Fr. Solanus Casey was declared Venerable by St. John Paul II in 1995. I first visited the Capuchin’s tomb at St. Bonaventure Monastery in 2008 and continued to do so nearly every week until 2010. I never figured that I would be living in the State where Solanus worked as a logger, prison guard, andstreetcar operator and also where, honestly, he is more often invoked for intercession than in Detroit. There are more pilgrimages from Minnesota and Wisconsin to his tomb, than anywhere else.
Yet, despite my proximity to his burial place in Detroit I admit the least impression of his holiness on me while I was there. Not until I moved to Minnesota have I begun to realize his influence. I am rooting for his canonization (insofar as that’s possible), and can fully reflect on how fruitful his prayers are. His simplicity in particular is an attribute that I most want to imitate, with his characteristic emphasis on gratitude to Christ.