Feast of Saint Casimir of Poland
(1458 – 1484)
St. Casimir of Poland was the second son of King Casimir IV and Queen Elizabeth of Austria, one of thirteen children born to them in the royal palace at Cracow. Casimir committed his life to God from an early age, thanks in part to a brilliant and pious priest who served as the royal tutor. He turned away from the privileges of his station in life and instead exercised extreme asceticism and self-denial. He wore a hairshirt under his clothes, slept on the cold ground, and knelt in prayer for long hours outside of locked churches.
At the age of thirteen the Hungarians requested Prince Casimir to rule their country as king, which he accepted in the hope of defending the Christian nation against the Turks. However, the plan did not come to fruition and he returned home to continue his life of prayer, penance, and generosity to the poor. He later ruled Poland for a few short years while his father attended royal business in Lithuania.
Casimir took a vow of celibacy which he upheld despite immense political pressure to marry. He suffered from a chronic lung condition, which he succumbed to in 1484 at the age of 25. Many miracles were attributed to his intercession after his death. St. Casimir is the patron saint of Poland, Lithuania, and young people.
His feast day is March 4th.
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Nothing was more pleasant, nothing more desirable for him, than to share his belongings and even to dedicate and give his entire self to Christ’s poor….”
from a contemporary biographer of Saint Casimir
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.”
cf. Hebrews 12:1-2
Saint Casimir, Patron of Poland and Lithuania, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.