Healings, intercessions and compassionate counsel: Your stories of Fr. Solanus Casey

Does your family have a story, memory or favor from Fr. Solanus Casey to share? Send your stories to MCSubmit@aod.org with “Father Solanus Stories” in the subject line or share on social media using #FrSolanusStories.

For the past several months, The Michigan Catholic has been asking readers to share their stories, memories and reports of favors attributed to the intercession of Detroit’s soon-to-be-blessed friar, Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey. Here are the submissions we’ve received so far — an inspiring and moving collection that shows the holiness and compassion of our beloved friar. To send your story, email MCSubmit@aod.org with “Father Solanus Stores” in the subject line, or share on social media using the hashtag #FrSolanusStories.

A trusted friend

Most of us who grew up in Detroit know that Fr. Solanus Casey was instrumental in founding the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and we’ve heard of healings that were attributed to him. But here’s something I haven’t read about him.

This is a story about someone who wasn’t healed — at least not physically. My cousin, Patsy, was felled by a disease at age 4 and never walked again. Her parents took her to Fr. Solanus many times. He didn’t heal her but he became her friend and shining example.

Pat was a very talented artist and she painted a picture of Fr. Solanus. In his hand she didn’t put a prayer book. Instead there was a small white round object. When I saw the painting, I thought it might be a host. I asked her about it and she said it was a marshmallow. She said that whenever she went to see him, he opened a drawer and took out a marshmallow to give her. She said he kept them to give as treats to people who came to see him. I don’t know if they were for everyone or just for kids, but I do know that Pat went to see him for years and she wasn’t a child when she painted his picture. Pat died in 1991.

Mary Agnes (Peggy) Stasser

A disabled boy walks

Gregory was our third born and was brain damaged at birth. After a few weeks, on a Sunday, my wife Dorothy and I took Gregory to see Fr. Solanus at the Capuchin monastery. After waiting in his line, we were able to speak to Fr. Solanus. After a short time, Father asked to hold the baby. Dorothy handed Gregory over the desk to Father, who was wearing a brown cassock. Father laid Gregory across his lap. Shortly afterward, I asked Father, “Will our son walk?” Father looked at the baby for the longest time and replied, “Your son will walk when he is 2 years old.” What joy and encouragement those words were, and how providential that we visited when we did, as Father Solanus died one month later.

Gregory is 60 years old now, and is unable to read or write. However, he walked when he was 2 years old. When he was a teenager, he rode a two-wheel bicycle, and played in a softball league for the developmentally challenged, and is still a bowler. Fr. Solanus’ prediction was more than fulfilled. Fr. Solanus was always and is still watching over Gregory. We always turn to him in prayer for Gregory’s needs.

Eugene and Dorothy Ignasiak
Grosse Pointe

A child’s blessed memory

In the mid ‘40s (1944-47), my mother, Millie Hoffman, sent me to the monastery for a Mass card. I was in my early teens. When I entered the room, people were sitting in chairs all across the entire area. I walked across to the far side, the office, and purchased my Mass card. Then, walking to the exit door, someone stopped me and said Fr. Solanus would be out shortly and to sit down. He was going to bless everyone. I remember I sat by the door and waited. Fr. Solanus opened the door to the room, people hushed, and everyone dropped to their knees. As I remember it, he blessed everyone individually.

My mother and I would occasionally go to Mass or visit with Bro. Herbert Mathew, my cousin. When I returned home that day, I told my mother my experience. She was so excited. That was Fr. Casey! Today, my husband and I have been blessed with a wonderful family of seven children, 16 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Sweet memories!

Phyllis Dedene
St. Clair Shores

Walking with a saint’s help

My sister-in-law Evelyn started in-patient therapy after a stroke over the Christmas holidays. Shortly thereafter, she received a roommate named Bev. When Bev was wheeled into Evy’s room, she looked like “death warmed over.” It seemed like she had IV tubes stuck into most parts of her body. She didn’t appear to want to continue living. She was constantly moaning and groaning. Nobody thought she would last much longer.

Days or weeks later, Evy began a rugged therapy schedule. To our surprise, Bev was also included in the exercise group. She seemed to be a totally different person. No longer did she resemble a corpse. There was no sign of IV tubes. She had a cheerful disposition, and she seemed ready to get on with the program. One of the first assignments involved walking across a room with little assistance. Evy was not a newcomer to rehabilitation, but she still needed some help to reach the far side of the room. When Bev’s turn arrived, she stood up and whispered a quick prayer to Fr. Solanus, “Fr. Solanus, if I ever needed you, I need you now.” She then proceeded to walk single handedly completely across the room. Bev didn’t seem as surprised as the rest of those observing the procedure. At that point, nobody was shocked when Bev was discharged the same day and sent home. It was another week or so before Evy was allowed to leave the hospital.

