Prince Confessor (c.1458-1484)
St. Casimir was the 2nd son of King Casimir IV of Poland and the virtuous Elizabeth of Austria. He received his early education from the deeply religious Canon John Dlugosz, the Polish historian; who later became Archbishop of Lemberg. At 9, he was already noted for his piety, and in his growing years, was often found spending long hours of the night on his knees before the locked doors of churches, oblivious to the inclemency of the weather. Much given to fasting, wearing a hair shirt and sleeping on the floor, his charity towards the poor knew no bounds, thus earning him the title of "Father and Defender of the poor and wretched".
Casimir had particularly ardent devotion to the Eucharist and to Our Lady, whom he addressed as his "Good Mother", and he would daily recite, kneeling, St Anselm of Canterbury's tender hymn "Daily, daily, sing to Mary..." During his father's prolonged absence in Lithuania, the saintly young Prince administered the State of Poland from 1481 to 1483 with pronounced success. A self-professed celibate, he died of consumption at just 26, at the very hour revealed to him, while visiting Lithuania of which he was also Grand Duke. He was canonized by Pope Adrian VI in 1522.
St. Casimir, whose body was found to be still incorrupt 122 years after his death, is the Patron of both Poland and Lithuania, and is invoked against the Plague.
Reflection :"As a stout staff supports the trembling limbs of a feeble old man, so does faith sustain our vacillating mind, lest it be tossed about by sinful hesitation and perplexity" (St. John Chrysostom).