Thursday, May 04, 2017

Mid-Century Saints

Bl. Solanus is holding the broom.

The 20th Century has given many saints to the Church.

I'm so happy the beatification of Ven. Solanus Casey has been confirmed today:
Ven. Solanus Casey (1870-1957), the Capuchin Franciscan friar who ministered in Detroit
I've known several of his promoters - ordinary people who distributed 3rd class relics and prayer cards to spread devotion to him.  I also knew a couple of holy people deeply devoted to Fr. Solanus.  If I remember correctly, I think Fr. Groeschel witnessed Fr. Solanus in ecstasy once.  Fr. Solanus is from around here, at one point he was a prison guard in Stillwater, MN I think.  I liked him because he seemed to me to be one of the last Friars Minor Capuchin of what I would call the 'strict observance', and of course, because his spirituality was so much like that of the lay brother saints of old.  He was ordained a simplex priest because studies were difficult for him.  He could say Mass but wasn't allowed to preach or hear confessions.  As porter, he welcomed everyone, and touched many who struggled and strayed.  I think his lack of 'intellectuality' helped to keep him untainted by clericalism and allowed him to remain close to the ordinary people who came to him.

He led a deeply mystical life while actively ministering to the faithful who came to the monastery for help and advice.  His devotion to Our Lady was edifying and authentic - it is said he read the Life of the Blessed Virgin as told by Ven. Maria Agreda on his knees.  I may be mistaken, but I think he also recited the Little Office of the BVM along with his regular Office (Liturgy of the Hours).

For some unknown reason to me, the announcement of the beatification(s) today, brings with it the grace of compunction and hope.  It is good to know we are surrounded by this 'cloud of witnesses' and to realize anew that the traditional way of sanctity remains the sure way to heaven.  That our Lord has raised up these witnesses to show us the way and to help us - to rouse us.

One person declared venerable today is an Italian laywoman - Edvige Carboni.  An extraordinary mystic, marked by the stigmata, she was a victim soul who died in Rome in 1952.  Here story is here.  May she pray for us - especially me - to renew my fervor and devotion and faith.  I sometimes make light of victim souls like Ven. Edvige, yet these souls are chosen by Christ and deserve our deepest respect and veneration.  May they pray for us when they pray for the conversion of sinners and those most in need of mercy.  


  1. Must admit that the article claiming Ven. Edvige said Mussolini was in heaven made me pause a bit.
    And so happy I am for Father Solanus. Always loved how he'd play his violin (badly, apparently) but with great love,in front of the creche each Christmas.

    1. Isn't that strange? Another, Blessed Elena Aiello sent warnings to Duce's sister, you can read about it here:


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