We saw Bev once later when she stopped in to visit at Evy’s home. She appeared to have no signs of having suffered a stroke. At that time, she related the story about the intercession of Fr. Solanus. She had resumed a normal life with her family. Bev talked about a number of plans for the future. This incident occurred about 20 years ago. We assume she has since passed away as she was definitely not a youngster at the time. Evy has been dead for about 10 years.

Mike Butkiewicz
Sterling Heights

Two lost children are found

My mother, Ann O’Regan Dosch, grew up in the east side of Detroit. She and her family were very familiar with the monastery and Fr. Solanus Casey. People in the area would often go to the monastery to pray with Fr. Casey. They all reported a calming influence.
One summer day my mother’s older brother, Jack, and a neighbor boy went out on the lake in a less-than-seaworthy homemade craft. A summer storm blew up and the boys did not return home.

My grandmother, Ellen Heenan O’Regan, went to the monastery. Fr. Casey assured her the boys were all right and would be home in the morning. Sure enough, they found their way to shore, spent a cold and miserable night on beach and came home in the morning.
All of her life, my mother went to the monastery for solace.

Mary Ellen Dosch Strakoulas
Tulsa, Okla.

Cured at St. Bonaventure

I have been to many healing services on Wednesdays at St. Bonaventure. In 2004, I went with my niece because she had back problems. I had many health problems as well. I was cured and felt it right away. My daughter who is a nurse doubted me, but I have not had any health problems for 12 years. I’m 86 years old.

Kathleen P. Mielock

A holy relic, a holy memory

This gentle saintly man was spoken about often in our home while I was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s. He sometimes came to Sunday dinner at my grandma’s home on Lenox Avenue in Detroit, not far from St. Bonaventure Monastery. My grandma and my Aunt Mercedes Loye were very supportive and involved in monastery activities. Fr. Solanus was a “porter” or doorkeeper there for many years.

My earliest memories of Fr. Solanus were in the late ’40s or early ’50s. I would come home from school for lunch and Father would be visiting my seriously ill dad. Fr. Solanus seemed very tall to this 8-year-old girl. He’d bound up the steps to my dad’s room so quickly, his brown robes and long white rope belt swirling around him. When he had finished praying for my dad and giving him his blessing, he’d bound back down the stairs. I had some understanding that he was a very holy man and I’d be shrinking back into the corner of the hall hoping he wouldn’t notice me. He always did though, and would stop to talk and give me his blessing, too. He was a very slender man with a high squeaky voice and a gentle demeanor. He’d reach into his deep pocket and bring out a large silver disk with a glass cover. He’d not only show it to me, but let me touch it and explain that in the center was a relic of the True Cross surrounded by a relic of each of the Twelve apostles. I was enthralled and kept that memory of the disk for the next 60 years. While on a visit to the monastery a few years ago, I mentioned this story to my cousin, Bro. Richard Merling, OFM Cap., who said, “Why, we’ve got that disk right here!” He brought it out and showed this priceless treasure to me again after all these years. I held it so reverently.

Fr. Solanus spent the last days of his life at St. John Hospital where I worked. I had the privilege of visiting him there at the end, very weak and frail but alert. An aura of holiness surrounded him almost visibly. My mother and I were among the estimated 10,000 mourners who came to his funeral on a scorching hot day in July 1957.

About 20 years later, my only sister told me she had a breast tumor that had to be removed quickly. A friend of hers was taking her to the hospital early in the morning and promised to call with news. A couple of hours later, my sister herself called. I was expecting her to still be under anesthesia. She explained that just before they were to operate the doctor decided to do one more X-ray. This time they found NOTHING! The tumor had completely disappeared! I wasn’t surprised and my sister asked “Why not?” “Because I asked for Fr. Solanus’ intercession,” I explained calmly.

Six years ago, a young and dear friend was diagnosed with stage four bone cancer. Her father and I went down to the monastery and prayed at Fr. Solanus’ tomb, leaving her name there on a small piece of paper. Today she is entering her seventh year of complete remission!

And just recently a neighbor and good friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Having gotten strength through her prayers to Fr. Solanus, she went through her surgery beautifully and is now cancer-free!

And, when my only sister and very best friend went to heaven abruptly and unexpectedly three years ago, it was my prayers to Fr. Solanus that helped me get through those terrible times. He has been my rock since childhood and remains a staunch support to me today. My friends and family have been so blessed to have this holy and Blessed Solanus in our lives for so long!

Rosellen Loye-Bucy

A mangled finger restored

My grandmother, God rest her, loved sharing this story. In 1928, when my dad, who was the youngest of four children, was 4 years old, my grandmother was washing clothes in her basement. She was very proud of the fact that she was the first on her block (Chalmers near Jefferson) to have a power wringer washer. In any event, the wringer was running, and she had her back turned to it as she hung clothes on the line. She heard my dad scream, and turned to see that his was caught not just in the wringer, but in the gears. (Safety regulations sure have changed that possibility!)

