Fr. Solanus, pray for us.
July 31 - anniversary of his death.
I forgot yesterday was his feast day, I thought today was, being the anniversary of his death in 1957. Naturally he couldn't take St. Ignatius' day.
I like that he was a simplex priest. Too bad they did away with that. A simplex priest is so designated because the bishop or religious superiors do not grant faculties to hear confessions or preach. (Perhaps they should consider restoring the designation.)
Anyway, I think the secret to Fr. Solanus' sanctity is that he really believed in the Gospel, in all that the Church teaches, and he especially believed in the Eucharist. I think his simplicity and humility was absolutely genuine, that he was absolutely devoid of self-interest, his devotion sincere, which permitted his confidence and love to overflow to others. He really and truly believed. He did not have to preach - his example of an authentic religious life was a sermon in itself. His outreach to laity, his counsel was as close to the sacrament of reconciliation one could get outside the confessional. He directed souls to the sacraments and encouraged faith in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass - in and through participation in the Seraphic Mass Association. He had faith, living faith in the sacraments and Holy Mass.
His is a very simple way of holiness. No church-jokes, no silliness at the pulpit to make Mass fun. No socialite fund-raisers, or those fund-raising events and drives offering compensation for the participants, such as wine tasting and silent auctions for resorts and lavish dinners and banquets. Fr. Solanus was available - to all. He listened, he offered counsel, prayer, and Masses.
Fr. Solanus was a really simple 'guy' who knew what his vocation was all about. He was so holy because he loved Our Lady. Really, truly loved her. He read Ven. Maria Agreda's Life of the Blessed Virgin on his knees. He prayed the Little Office and the regular Office. He prayed the rosary - many rosaries. Never seeking notice or calling attention to himself ... his was a hidden, ordinary life. The faithful, the poor, the little, all flocked to him. He never had to advertise.
Faith. Holy faith. He believed and rejoiced in the faith, his life a living Eucharist of praise and thanksgiving - thanks be to God!
Thank you Bl. Solanus.