Father Solanus Casey (far right) serves bread in 1942. (Photo: The Capuchin Franciscan Province)

When Father Solanus Casey is beatified Saturday as “Blessed Solanus,” the legendary Detroit Catholic priest will become an even greater inspiration, and rarity.

The Capuchin will be the third American-born person to be beatified in the U.S. He’ll become one of three Americans who currently hold the title of Blessed, one step away from being named a Catholic saint.

By a decree of Pope Francis, Casey will be honored because Catholic officials say a Panamanian woman’s prayer at Casey’s tomb in Detroit was answered by a miracle: her skin disease healed through his intercession.

Nearly 70,000 people — from parishes across metro Detroit as well as Ireland, Italy, Guam and Panama — are expected to pack Ford Field for the beatification ceremony. About 500 priests will be in attendance, including 235 brown-robed Capuchin friars and four red-robed Catholic cardinals.

It will be ordinary, and extraordinary.

The beatification ceremony is a typical Catholic mass, but it will be the largest held in metro Detroit since St. John Paul II, then pope of the worldwide Catholic Church, celebrated mass before 90,000 at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1987.

Father Solanus was a member of the Capuchin Franciscan Order of St. Joseph and helped start the renowned Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit.

Read more at the Detroit Free Press – http://www.freep.com/story/news/2017/11/12/beatification-father-solanus-casey-draws-70-000-faithful-catholics-detroit/840638001/