She pulled the plug on the wringer and pried my dad’s hand out of the gears. His little finger on his left hand had been separated from the rest of the hand, and was hanging on only by a small piece of shredded skin. She called her husband (two-car families were unheard of in those days) and he came home. They took my dad to the family doctor. My grandmother had wrapped my dad’s hand in a towel, and, upon unwrapping the towel, the doctor said that the finger was a total loss, and told my grandparents to take my dad to the hospital so he could cauterize the wound under sterile conditions.

Good Irishwoman that my grandmother was, she chose instead to go to the monastery, knowing that Fr. Solanus was the doorkeeper. Of course, he answered the door and, when told what the situation was (my grandmother was holding my dad, passed out, in her arms), he laid a hand on Dad and prayed over him. He then told my grandparents to take Dad to the hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital and meeting the family doctor there, they were led into a surgery, where the doctor once again unwrapped the towel from Dad’s hand. He did a double-take and then said to my grandmother, “Where did you take this child?” My grandmother asked why, and the doctor said that the finger was no longer unattached. He merely had to stitch the wound, and my dad enjoyed the use of all five fingers on that hand for the rest of his life.

To the day he died, he could not completely bend that finger, and also to the day he died he wore a relic (piece of Fr. Solanus’ habit) on him. This was never reported as this was considered a daily occurrence with Fr. Solanus.

Michael Kohn

Disappearing birthmark

I was taken to Fr. Solanus as an almost 1-year-old by my parents and my great aunt. I had apparently been born with a large birthmark on my neck near my face. My mother always told me that Fr. Solanus held me himself for a bit of time and then told them that the birthmark would be gone when I woke up in the morning and that I was to have a long life. The birthmark was gone in the morning and my parents and then myself have always been devoted to Fr. Solanus.

By a strange set of circumstances, I happened to be living in Michigan during the period of the first exhumation of his body in 1987, and was in the chapel while it was happening. I wrote to the postulator of his cause at that time about this story. I also had an aunt who was a nurse from 1927 on and she often told me stories of many cures that Fr. Solanus performed that she had seen herself. I am planning on coming from Georgia to the beatification Mass in November.

Sue Ellen MacDonald-Gay

Cured of prostate cancer

My Christmas story is a simpler one but heartfelt. It took place 112 years (after Fr. Solanus’ arrival at St. Bonaventure Monastery on Christmas Eve, 1896). It is told in an unnoted footnote in the unpublished portfolio of Fr. Solanus’ miracles: “Anthony F. Laviano was cured of prostate cancer during the 2008 Christmas season through the intercession of Father Solanus Casey. Deo Gratias!”

Dr. Anthony F. Laviano
Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Saved from disaster

I read in the paper that you are looking for stories about Fr. Solanus. When I was leaving to drop off my grandson I felt for my Fr. Solanus medal and realized it was on the table. I went back in the house and retrieved it. I was driving on I-696 with my grandson. I looked up at a train overpass and saw a train car leaning on the track, it was huge and white. I thought I shouldn’t be seeing that. At that same moment I felt like a push in the back of my car and that train car fell inches behind my car it might have been the blowback of the train but it was my thought that Fr. Solanus pushed us out of the way. The story was on the TV news on all stations.

Dolores Lacelle

The gift of a child

(This account was written in 2015 and sent to the Solanus Casey Center; the author relays it as originally written)

For the last three years I have been praying that my daughter Valerie would get pregnant.

She is 38 years old and now has been married for five years. She’s a faithful Christian and a wonderful daughter. On March 25, 2010, I visited the tomb of Fr. Solanus to pray for his intercession to Our Lord Jesus to ask for and pray for the miracle of pregnancy for Valerie. (At the time I did not realize that March 25 was the feast of the Annunciation to Mary to become Jesus’ mother). Valerie did not know about Fr. Solanus, so I took her to the tomb on April 2, 2010, to attend Good Friday services and introduce her to Fr. Solanus. We prayed together at the tomb and she was very impressed with the experience.

About two months later she called, telling me she and John (her husband) wanted to take us to dinner, where they announced she was pregnant. She said her “due date” was Dec. 14 or 15. We were thrilled. Returning home I counted 270 days (nine months) from March 25 and determined that her due date would be December 20. I called to tell her that her due date would not be as she thought. I didn’t tell her what date to expect the birth, but I knew it would be Dec. 20.

At 11 a.m. on Dec. 20, 2010, Valarie called me from the hospital and announced I was a new grandfather to a baby boy whose name is John Bruno and that she had delivered him naturally. When I arrived at the hospital, I relayed this miracle story to Valerie and her husband John. And I hope it will increase their faith and acceptance of Jesus as their Lord God and Savior. And they will also thank Fr. Solanus for his help, too.

I sincerely believe in the power of prayer and I am also firmly convinced that Fr. Solanus interceded with my prayer request and carried our prayer forward to make this happen. Praise the Lord!!

