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May 14, 2017

Pope advances sainthood causes of U.S. priest, Vietnamese cardinal

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) —Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of Wisconsin-born Capuchin Father Solanus Casey, five religious, four laypeople and two cardinals, including Vietnamese Cardinal Francois Nguyen Van Thuan. The pope approved the decrees during an audience May 4 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes.

Casey (1870-1957) was known for his great faith, humility and compassion and for his ministry as spiritual counselor. He gained a popular following during his lifetime, with healings attributed to his intercession both before and after his death.

He was the sixth of 16 children of Irish immigrant parents. He was born on a farm near Oak Grove, Wisconsin, and as a young man worked as a logger, a hospital orderly, a streetcar operator and a prison guard before entering the Capuchins at age 26.

He was ordained in 1904 as a “simplex priest,” one who is unable to hear confessions or preach dogmatic sermons because he had not performed very well in his studies. He carried out humble tasks in the monastery and, while serving in Yonkers, New York, Casey was assigned to be the friary’s porter, or doorkeeper, a ministry he would carry out for the rest of his life.