St. Casimir

Friends in the Lord,
today is the Feast of St. Casimir of Poland. St. Casimir was born in 1458. His father was the King of Poland. There were 13 children in their family; he was the 3rd.
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Now he was a Prince, and he could have become King if he wanted, but he was not interested. Casimir was very pious and tried to keep the presence of God with him all day. He was well-known for his cheerfulness, and this cheerfulness was contagious to any who knew him.
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He loved the Blessed Virgin; he used to sing a hymn to her, over and over. He even asked that a copy of this hymn would be buried with him in his tomb. When he attend Mass, he was sometimes caught up in rapture, being so near to Christ Crucified. So much did he long for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, that often at night, he would kneel before the locked doors of churches for hours, regardless of the weather.
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Now although he was a prince, he was always seen in rather plain clothes, and under them he wore a hair-shirt for penance. Rejecting even ordinary comforts, he slept little, spending his nights in prayer, often on his knees for hours; and when he did sleep, it was on the floor not on a royal bed. Even though he was a prince, everyone was at ease with him; he was friendly, cheerful, and calm. St. Casimir assisted the poor a great deal, and he is known for this.
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His father wanted him to marry the beautiful daughter of Emperor Frederick III, but he refused because he had made a private promise of celibacy. At only 23 years of age, he contracted a serious case of tuberculosis; he then foretold precisely the hour he would die, which came true.
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Many miracles happened at his intercession, and 120 years after his death, his body still gave off a wonderful sweet scent. Canonized in 1521, his relics are in the church of St. Stanislaus in Poland.  
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What can we learn from St. Casimir? We should imitate his devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and we should also imitate his cheerfulness. Being cheerful, even when we don’t feel like it, and even with those who we don’t like, is a powerful form of charity toward neighbor.
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St. Casimir’s symbol is the lily, for purity; he is the patron saint of Poland and of bachelors.

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