The deepest friendships are rooted in the love of Christ and the joy of serving His people. Father Paul of Graymoor first met soon-to-be beatified Father Solanus Casey on a visit to Yonkers, New York. The two men had much in common and quickly began a lifelong friendship.
On June 17, 1910, when St. John’s Church was dedicated, Fr. Paul celebrated his first Mass as a priest. Fr. Solanus was present as the Deacon and gave the homily for the Mass. Father Solanus was also present at the dedication of the St. Francis Chapel in January of 1912. These two men supported each other throughout their lives in prayer and in mission, dedicating themselves to the service of God’s people.
Fr. Solanus is still known as “Detroit’s Miracle Worker,” not only because of the work he did to feed the hungry, but also because of the spiritual nourishment he provided to the thousands of people he encountered through his ministry. Even while he was living, many attributed miraculous healings to his prayers.
“I looked on my whole life as giving, and I want to give until there is nothing left of me to give. So I prayed that, when I come to die, I might be perfectly conscious, so that with a deliberate act I can give my last breath to God.” These are the words Fr. Solanus shared shortly before his death, and he did just that.
On Saturday, November 18th, Fr. Paul’s dear friend, Fr. Solanus Casey, will be beatified. What a blessing and a joy to be an integral part of another’s life in such a way that encourages a path to Sainthood. Truly, this is a model for all friendships. As we celebrate the beatification of Fr. Solanus, let us be reminded to pray daily for our friends and to encourage them to grow in holiness.