Ron Ward

Friends in heaven

When I was 5 years old, rheumatic fever was the child illness du jour. I had symptoms and so my saintly mother and aunt took me to see Fr. Solanus. He said confidently, “Don’t worry, little Jack will be fine.” Many decades later, his predication was right on and I have never had a serious illness. It is good to have friends like Mom, my aunt and Fr. Solanus in Heaven.

Jack Christian

Surgery not required

I was around 10 years old when my parents noticed a lump behind my ear! They took me to the doctor, and he saint it was a mastoid and that I would have to be operated on in a couple of days.

They then took me over to see Fr. Solanus in his office. We had a conversation, and he touched my ear and said I wouldn’t need to go to the hospital for an operation. We went back to the doctor, who was amazed that the swelling went down and I didn’t need surgery! That was my experience with Fr. Solanus. I am now 82 years old.

Ed Wotiechowski

Source of infection identified

Fr. Solanus Casey means so much to our family, not only because of two very positive results from medical situations, but because of his humble trust in Jesus and Mary, and his reminder to “thank God ahead of time.”

1.) My brother-in-law, Jim, who lives in Florida, was here visiting in 2009. Jim had been in and out of the hospital over a period of years, but the root problem was never discovered and dealt with. While he was here, we went to St. Bonaventure Monastery and I introduced him and his wife to the story of Fr. Solanus. They prayed and ask for his help.

On their way driving home, Jim got very ill and was airlifted to Parkview Hospital. The surgery was long and risky, and the doctors were not optimistic. While at the monastery, Jim’s wife got a Fr. Solanus badge and Jim had it on his person throughout the entire ordeal. The doctors found the source of his ongoing problems, but infection was spreading in his body and resulted in his leg having to be amputated above the knee. He was 10 weeks in the hospital and a very long recovery at home. He and his wife always visit the monastery when they return to Michigan and keep in touch via the Internet s to the coming beatification of our friend and intercessor, Fr. Solanus Casey.

2.) My story may not be as dramatic as Jim’s, but Fr. Casey has been a go-to intercessor for me also for quite some time. But most especially since I was diagnosed with lung cancer last year. I, too, wear the third-class badge on my person always. The discovery of the tumor was only by the grace of God, and it was early and surgery removed all the doctor felt necessary at the time. I continue to be monitored, but I haven’t had to endure chemo or other drugs and continue to feel well. I am so very grateful to Fr. Solanus Casey, his humble and strong dedication to our Blessed Mother and his care and concern for the poor and sick. Even during the most painful recovery times I was able to say, “Thank you Jesus,” and mean it. God is so good and keeps giving us good and faithful people like Fr. Solanus Casey to strengthen our resolve to follow Him.

P.S., to conclude Jim’s story, I need to add that he has had many wonderful years since his surgery in ’09 and is living a wonderful life with his wife and family. The favor they asked was to find the source of his ongoing infection and that is exactly what happened.

Art and Millie Robak

Impetigo finally clears up

When I was 11 years old, my mother took me to Fr. Solanus. We made several visits to see him. I had eczema really bad, and from there it went to impetigo. It took several years (seven years) but finally it cleared up. At 11 years of age, you don’t really appreciate the enormity of seeing such a holy person. I remember he was very prayerful and compassionate with me. After all these years, it is now beginning to sink in. I am 93 years of age and very, very glad that I had been prayed over by such a holy man. I hope that his beatification takes place very soon.

Shirley Szpond
Sterling Heights

‘God’s little ones’

One story that has passed through my family involved an aunt and uncle going to see Fr. Solanus Casey. It involved their young baby who was ill. He said to them, “She will always be one of God’s little ones.” This didn’t involve a miracle, but it was the truth as she spent her life needing extra care because she couldn’t walk, etc. It was the time in the 1940s when parents were advised to put their children in institutions. What a shame. We, her cousins, never got to see her and she was never talked about to us. We did see her grave when she died suddenly, and it was beautiful that the caretakers cared.

Barbara Baker

Healed after enrollment

In 1985, at the age of 22, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. The disease was debilitating, painful and the diet restrictions affected my daily life. As the disease progressed, my doctor said it was something I’d have my entire life. A colonoscopy showed numerous fissures; it was a difficult time in my young life. My grandmother, who was devoted to Fr. Solanus, enrolled me as a lifetime member of the Fr. Solanus Guild. She worried I’d never get married or have a family if the disease persisted. By the time I was 25, I was completely cured and have never had a recurrence. I have no other way to explain it other than my enrollment in the Fr. Solanus Guild. I’ve been married 26 years and have four beautiful children.

M.L. Gass

Disappearing tumor

In the year 1945, and I was 7 years old when I was blessed by Fr. Solanus for the first time. My mother, Helen Ewald, was told by her Dr. (Knoble) that she was not to become pregnant because she had a tumor on her womb. By then she was already pregnant.
My father, Edward Ewald, drove my mother, my two sisters and myself to see Fr. Solanus. I remember the dark hallways and Fr. Solanus in sandals in the month of January. He said prayers over my parents and told my mother everything would be all right. When we were ready to leave, he blessed all of us and said we should return the next month. We did. He told my mother to call when she was in labor and on her way to the hospital. Early in the morning on Feb. 18, 1945, I remember my dad called Fr. Solanus, and he gave my mother a blessing over the phone and said not to worry, that everything will be all right. That day on Feb. 18, 1945, my sister Veronica was born. The doctor was amazed that there was no sign of the tumor. It was a miracle. Blessed be Fr. Solanus.

