Blessed Solanus Casey: Holy Priest, Friend of the Poor

On July 30, US Franciscans especially celebrate the feast day of Blessed Solanus Casey (1870-1957), a Capuchin friar noted for his deep prayer, compassion for the sick, and outreach to the poor.

Witnessing violence led to priestly vocation

Solanus was born Bernard (“Barney”) Casey to Irish immigrants Bernard and Ellen Casey on November 25, 1870, on a farm outside Oak Grove, Wisconsin, the sixth child of ten boys and six girls. He contracted diptheria as a child which permanently weakened his voice. At 16, Barney left the farm and worked at a series of jobs: lumberjack, hospital orderly, prison guard, and street car operator. While at work one evening, he witnessed a brutal murder. This caused him to re-evaluate his life, and in 1891 he decided to study for the priesthood.

Blessed Solanus Casey family photo 700pxlsBernard and Elllen Casey at their 50th wedding anniversary in 1913 with their 14 living children. Fr Solanus is

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