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Tuesday 23 April |
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Saint of the Day: St. Casimir

Patron Saint of Poland and Lithuania

SAINT CASIMIR

Lawrence OP | Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Prince (1458-1484)

His life

+ Casimir was born in Krakow, Poland. The third child of Casimir IV, the king of Poland and Lithuania, he was educated at court but secretly fostered habits of penance and devotion.

+ Casimir was especially devoted to the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin, in whose honor he is said to have composed the hymn Omne die dic Mariae (“Daily, daily sing to Mary”).

+ Casimir is especially remembered for his purity and single-minded devotion to the poor. He is also honored as an advocate for peace for his refusal to take part in the politics and power-plays of his father who urged Casimir to seize the throne of Hungary and Bohemia.

+ Saint Casimir died of tuberculosis in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1484, at the age of twenty-five. He was canonized in 1602 and is honored as a patron saint of Poland and Lithuania.

+ In 1907, Venerable Maria Kaupas, a Lithuanian immigrant, founded a new community of religious sisters dedicated to this saint: the Sisters of St. Casimir. Today, the members of this community serve in various parts of the United States, Lithuania, and Argentina.

For prayer and reflection

“Brothers and sisters, I for my part

do not consider myself to have taken possession.

Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind

but straining forward to what lies ahead,

I continue my pursuit toward the goal,

the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 3:13-14

Spiritual bonus

On this day we also remember Blessed Marie-Louise-Élisabeth de Lamoignon de Dolé de Champlâtreux, the foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis. A widow and mother, she dedicated her life to the education of poor and abandoned girls. Blessed Marie-Louise-Élisabeth died in Vannes, France, and was beatified in 2012.

Prayer

Almighty God, to serve you is to reign;
grant that, with the help of Saint Casimir’s intercession,
we may constantly serve you in holiness and justice.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here

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