Patricia B. Kress

‘Go my child, you are healed’

I am writing on behalf of my mother, Catherine Mullaney Keeley, who received a miracle from Fr. Solanus Casey in November 1934. For years she had several bad attacks of asthma. She visited many doctors in the Detroit area where we lived, but none of them could help her. She tells me of the one time she fell to the floor with an attack. She was in the basement of our home. Her attack was so bad that she couldn’t get up. I was a baby, crying in my crib upstairs and mother couldn’t get to me, so she crawled to the window in our basement and hollered over to our next-door neighbor to come and rescue me, which she did. Fortunately she heard about Fr. Solanus, the doorkeeper. My father took her to visit him, at which time Fr. Solanus laid his hands over my mother’s head, prayed and said, “Go, my child, you are healed.” Never again did my mother suffer with asthma and/or breathing problems. She lived a good life of 97 years.

Margaret Keeley Mock
San Diego, Calif.

Healing touch

Years ago, I was in the seminary studying to be a priest. One of my classmates had an uncle who was a Capuchin priest. He was the secretary of the current superior general of the Capuchin order. He accompanied the superior general as he made a formal visit to St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit. While there, the secretary left his room one evening before going to bed and ran into Fr. Solanus in the hallway. He told Fr. Solanus that he had a sore on the end of his finger that wouldn’t heal. Fr. Solanus looked at his finger and touched it and told him not to worry about it. The next morning when the secretary woke up his finger was totally healed.

Keith Shuert

Intervention for Aunt Ethel

I recall that, back in the mid-1940s, shortly after WWII had ended, I was in the very early grades at St. Gregory School. My Irish immigrant parents had great interest in Fr. Solanus and, because my mother’s sister had developed spinal meningitis, Dad packed us into the family sedan and we made the long trek across town to St. Bonaventure Monastery. There we met Fr. Solanus, and my parents asked for his intervention and prayers for Aunt Ethel. I can recall being mesmerized by such an old man, with his long beard, his kind face, his gentle manner, and his genuine interest. Shortly afterward, Aunt Ethel became free of her pain and medical symptoms — due, we believe, to the benevolence of Fr. Solanus — and I had the great honor of meeting and being blessed by a future saint (who, like me, is a proud descendant of Irish immigrants!).

Fred McEvoy

A lifetime of inspiration

Our mother, Jean Kudron, had an extreme case of intestinal ulcerative colitis around 1956. Our father, Tony Kudron, took Jean to be blessed by Fr. Solanus Casey at the Capuchin Center in Detroit. Fr. Casey prayed over her and blessed her. Even though she still needed surgery and had some severe results, Jean lived with the determination to be healed and the hope that she could endure her situation. Also, over the years, Mom had made several visits to the burial site of Fr. Casey. She always prayed there and left petitions to this holy man. We believe that this is a situation where Fr. Casey helped, encouraged and guided Jean overs the years for a happy, secured and blessed life. Jean died on April 25, 2017, at the age of ninety-two and a half years … a woman of great faith who prayed every day. We believe that our mother had a long, beautiful and inspirational life due to the blessing of Fr. Solanus Casey.

Gary Kudron and Kathy Miller

A family is grateful

I have two stories to tell as to how Fr. Solanus Casey helped our family. First, I will give you a little background information. My father and his family moved from a farm in Goderich, Canada, to Detroit in the 1920s. The oldest child, Bernardine O’Loughlin, studied to become a nurse at Providence Hospital on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit. After graduation, she worked as a private duty nurse at Providence Hospital at night. She became involved at Holy Trinity Parish’s clinic for the poor as so many struggled through the Depression years of the 1930s. She often worked all night at Providence and all day at the clinic.

Through her travels in the city helping the less fortunate, Bernardine met Fr. Solanus Casey. They became friends. Fortunately, Bernardine owned a car. Bernardine became a driver for Fr. Solanus, taking him around town to visit the sick and often through his prayers, miraculous recoveries happened. On one such trip to visit a lady who was very ill and would be leaving a large, young family behind, Fr. Solanus, without a cellphone or other such device, said to Bernardine, “Mrs.___________ has passed away.” He knew this before they arrived at the home!!!

