Hungry Souls, Supernatural Visits, Messages, Warnings from Purgatory, by Gerard Van Den Aardweg, a new and powerful -- and fascinating -- collection of actual,  well-documented cases during which the deceased made contact with the living seeking help in the afterlife -- the noises in the night, the Lutheran minister, no believer in purgatory, who learned about it by direct experience, an indelible hand mark on the sleeve of one witness's clothes! More than just 'Catholic ghost stories,' it discerns truth about afterlife.  CLICK HERE



by Susan Tassone

“Thank God ahead of time.” 

These are the famous words of Venerable Solanus Casey -- once known as Barney Casey. 

Born on November 25, 1870, Barney Casey was one of 16 children in an Irish-American family from Superior, Wisconsin. 

Barney felt that God wanted him to dedicate his life to the priesthood. And so it was that on Christmas Eve, 1897, he entered the door of the Capuchin monastery on Mt. Elliot Street, in Detroit, Michigan.

Devotion? Humility? (Oh, how these count!)

Father Solanus was given the humble job as doorkeeper. 

Like other famous “porters” -- St. Faustina, St. Andre of Montreal -- Father Solanus had the gift of prophecy and healing. 

Thousands of every walk of life (and faith) were healed. 

More cases than not. 

And, importantly, not only physical healings, but spiritual ones. 

Indeed, Solanus used his gifts to encourage, challenge, and bring back hope to those suffering, searching, and in need of God’s unbounded love and mercy.

To this day, pilgrims visit his tomb at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit where he is laid to rest, leaving petitions on top of his tomb and exercising the traditional “knocking” on his tomb to get his attention: thanking God ahead of time (as he always recommended). 

Those coming to Solanus for help also heard him inviting them first to do something more for God and God’s people: such as confident thanks shown in good deeds.  “Confidence is courage divinely reinforced," he once said. "It is courage. Have confidence in the providence of God. Shake off excessive worry and exercise a little confidence in God’s merciful providence. God condescends to use our powers if we don’t spoil His plans by ours!” 

Father Solanus felt the answered requests were due to three things: belief, praying with faith, and making a promise. His usual invitation was enrollment in the Seraphic Mass Association, which is still in existence to help the holy souls (important!) in purgatory.

Meanwhile, as far as further advice, the Michigan holy man always said to pay at least a little sacrifice of some kind in thanksgiving if things go favorably. 

Thanks must be given not just after the favorable result but before: to show your confidence in the goodness of God.

Commenting on prayers for healings, etcetera, that are not "answered," Father Solanus said these had to be understood in light of God’s mercifully loving designs. “Blessed be God in all His designs!”


The holy souls were the focus of many of his prayers and devotions. 

A fellow Capuchin, Brother Ignatius once remarked that “his concern for the souls in purgatory was very evident in the many letters that he wrote to people. This was something he would recommend in the event that someone was asking for a favor, that they should pray for the poor souls in purgatory. In his mind, the poor souls 'hardly ever fail.' He encouraged people to have Masses offered for them and enroll them in that Seraphic Mass Association. He believed by that enrollment they would become 'missionaries with us.' He said: “Prayers for the missions and for the missionaries are mostly what they need.”

Let us thusly heed!

Father Solanus also explained that “if we by our prayers and sacrifices freed a soul in purgatory, we would have another intercessor in Heaven.”

He prayed all the time, especially the Rosary, and encouraged people to “storm Heaven” with prayers for everything from good weather to the needs of relatives -- for sinners, for the poor and needy (for justice and peace).  He dreamed that he was suspended over a hug pit of fire and was almost falling into it. Looking around for something to hold on to, he saw a huge rosary hanging just above him. He grasped it firmly. Now he was secure. It was a dream he would never forget. Later on he recalled that this dream reinforced in him his special relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

He prayed with perseverance for everything including perseverance! 

Interestingly, he felt that Solomon’s prayer for wisdom was one of the greatest prayers.

Wisdom, versus knowledge.

The highest act of prayer, the holy Mass, and Holy Communion he said was the answer to all problems. 

He said frequent Communion brings peace into a soul and into a family. 

“Use Holy Water frequently.," he also advised. "It keeps the devil away.”

Father Solanus died on July 31, 1957.  The exact day to the hour that he offered his first Holy Mass.

(Venerable Solanus Casey, intercede for us!)

[Susan Tassone writes books on purgatory]

[additional resources: Seraphic Mass Association and Gregorian Masses]

[also: afterlife, prophecy, healing retreats in September 29 retreat: Chicago: our prophetic times and October 13 retreat: Northern New Jersey-New York]

[Print article]

  E-mail this link directly  

Return to home page