As Fr. Solanus Casey is beatified, we're examining how someone becomes a saint

Posted at 11:25 PM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 23:25:55-05

The push to have Father Solanus Casey canonized as a saint started nearly six decades ago, and it’s not a simple process.

Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, and so many other faithful Catholics:  their lives were dedicated to God, and they eventually became Saints.

Now, Detroit’s own Father Solanus Casey is about to be one step closer to Sainthood.

Father Dan Crosby knew Father Solanus as a young friar, when Father Dan first joined the Capuchin Order back in 1956.

“He was real!  And it was good being around him.  He had those blue, blue Irish eyes that just looked at you, and drew you in: ‘I’m here for you,’” said Father Dan.

Father Dan says to become a saint, after someone dies, the local Archbishop first investigates his or her life by reading anything the person may have written and interviewing witnesses.

“That is when the person would be given the title ‘Servant of God.’  There is reason for believing this person was really Holy and we want to go deeper into it,” said Father Dan.

Next, the Pope determines that the person lived a life of heroic virtue, and then he or she is given the title of “Venerable,” as in Venerable Solanus.

To reach the fourth step of beatification, a miracle must have taken place through the prayers made to the candidate.   Father Dan says that happened about five years ago, when a woman with a skin condition that made her appear as if she had scales prayed at the tomb of Father Solanus.

“Sheets, so to speak, of scales just came off her hands and feet.  And she obviously knew what this was – as she said she just cried, and cried in gratitude,” said Father Dan.

The verification of that miracle means Father Solanus can move to the next step of beatification, which is set to take place Saturday November 18.  That’s when Father Solanus will be declared Blessed.

After someone like Father Solanus is beatified, the next step on the path to Sainthood requires that a second miracle be verified.

“That shouldn’t take too long because there’s these miracles that are happening all the time, and happened all the time in the past,” said Father Dan.

If that second future miracle is confirmed, Father Solanus would be canonized at the Vatican, and he will officially become a saint.