Now to my family’s two personal experiences with Fr. Solanus: My brother, Jim, was born in September 1937. He was born with some heart issues and my parents were told that he was a “blue baby.” After the usual 10 days in the hospital, my parents were sent home with Jim and were told not to let him cry. How is that possible? My Aunt Bernardine and my grandmother came to the house and my aunt said she wanted to take Jim to Fr. Solanus. Fr. Solanus prayed over my brother and then told my aunt that Jim would be just fine. Shortly thereafter, my mother took my brother to the pediatrician, a Jewish doctor named Dr. Edgar Martmer in the David Whitney Building. After examining Jim, the doctor said, “something other than medical science has cured this baby.” Jim was perfectly fine after that. He passed away in 1987 at 49 from cancer or he would be telling this story himself.

The other story happened to me. When I was somewhere around 4-5, I developed a serious ear problem. After treatment with the pediatrician did not help, I was admitted to Harper Hospital in downtown Detroit where I spent three weeks of more tests. I was scheduled for mastoid surgery, which was a very serious procedure during the late 1930s. Upon hearing this, Aunt Bernardine told my parents that she was going to see Fr. Solanus and ask him for help for me. She was not able to take me out of the hospital to visit him. She explained the situation to Father and he prayed about it. He then told her that I would be fine. My parents were told to be at the hospital at 7 a.m. the next morning as I would have the surgery. They waited and waited but nothing was happening. Finally they were told that I was a little bit better so they would perform the operation the next morning. This same scenario took place over a few days until the doctors decided not to perform the surgery. They removed my tonsils and adenoids and I was sent home all better!

Mary Ann (O’Loughlin) Szydlowski

Brother’s healing

Fr. Solanus Casey is important to our family as we believe he saved my brother’s life in the early 1940s. My mother had sent in his story some years ago and she firmly believed that Fr. Solanus cured him. My brother, Robert Colasinski, suffered from mastoids for years and even had surgery. My mother took him to Fr. Solanus and he blessed him and shortly after he was healed. My brother does remember meeting Fr. Solanus. Now after the blessing, penicillin was released for use in the United States. My brother, who is still living, thinks that Fr. Solanus through his intercession helped get the penicillin released and maybe that is how he came to be cured. If that is the case, Fr. Solanus saved many millions of lives during WWII because of that penicillin. Although it originated in England, penicillin was not brought here until the early ’40s and then became the miracle drug. Was it the drug that Fr. Solanus sent to save so many? Another strange coincidence is that Fr. Solanus died from a very similar infection that penicillin was used to treat. I pray to Fr. Solanus every day and carry his scapular.

Ann Knittel

‘God bless our angel’

My dad was in severe pain and as a result he came to live with me. I took him for physical therapy to pain clinics and his doctor gave him Oxycodone for his neck and back. At night I would put medicated patches all over his body to help him sleep. After a month I took him to a healing service at the Capuchin monastery on Mt. Elliott in Detroit. My dad, who suffered from dementia for at least 7 years … he loved the Catholic Church and God. He had heard stories of Fr. Solanus and was given holy relics to pray with. He was very cooperative and was going as a favor to me. After the healing service, a gentleman came up to my dad and placed an small angel in his hand that he had purchased at the bookstore at the monastery. He said he came every week and prayed for people. God bless our angel and Fr. Solanus … within several months Dad was completely off all meds and had no longer any pain until just prior to his death on Feb. 2, 2017. I give all honor to God and Fr. Solanus.

Maureen Bryant Dinverno

Two families blessed

My grandmother, Ethel Graessle, was pregnant with her eighth child in 1939. The doctor told her that she was very sick and if she didn’t abort the baby, she and/or the baby could die. She had high blood pressure and she went blind as a result of the complications of her pregnancy. She refused to have an abortion. My grandfather, Frank Graessle, took Grandma to see Fr. Solanus. After listening to and praying for my grandparents and their baby, Fr. Solanus told them that their baby and my grandma would be fine. The day that my grandmother was to give birth, the doctor arrived at the house with extra medical supplies, knowing that he would have a difficult time with the delivery.
After my aunt, Mary Louise, was born, the doctor came out of my grandparents’ room and told my grandfather that he had witnessed a miracle! Both my grandma and the baby were perfectly fine! My aunt was so strong that she was already lifting her head up. My grandmother gradually regained her sight, also. Our family had always had a special place in our hearts for Fr. Solanus.

Mary Magdalene Olivier attended church at St. Bonaventure one Sunday in the 1930s. She received the Eucharist from Fr. Solanus and he told her to come talk to him after Mass was over. She sought Fr. Solanus out after Mass and he asked her if she had three children who all had health problems. When she told him that she did have three children and they each had problems, Fr. Solanus told her that they would all be fine. My father-in-law had a spot on his face that would fester and become infected many times during the year. His brother had pneumonia many times during the year. Their sister would pass out and stop breathing at times. After Fr. Solanus talked to her and told her that her children would no longer have these problems, they never did suffer from these maladies again.

So you see, both of our families were blessed by the prayers of Fr. Solanus. We are so thrilled that he will be beatified and my husband and I will be at the celebration on Nov. 18.

