Spirituality for Today – March 2011 – Volume 15, Issue 8

Saint of the Month
St. Casimir, March 4

An image of Saint CasimirSaint Casimir

A prince of Poland who would come to be known as "The Peacemaker" by his countrymen, Casimir was the third of 13 children board to Casimir IV and his wife, Elizabeth of Austria. The prince's religious training was personally directed by the noted Polish historian and Church canon Father John Dlugosz.

While still in his early teens, Casimir was offered Hungary's throne by members of the nobility who were dissatisfied with their country's conditions under King Mathias Corvinus. Eager to prove his abilities, Casimir assembled a small army to claim the crown, but when the nobles withdrew their support, he quickly returned to Poland. Shamed by his son's retreat, the king Krakow ordered him to a three-month confinement at a family castle in Dobzki.

Casimir would never again be convinced to take up arms. Following his confinement, he resumed his studies with Father Dlugosz. He adopted an austere lifestyle, more befitting a monk than an heir to the throne, and divided his time between his duties at Church, working with the poor and prayer. His sincere devotion earned him the respect of his country and his father.

Although Casimir showed no real ambition to rule, he accepted the responsibility when his father was called to Lithuania to attend to government matters. During the temporary reign, from 1481 to 1483, Casimir proved himself to be a wise leader who administered his authority to be a wise leader who administered his authority with prudence and justice.

Week from frequent fastings, Casimir succumbed to tuberculosis. His relics remain at the church of SS. Peter and Paul in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he was buried.

Dear Father,
In today's world in which so many countries are ravaged by war
and millions are left devastated, broken and starving,
help the world's leaders to find the much-needed solutions to peace.
Guide these leaders and give them the courage, strength and wisdom
to find and implement the answers.

From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives