|Fr. Solanus Casey - Priest, Mystic,|
Prophet & Healer
A bit discouraged but not defeated, Barney continued to pray for guidance. On December 8, 1896 - the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the last day of a novena he was praying - he heard the voice of the Blessed Virgin say to him, "Go to Detroit" where the Capuchin Order was headquartered in America. Without any hesitation, he set out for the Michigan city and reached Detroit on Christmas Eve where he attended Midnight Mass. Not long after in January 1897, he officially joined the Capuchins and was given the religious name of Bro. Francis Solanus (after a Franciscan Saint of the same name) or simply "Solanus".
|Fr. Solanus was highly|
devoted to Our Lady
The next two decades were spent in houses of his order in New York, Harlem, and Yonkers where he fulfilled the tasks of sacristan and porter. In particular, it was his humble role as doorkeeper that proved providential, as it put him in direct contact with the people. The ever-patient Fr. Solanus always took the time to hear-out the concerns of the many visitors; he counseled them; encouraged them to have faith in the Mass; prayed with them. Soon, he became immensely popular and people began flocking to him. More so, as reports of healing and other spiritual favors began circulating about the diminutive priest.