Ellen Olivier

Food for the monastery

My mother told me that she remembered going to the Detroit Capuchin monastery as a little girl with her father. Even though they were not well to do, her father always managed to have some kind of job during the depression and he would take bags of clothes and groceries to the monastery. She remembers a monk would take the items at the door and wondered if it could have been Fr. Casey. I had the honor of taking her to the monastery on a church trip when she was living with us. She was suffering from dementia but that day she was totally engaged and enjoyed the visit immensely.

Carol Rundle

Dog is cancer-free

Our golden retriever was diagnosed with mast cell cancer on his abdomen and the doctor gave him only two weeks to two months to live, and no treatment or operations would save him. I was absolutely hysterical. On the day he was diagnosed and for five days following, SoCrates did not eat, drink, walk, pee, poop or get up from his bed. We tried everything to get him up and to eat and drink; nothing was working. We were watching our golden son die in front of our eyes. When this happened we were staying with my parents because it was closer to SoCrates’ specialists in case the worst happened.

My mother told me the story of Fr. Casey healing a little boy and saving him from dying. At that moment I started praying to Fr. Casey to save or golden retriever’s life. I asked for a sign that would be unmistakable, if SoCrates was going to live and be saved. SoCrates was not drinking and he needed to drink to keep hydrated, so I got in our car and was going to buy pedialyte to give to SoCrates. I started the car and on the radio was a song playing and I listed to the words and she was singing “I WILL TRUST IN YOU.” It was about when the storms in life are raging and we see no way out, or help coming when we ask Jesus for help, that the thing to do is “Trust In Him.” That’s what I did, I put my trust in Him.

I was not going to have SoCrates die without the fight of my life, so I went on the computer and started looking for holistic treatments for fighting cancer in dogs. The third link I hit was for a product called [redacted]. I researched what they offered and told my husband, this is the one. The product arrived the next day at 9 a.m. and SoCrates had his first dose at 9:02 a.m. that morning. Socrates was in the same condition until 3 p.m. that same day when my husband opened a package of Pop Tarts, that was a treat SoCrates shared with daddy all the time, my husband offered a piece to SoCrates, knowing he probably wound not take it, but Socrates took the Pop Tart, (we were absolutely shocked, my husband offered more to SoCrates and SoCrates took more. We did not to over feed him since he had not eaten in days).

About one hour later my husband offered some chicken to SoCrates and SoCrates ate it and drank a little water. We asked SoCrates if he wanted to go out and he started wagging his tail, we went out for the first time in 5 days and SoCrates peed for the first time also.
By 6 p.m. that same day SoCrates ate a small meal, took two very short walks and sat on the lawn for a while. The next morning SoCrates ate a small breakfast, drank water and pooped for the first time in 6 days. SoCrates continued to improve dramatically for the next week and after 12 days you would never know SoCrates was sick and dying. Socrates continued getting [redacted] for the next month, and exactly one month later went to his specialist for a check up ultrasound and the mast cell cancer shrunk by more than half. Doctor was absolutely stunned, she said that never ever happens. She could not believe the cancer shrunk by more than half, she said the one thing that could do that was a miracle.

SoCrates continued getting his [redacted] for the next 8 months and on his eight-month check up, Socrates’ doctor came out of the exam room, where Socrates had an ultrasound to check the size of the cancer and the doctor was absolutely beaming, her face was glorious and she announced SOCRATES CANCER IS COMPLETELY GONE.

I asked Fr. Casey to pray for SoCrates to Jesus for a healing and Fr. Casey and Jesus blessed us with finding [redacted], and without Fr. Casey’s intercession, Socrates would not be with us today TOTALLY CANCER FREE.


Hope, John, Socrates and Lilly Bell

A wartime prayer is answered

1. During World War II, my paternal great-grandmother would send financial donations to the monastery in hopes for intersession from Fr. Solanus. Each time her prayer went something like this: ‘Pray for my son who is fighting overseas. I pray that he is injured but not killed so he has to come home.” Sure enough, my grandfather (her son) was wounded at the Battle of Monte Cassino, Italy. According to my grandmother (his wife) had the bullet been any closer to his vein in his arm he would have been killed. Sure enough, Grandpa recovered and returned to the U.S., lived a full life until dying of cancer in 1971 at the age of 55. When I found out this spring that Fr. Solanus was to be beatified, I wept. My mom mentioned it to me and I told her the above story. I said I and Dad owe Fr. Solanus our lives. Had Grandpa died in war, Dad would not be here, nor would I, and she said I was correct.

2. This past summer my boyfriend and I visited the Fr. Solanus Casey Center. It was very touching to be so close to someone who is one of one’s guardian angels. After I walked out the church I started crying, no rhyme or reason to it. Directly to my left is the prayer and create a prayer papers. I wrote three prayers and placed them on his tomb 1. My young cousin who was injured in a diving accident, medivaced to hospital with a broken spine. 2. My dad who is in kidney failure, with lung cancer. 3. After eight years of subbing a teaching job for me, preferably middle school children.

