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For Blessed Solanus, the poor were ‘light of the splendor of God,’ cardinal says

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, censes the relics of Blessed Solanus Casey during the beatification Mass. “In raising the American Capuchin to the honors of the altars, Pope Francis points him out to the whole Church as a faithful disciple of Christ, a good shepherd,” Cardinal Amato said in his homily. “Today, the Church and society still need the example of the works of Fr. Solanus.” (Photos by Jeff Kowalsky | Special to The Michigan Catholic)

Holy Capuchin friar beatified before 65,000 people at Detroit’s Ford Field

DETROIT — A humble priest and porter, Fr. 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 the Causes of Saints, told the estimated 65,000 people gathered at Detroit’s Ford Field for Blessed Solanus’ beatification Mass.

A congregation of almost 65,000 — 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.

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

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