The Cause for Sainthood
Canonization is the complex and lengthy process by which someone receives the title of “Saint” in the Roman Catholic Church. This process has taken many forms over the centuries and was most recently revised by Pope John Paul II. The current process consists of 4 stages: Servant of God, Venerable, Blessed, and Saint. The Servant of God Solanus Casey was named Venerable on July 11, 1995 by Pope John Paul II. With the support of the Guild, the Cause is currently pursuing the stage of “Blessed” (beatification) for Venerable Solanus.
The word “canonization” comes from the celebration of the Mass. What we now call the “Eucharistic Prayer” was formerly known as the “Canon of the Mass.” Therefore, to say that one is “canonized” means that his/her name is able to be included in the list of saints in the “Canon of the Mass.” The term is still in use today since that ancient rule-of-thumb still applies. When a person is canonized or named a Saint, the Church may celebrate the Saint’s feast day and the name may be included in the Eucharistic Prayer.
After his death, the fame of Fr. Solanus continued to spread and many people visited his simple grave in the Friars’ Cemetery. Three years after his death many friends formed the Fr. Solanus Guild to preserve his memory and ideals. The Guild sparked the movement to present Fr. Solanus as a candidate for Sainthood.
Fr. Solanus has achieved the first two stages in the Steps Toward Sainthood: Servant of God, then the title of Venerable which was bestowed July 11, 1995. Next is beatification where Venerable Solanus would earn the title of Blessed after approval of a true miracle. We are working with our superiors in Rome on a few cases that have potential. One in particular looks hopeful, but there is nothing official to report. The process is lengthy and complex, so we honor it by our patience and diligent prayers for those in Rome making the decisions.