Update: 1. My cousin had surgery on his spine, he is not paralyzed and is expected to make a full recovery. 2. Dad is cancer free but not in remission as his type of cancer is aggressive and could pop up again; he is handling his dialysis like champ and has an awesome attitude. 3. My final prayer was answered at the start of the school year. I was hired in as a middle school social studies teacher for sixth and eighth grades in a Metro Detroit school district.

I 100 percent believe Fr. Solanus interceded for me and my family. Before my interview, this inner voice kept telling me “You got this, you got this.” My response was, nothing is guaranteed. I’m not owed anything. But two days later I was told the job was mine! This voice had more confidence in me and knew the outcome and was with me during my interview. My guardian angels are Fr. Solanus, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and my grandpa (from the above story). Their guidance and love is more than I can ever repay and I love them so very much.

Thank you for allowing me to share this story with you.


The blind see

Ashen, my dad, was 12 in 1934 when Fr. Casey blessed his eyes … he had an eye disease that would eventually make him blind. He was cured and had a great devotion to Fr. Casey … he thanked God daily for the beauty he saw though the intersession of Fr. Casey. He was 88 when he passed and went to Communion daily. We thank God every day for this miracle.


Grateful to help with the cause

This special time of the beatification is especially exciting to the Seguin family members that have supported the devotion of Solanus Casey starting from our Aunt Mary (Maime) Farmer (Seguin), our parents and the next generation(s), some who are active at St. Bonaventure Monastery.

Mary Farmer was a personal friend to Fr. Solanus, and was a witness in the important Positio that allowed Fr. Solanus to be recognized as venerable. She fondly referred to Solanus as always being grateful for whatever food she made/served him and ate it without complaint! Having 13 children, she wasn’t known to be a gourmet cook.

In the book, “Letters from Solanus Casey,” a letter sent from Fr. Solanus was published thanking her for her donation and kindness. Mrs. Farmer’s name is on the back plaque of St. Bonaventure Monastery as one of the original patrons. She would drive Fr. Solanus if he needed to go places, as pictured below, and for many years they shared a great friendship.

Her devotion was equally supported by her brothers and sisters in the Seguin family who also knew Fr. Solanus, and continues in the next generations. Fr. Solanus fondly referred to Mrs. Farmer’s sister Eva McMullen as “little mother” as she was short and had 10 children. A nephew, Ronald Seguin, was very sick with pneumonia at a young age and when his father paid a visit to Solanus Casey, he was told to go home and his son would be waiting to greet him. That was true!

The Seguin family continues to support the cause for Solanus Casey and the good work he did. We are very honored that our Aunt Mary Farmer was chosen to be a witness to this great endeavor and our families have carried on the love of Solanus and the devotion to the sick and poor.

Suzy Gavin (Seguin family)

A miracle pregnancy

I had been blessed with a daughter in 1988 and had been trying to get pregnant for more than two years. In 1991, I had a pregnancy in my ovary which is very rare and had ruptured. I lost a lot of blood and part of both ovaries. I had never heard of Fr. Solanus and in 1992 I was introduced to the story of Fr. Solanus Casey through a co-worker, then a week later a patient I had who was a nun told me about Fr. Solanus. She returned to me a week later at the clinic with a holy card of Fr. Solanus and a piece of his robe inside; she said to pray to him.

I told no one of my encounter with my patient. But over the next month friends and friends of friends told me about Fr. Solanus and his miracles. One friend gave me a book to read about his life. I read it cover to cover and started to pray. Within a year I had become pregnant and was blessed with a son. He truly is a miracle because my obstetrician said he gave me a one in a million chance of ever getting pregnant again.

I have left notes at Fr. Solanus’ tomb at the monastery and also felt compelled to write to you as well. I will be attending the beatification at Ford Field with my two children and my husband. It will be a cherished day I am sure.

Denine Boyle

A heavenly escort

I have a personal story to tell about Fr. Solanus. My sister, Sr. Bonnie Motto, OP, gave me a copy of your Sept. 22 edition, and I was delighted to see the story about Fr. Solanus. My aunt, Anne Giles, became good friends with Fr. Solanus. She attended his Masses at St. Bonaventure and he was her spiritual director for many years. She told me about him and what a good person he was. She told me that she told Fr. Solanus she was afraid to die. And he told her that he would be with her when she died. She always prayed to him.

I was caring for Aunt Anne when she was close to death. I was in the kitchen and I heard her talking and laughing. So, I went into her bedroom and asked who she was talking to. And she said, “Fr. Solanus. He’s right there at the foot of my bed, and he’s come to get me.” She died soon after. Aunt Anne was in her 80s and Fr. Solanus had been dead for 30 years by then. What a wonderful experience for me.

I have a relic of Fr. Solanus that Aunt Anne gave me. She told me to always pray to him. She said he is going to be a saint someday in the eyes of the Church. I am so happy that this good and holy man is up for sainthood. And I always pray for his intercession.

Marylee (Motto) De Grave
Wilson, Mich.