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About Blessed Solanus Casey

Portrait of Blessed Solanus Casey

Get to Know Bl. Solanus

In life, Blessed Solanus Casey spoke in a soft and quiet voice to all who came to him for help. And he prayed. Some say his prayers cured illness. All say his serenity and counsel gave them peace. Since his death in 1957, his example continues to inspire others that the path to sainthood is open to all.

Humble frontier beginnings

The Casey family in 1892. Blessed Solanus is in the back row, third from left. The Casey family in 1892. Blessed Solanus is in the back row, third from left.

Bernard Francis Casey was born into an Irish immigrant family in 1870 in Oak Grove, Wisconsin. The family practiced a simple faith on what was then the American frontier. Blessed Solanus would maintain that simple faith throughout his life. In everything, Blessed Solanus took God’s word to heart. He believed every prayer is answered in God’s own way.

In 1958, the Capuchin Minister General called Bl. Solanus “an extraordinary example of a true Capuchin and a replica of St. Francis.”

This tribute confirmed the many reports that been coming in from people everywhere about the outstanding virtues of Blessed Solanus.

He had faithfully served the people of Detroit, Huntington, Indiana, New York City and Yonkers, New York by providing soup for the hungry, kind words for the troubled, and a healing touch for the ill. Wherever he served, people would line up for blocks for a moment with Blessed Solanus.

Cause for canonization

The Father Solanus Guild was established in 1960 with a mission of sharing the holiness and spirituality of Blessed Solanus and to promote his cause for canonization. Soon after his death in 1957, reports of favors received through his intercession began to arrive. The holiness of Blessed Solanus led Pope John Paul II to declare him Venerable in 1995. On May 4, 2017, Pope Francis announced that Venerable Solanus would be beatified. On November 18, 2017 at Ford Field in Detroit, a crowd numbering 70,000 participated in the celebration of the Mass of Beatification for Blessed Solanus Casey. A miraculous cure had been approved! Another approved miracle after that will advance the Cause finally to sainthood, and the man born Bernard Francis Casey will be known thereafter as St. Solanus Casey.

Blessed Solanus spent his life in service of people. As the porter of St. Bonaventure Monastery, he met thousands of people from every age and walk of life. He earned recognition as “The Doorkeeper.” He was always ready to listen to anyone at any time, day or night and to encourage everyone to “thank God ahead of time.”

The example of Blessed Solanus

Blessed Solanus example shows that holiness is attainable. He demonstrated that an ordinary person can live an extraordinarily faithful life. Pilgrimages to the Solanus Casey Center lead the pilgrim to discover that we are all capable of living a faith-filled life, and that each of us is on a road to sainthood.

Solanus Casey so believed in God that he could not believe that some people questioned God. Such a conviction about the existence of God and God’s love is critical for our age. Solanus Casey’s understanding of faith speaks to the hearts of people. His faith was steadfast. He demonstrates to us that faith is the cornerstone to our existence. A pilgrimage to the Solanus Casey Center is a trek to reinforce or rediscover our faith and love for God and God’s unconditional love for us.

Blessed Solanus was known for his ministry of healing and compassion toward people of faith, Catholic and non-Catholic, people of other faiths and even those who profess no faith. But, like Jesus himself, Solanus Casey’s heart also went out to those who had given up the practice of their faith or had no affiliation with any church community. He saw each person as loved by God and called to share in God’s love. A pilgrimage to the Solanus Casey Center will reflect how we might embody some of his attitudes in our own relationships.

The Capuchin charism at the Solanus Casey Center

The Solanus Casey Center is a spiritual oasis where souls are nourished. It is a place of peace and the presence of God’s healing grace experienced through the intercession of Blessed Solanus. It is an anchor of authentic Catholic values and spirituality for generations past, present and future.

Further reading

Irish Roots

Just a generation removed from Ireland and the Great Hunger, Blessed Solanus Casey grew up in a pioneer Midwest Catholic homestead.

Learn more about his Irish roots

Call to Priesthood

Solanus first felt the call to the preisthood in his youth, but his road to the priesthood was not a simple or straightforward one.

Learn more about his Call to Priesthood
A black-and-white historic photograph of Blessed Solanus Casey distributing the Eucharist at Mass.

Capuchin Life

Blessed Solanus Casey’s Capuchin life took him from Wisconsin to New York, Detroit and Indiana.

Learn more about his Capuchin life


Blessed Solanus Casey’s spirituality could perhaps best be distilled down to an “attitude of gratitude.”

Learn more about his spirituality
A black-and-white historic photograph depicting Blessed Solanus Casey adoring the Christ child in a manger scene.
A historic photograph taken around 1940 of Blessed Solanus Casey and other Capuchin friars serving a meal at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Guests, all men, are seated at long tables and are eating soup and bread.

Love for the Sick and the Poor

Blessed Solanus Casey was a missionary of mercy, sharing God’s love with all, but he had a special affinity for the sick and the poor.

Learn more about his love for the sick and the poor


During his years at Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish in Harlem, Bl. Solanus gave rise to the work of the Seraphic Mass Association, today known as the Solanus Mission Association.

Learn more about the Missions
A photograph of Blessed Solanus Casey seated at a desk. Behind him on the wall is a map of Capuchin Missions around the world.
His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints incenses the icon of Blessed Solanus Casey near the altar during the Beatification Mass of Blessed Solanus held at Ford Field in Detroit on November 18, 2017.

Road to Sainthood

How does a person become sainted? What is the process and what are the steps to sainthood?

Learn more about the road to sainthood

Reporting Favors

Many “favors” that defy medical explanation have been reported due to the intercession of Blessed Solanus Casey. Learn how to report such a favor.

Learn more about reporting favors
A historic black-and-white photograph of Blessed Solanus Casey ministering to people suffering from illness.
A close-up color photograph of Blessed Solanus Casey shot outdoors. He is in a three-quarter profile, wearing a pair of red eyeglasses and smiling.

The Message

Who was Blessed Solanus? A simple man; a simple priest; not a learned man, yet his thought reached to profound depths.

Learn more about the message of Blessed Solanus

The Positio

The Positio is prepared for presentation to the Vatican. It describes a life of heroic virtue and makes the case for sainthood.

Learn more about the Positio
A historic black-and-white studio portrait photograph of Blessed Solanus Casey taken circa 1945 in Seattle. Blessed Solanus is wearing his habit and a pair of spectacles and looks to the left. He is holding an open prayer book in his hands.
A black-and-white close up photograph of the grave marker formerly in the back yard of St. Bonaventure Monastery where Blessed Solanus was initially interred before being moved to the transept of St. Bonaventure Chapel (now part of the Solanus Casey Center).


Trace the timeline of Blessed Solanus Casey from his birth in 1870 through today.

Follow the timeline of Blessed Solanus Casey’s life and journey toward sainthood

Index of Writings

Blessed Solanus left behind mulitple volumes of journal entries that document the people he met, ministered to and prayed with and for. We’ve indexed these writings by topic to give an overview of the people he met and ministered to on his journey.

View the index of writings of Blessed Solanus Casey
A black-and-white interior photograph taken in 1941 at St. Bonaventure Monastery of Blessed Solanus Casey seated at a desk with his head down writing in a book. Seated across from him is a female visitor.

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