Though only a simplexalong with reports of healings, conversions and resolutions of every kind of problem through his advice, blessing or prayers.
Father Solanus Casey was walking though the Detroit hospital one day when he saw Art Ruledgee, one of the volunteers at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, in the hallway on a gurney.
“Art, what are you doing here?” Father Solanus stopped to greet him.
He had a tumor, he explained and was on his way to surgery.
“Where is it?” the priest inquired.
Art pointed to his stomach and Father Solanus laid his hand on the area for several seconds.
“Have the doctors give you a last check before they operate,” he said and continued on his way.
Art asked his doctors to take one more look. They couldn’t find the tumor anymore.
It’s no wonder Father Solanus was the most sought-after priest in Detroit.
He was born Bernard Francis Casey on a farm in Wisconsin in 1870. He had a deep faith formed in his childhood home and a naturally gentle, people-oriented personality. Though he had an inclination to the priesthood, he left home as a teenager to help support the family and make his way in the world. He landed a job as one of the country’s first streetcar drivers in Milwaukee at the age of 20.
Driving the streetcar one day, he was literally stopped in his tracks. A man had a woman pinned down to the track and was looming over her with a knife. After his shift, Barney (as he was called) spent the night in prayer. He decided to become priest.
At 21 years of age, he enrolled in the St. Francis High School Seminary in Milwaukee. The seminary was run by German priests who taught in German. Being Irish and never having learned German, Barney naturally struggled. After four years, he was asked to leave, and the rector suggested he enter a religious order instead. He wrote to the Jesuits, Franciscans and Capuchins. He was accepted by all of them.
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