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Grace upon Grace

President George Washington became the first president to proclaim a Thanksgiving holiday in response to a joint request by both Houses of Congress. He proclaimed November 26, 1789 as a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” devoted to “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”

As families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate to look to Father Solanus Casey, who was beatified in the Archdiocese of Detroit just a few days ago. Blessed Solanus was well-known for thanking God and urging others to do so. He is probably best known for instructing those who sought his intercession to “thank God in advance” for favors received.

Father Solanus was a humble man. In the world’s eyes he had a very lowly vocation. He served as the porter for the St. Bonaventure Monastery. In this role, he had the opportunity to meet thousands of people. He urged many seeking his counsel to be grateful for their vocation:

We should ever be grateful for and love the vocation to which God has called us. This applies to every vocation because, after all, what a privilege it is to serve God, even in the least capacity.

We are forever grateful to God for calling us to the vocation of marriage. Through the sacramental graces we receive in marriage, we can live out this vocation freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully. Marriage is our path to holiness, witnessing to the truth of God’s love in the world.

We pray you have a very blessed Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends as we thank God for his abundant graces.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Heavenly Father, creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks. Thank you for all the graces and blessings you have bestowed upon us: our faith and religious heritage, our food and shelter, our health, the love we have for one another, our marriage, our family, and our friends. Dear Father, in your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessings, now and forever. This we ask in the name of Jesus, your Son and our brother. Amen.