The Path of a Miracle for Canonization
While there are only four steps to sainthood (Servant of God, Venerable, Blessed, and Saint), many are the steps in between. The process can be lengthy, complex, and costly. By the time the Church declares an official miracle, she is absolutely certain of its integrity.
The Cause of Solanus Casey already has a long history of working together with Rome and the Detroit Archdioces. Take a look:
Br. Richard Merling (left) and Br. Leo Wollenweber personally presented the Icon Plaque to His Holiness John Paul II to thank him for declaring Solanus Venerable. Photo taken in the library of the Holy Father's residence. 25 other guests and visitors were in attendance. Archbishop Szoka had arranged the meeting following an early morning Mass. 1995.
Order a copy of the Icon Plaque presented to St. Pope John Paul II.
A significant event in the Cause of Solanus Casey happened during the last decade of St. Pope John Paul II's pontificate. When the three-volume Positio of Father Solanus' Cause was studied and approved by the Congregation for Causes of Saints, the Congregation unanimously recommended it to the Holy Father.
On July 11, 1995, at the regular meeting of the Congregation, with Cardinal Baum as Advocate for the Cause, John Paul II issued the Decree of Heroic Virtue for "Servant of God Solanus Casey," conferring upon him the title of "Venerable Solanus Casey," the first man born in the U.S. to receive that honor.
Cardinal Baum (left) shakes hands with St. Pope John Paul II as the former Cardinal Ratzinger - Pope Benedict XVI - looks on (center). 1995.
Before being named Cardinal, Archbishop Szoka presented the Holy Father with a white leather-bound copy of the first biography written about Fr. Solanus: The Porter of Saint Bonaventure's by James Patrick Derum.
Order a copy of the book presented to Pope John Paul II in this photo.
It was Cardinal Szoka and Cardinal Dearden, during their years as Archbishop of Detroit, who brought the Cause of Solanus in its initial stages to St. Pope John Paul II's attention.
Oct. 2012 Br. Leo Wollenweber, Vice Postulator for the Cause since 1974, died.
Vice Postulators for the Cause of Solanus Casey-- Fr. Larry Webber (left) and Br. Richard Merling, Director of the Fr. Solanus Guild
May 4, 2017: Pope Francis announced that Father Solanus Casey has passed the rigorous test assigned to the process of Sainthood, by being elevated from Venerable to Blessed by the Roman Catholic Church. At 10:30 this morning in Rome, the Holy Father Pope Francis received in audience His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints. During this audience, the Holy Father authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the following decree regarding a miracle, attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Solanus Casey, born November 25, 1870 and died July 31, 1957. Because of Fr. Solanus Casey’s holiness, St. Pope John Paul II declared him Venerable in 1995. Details on the Fr. Solanus Casey Beatification Ceremony will be released in the coming months.
"The beatification of Father Solanus Casey is an incomparable grace for the Church in the Archdiocese of Detroit and for the whole community of Southeast Michigan,” stated Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, Archdiocese of Detroit. “He is an inspiration to all us Catholics – and to all – of the power of grace to transform one’s life.”