DETROIT (AP) – The Archdiocese of Detroit says Pope Francis has announced the beatification of Father Solanus Casey — a significant step toward canonization as a saint.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron says in a statement Thursday that the beatification of the priest “is an incomparable grace” for the church and the Detroit area. He says Casey “is an inspiration to all us Catholics — and to all — of the power of grace to transform one’s life.”

Casey died in 1957 at age 86. He was a member of the Capuchin Franciscan Order of St. Joseph and one of the founders of Detroit’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Pope John Paul II granted him “venerable” status for a life of uncommon virtue in the service of God in 1995.

Pope Francis’ announcement was made in Rome.

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