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Casimir was the third of thirteen children born to King Casimir IV of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, and Elizabeth of Habsburg, an Austrian princess, daughter of Emperor Albert II.

Casimir and two of his brothers studied under the historian Jonh Dlugosz, a man of great knowledge and piety. Under the holy man, the young prince, already devout from infancy, embarked upon the pursuit of sanctity. Giving himself up to devotion and mortification, he often spent part of the night in intense prayer and meditation. Prince Casimir also had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

At the death of Casimir’s uncle, King Ladislaus of Hungary, Matthias Corvinus a Hungarian nobleman was elected king.

In 1471, at the instance of a group of Hungarian noblemen, Casimir IV decided to advance his fifteen-year-old son Casimir for the throne of Hungary. Both father and son participated in the endeavor. A Polish army of 12,000 advanced on Buda, but the campaign was unsuccessful.

Returning to Poland, Casimir resumed his studies. The prince was known for his intelligence, capacity, wisdom and charm. For four years, while his father was away in Lithuania, he administered Poland. Around this time his father tried to arrange a marriage for him to Kunegunde of Austria, daughter of Frederick II, but the prince refused, choosing to remain celibate.

Shortly after, the saintly prince succumbed to a severe attack of lung trouble. While on a journey to Lithuania he died at the court of Grodno on March 4, 1484 at the age of twenty-six.

A miracle attributed to Prince Casimir in 1518 caused his brother Sigismund I to advance his cause for canonization. During the Siege of Polotsk, Casimir appeared to the Lithuanian army and showed them where to cross the Daugava River and relieve the city besieged by the Grand Duchy of Moscow.

Canonized in 1522 by Pope Adrian VI, St. Casimir is greatly revered in Poland.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for November 12, 2019

Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach...

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November 12

 

Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace.
The gift of grace increases as the struggles increase.

St. Rose of Lima


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Josaphat Kunsevich

“Kill the papist!” His mutilated body was dragged to the...

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St. Josaphat Kunsevich

John Kunsevich was born in Lithuania around the year 1580. His father, a burgess for a wealthy family, raised his son as a Catholic and instilled in him a great love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As a young man John spent much of his time learning Church Slavonic as he desired to assist and participate more fully in the divine worship that he loved so much. In 1604, he entered the Monastery of the Holy Trinity at Vilna taking the name Josaphat, and dedicated his life to uniting the Ruthenians with the Roman Church.

Josaphat was ordained a deacon and soon after, a priest, becoming widely known as a Catholic reformer. While retaining unity with Rome, Josaphat opposed the total Latinization of the Ruthenian peoples and the suppression of Byzantine traditions. He was beloved for his great sermons and preaching, eventually becoming abbot of the monastery in Vilna. By 1617, he was consecrated Bishop of Vitebsk, and after the death of the archbishop a year later, succeeded him. He immediately sought unity with Rome, and began to reinstate Catholic practices that had fallen into disuse. By 1620, he succeeded in the endeavor.

Soon after Josaphat’s great victory, however, his work began to unravel. Meletius Smotritsky, the Archbishop of Polotsk, claimed that Josaphat’s goal was to completely eliminate Byzantine traditions in the name of Catholic unity, and Latinize all Ruthenians. Meletius gained a number of followers and so frenzied was the agitation against him that a plan was contrived to kill Josaphat. As he walked to church for morning prayers, he was attacked by the group of Meletius’ followers. He was beaten and shot as his attackers cried, “Kill the papist!” His mutilated body was dragged to the river Dvina and carelessly thrown into the water.

St. Josaphat was canonized in 1867, the first saint of the Eastern churches to be officially canonized.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nu...

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A Favor Granted

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nun called Mary. Being at the point of death, the Blessed Mother appeared to her, and Mary said to her:

"Oh Lady, the favor you do me of visiting me at this hour emboldens me to ask you another favor, namely, that I may die at the same hour that you died and entered into heaven.”

"Yes," answered Mary Most Holy. "I will satisfy your request; you will die at that hour, and you will hear the songs and praises with which the blessed accompanied my entrance into heaven; and now prepare for your death."

When she had said this she disappeared.

Passing by Mary’s cell, other nuns heard her talking to herself, and they thought she must be losing her mind. But she related to them the vision of the Virgin Mary and the promised grace. Soon the entire convent awaited the desired hour.

When Mary knew the hour had arrived, by the striking of the clock, she said:

"Behold, the predicted hour has come; I hear the music of the angels. At this hour my queen ascended into heaven. Rest in peace, for I am going now to see her."

Saying this she expired, while her eyes became bright as stars, and her face glowed with a beautiful color.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nun called Mary. Being at the point of death, the Blessed Mother appeared to her,

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