Friday, March 4, 2016

St. Casimir

Here's a Godincidence.  While on vacation, last week, I went to the Religious Education Congress in Los Angeles.  Lithuania was featured in a booth there.  Being half Lithuanian and having no living Lithuanian relatives, I've lost contact with that part of my heritage.  When I saw that booth, I gravitated towards it.  I took pictures and picked up the literature.  This morning I was sorting through all the pamphlets, flyers, postcards, etc. and for some reason, I stopped sorting and actually read about St. Casimir.

Later, I pick up my Divine Office and who is the saint of the day?  Saint Casimir.
The remains of St. Casimir lie in this silver casket
elevated above the altar in the chapel of
 St. Casimir, at the Cathedral of Vilnius.

Who is he?  He is the patron saint of a few countries, but definitely honored in Lithuania.  He was born to be king.  He was born to Casimir IV, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania and Elizabeth of Austria of the Hapsburg royal family.  He was the third child in a family of eleven children.  He was educated at court, since he was to be king.

He lived a saintly life of concern for the poor and pious devotion. His goodness was noted by all.  Unfortunately, he died at the age of 26 from tuberculosis.  He was buried in the Cathedral of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

Prayer to St. Casimir

Saint Casimir, Patron of Mary's land,
who did honor the Blessed Virgin with hymns;
who while kneeling at night
at the door of the church,
did pray for her aid;
you loved purity so dearly
that for it you even forsook
all earthly comforts and honor.
Our holy Patron, obtain for our land
the flowers of purity
that by their sweet smell
they may draw us to your ways.
Saint Casimir, unwilling to leave your land,
yet, when it was in danger,
you aided our armies.
With aching hearts, we beg you --
help our fatherland to rise to noble life.
Help us to return without delay to our land
consecrated by the blood of martyrs,
by innocent tears and boundless anguish.

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