on his love for all the poor and suffering of our world.

As he joyfully accepted Your divine plans,
I ask You, according to Your Will,
to hear my prayer for . . . (your intention)
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

“Blessed be God in all His designs.”

Imprimatur: Adam Cardinal Maida, Archbishop of Detroit
March 31, 2007 © F.S.G. 3/07

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