Solanus Casey was born in Wisconsin in 1870. He was one of sixteen children. His parents had immigrated to America from Ireland. Barney, as he was called as a boy, grew up in a very loving Catholic family. His siblings enjoyed playing baseball together, also skiing and skating, hunting, fishing, and swimming.
The Casey family was always committed to prayer and young Barney learned to love the Rosary from his mother. Barney first began to think about the priesthood at a young age. At age twenty-one, he entered the diocesan seminary. At the time, diocesan priests in the Milwaukee diocese completed their studies in German. Young Barney had difficulty with the complexity of German. His superiors suggested that he leave the diocesan seminary and try one of the religious seminaries. Barney prayed a novena before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception to decide which order to choose. On the last day of the novena after communion, Barney heard the direction interiorly, “Go to Detroit.” This is where the Capuchin order was. Barney entered the Capuchins.
Because of Barney’s low marks in school, his superiors decided that Solanus would be ordained as a “simplex priest.” This meant he could not preach or hear confessions. His duties were limited. He accepted this as God’s will, an event that would help him to grow vastly in the virtue of humility and help him become a great saint and was part of the design of God.
Fr. Solanus spent time in various areas of New York as well as Detroit. Much of his time was spent as a doorkeeper at the monastery. There he would help the sick and provide counsel. Many sick people began to come to him and marvelous miracles took place through this holy priest.
There are many lessons from the life of Fr. Solanus for singles.
1. THANK GOD AHEAD OF TIME
Many people would come to see the holy priest when he was alive, asking him to pray for a miracle. Fr. Solanus always asked people to thank God ahead of time, that people should say thank you to God now for what He would do in the future. Fr. Solanus believed this showed a great faith which moved the heart of God.
During his life, one couple brought him their daughter who suffered from leukemia. The child’s parents thanked God ahead of time with some masses. Then Fr. Solanus prayed for the young girl, he gave her a sweet and told her that all would be well soon. He looked at her as if she was well. Suddenly, the little girl began to be very alert and sit up and started to walk. She was cured of her leukemia!
As singles, well, maybe we aren’t seeing the results in our life that we would like to. We believe we are called to marriage, and yet, there is no spouse on the scene. We can believe and have confidence in God. “Thank you God, thank you for the wonderful spouse I know you are bringing into my life. Thank you God.” We can thank God ahead of time, just as Fr. Solanus did. We can also ask for Fr. Solanus’ powerful intercession. God will hear our prayer and He loves when we show confidence like this. When we are sad and doubt, this can actually block the answer to our prayers. We can also thank God for all He has done in the past for us and well as all He is doing for us right now. Fr. Solanus has had many miracles attributed to him, not only cures from diseases, but also changes of heart and other miracles.
2. ASK FOR MORE ENERGY
Fr. Solanus seemed to have abundant energy, even in his eighties. He enjoyed sports, such as tennis, volleyball, jogging, and other games. Fr. Solanus was a lively and joyful older priest. He always had energy to be helping other people. As singles, we can ask him to interecede for more energy for us.
3. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S LOVE
One woman came to Fr. Solanus and asked him to pray for her to have a child. She said she wanted a child, but thought it was perhaps selfish of her to ask for this. Fr. Solanus said no, that was not a self-centered request of God, it was beautiful and normal and that she was exemplary in wanting to take on the extra responsibility of another child. He told her to be confident in the Lord’s great love. He told her she would have another child and that she must have faith and believe and thank Mary for her intercession even before she has the baby. Because Mary will go to her Son and will ask that the prayer be answered.
And so for us singles too, we can go to ask God for a spouse, it is a beautiful request if we want to give ourselves in self-giving love and to take on the responsibility of a spouse, God finds that to be a beautiful request and we can ask God for this. God is our Father who loves us more than anyone else in the world.
Fr. Solanus Casey, pray for us Singles!