When Father Solanus Casey is beatified Saturday as “Blessed Solanus,” the legendary Detroit Catholic priest will become an even greater inspiration, and rarity. The Capuchin will be the third American-born person to be beatified in the U.S. He’ll become one of three Americans who currently hold the title of Blessed, one step away from being named a Catholic saint.By a decree of Pope Francis, Casey will be honored because Catholic officials say a Panamanian woman’s prayer at Casey’s tomb in Detroit was answered by a miracle: her skin disease healed through his intercession.
Nearly 70,000 people — from parishes across metro Detroit as well as Ireland, Italy, Guam and Panama — are expected to pack Ford Field for the beatification ceremony. About 500 priests will be in attendance, including 235 brown-robed Capuchin friars and four red-robed Catholic cardinals. It will be ordinary, and extraordinary.