DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     March 4, 1999     vol. 10, no. 44

DAILY LITURGY

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Thursday, March 4, 1999

    Thursday March 4:
    Lenten Weekday and
    Optional Feast of Saint Casimir, Prince and Patron Saint of Lithuania and Poland

    Purple or violet vestments

      First Reading: Jeremiah 17: 5-10
      Psalms: Psalm 1: 1-4, 6; 40: 5
      Gospel Reading: Luke 16: 19-31

Optional Feast of Saint Casimir, Prince and Patron Saint of Lithuania and Poland

          The patron saint of Poland was a saintly young prince named Saint Casimir. He was known for his virginal chastity and for truly living what he preached for the 26 years he lived on this earth. Born in 1458 into nobility, his mother Elizabeth of Austria raised him in the True Faith. At 13 he was elected King of Hungary in hopes of toppling the rival king Matthias Corvino. However, through Casimir's prayers, peace and compromise were reached and the Hungarians were reconciled with Corvino. This enabled Casimir to abdicate the throne and devote his life to prayer as he preferred over the life of royalty. Yet while his father was in Lithuania, Casimir was again promoted - this time to the office of regent in Poland. Though he preferred a more contemplative lifestyle, he accepted this office with dignity and despite his youth, showed wisdom beyond his years in administering with great prudence and virtue. Casimir nurtured a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, dedicating his life to her and turning down an offer of marriage to the daughter of the German Emperor Henry III. In 1843 Casimir was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Lithuania and shortly after that contracted the fatal disease of tuberculosis, passing on to his Heavenly reward on March 4, 1484 at the young age of 26 in the court of Grodno. Amid great grief and pomp the Polish people honored him, burying him under the altar in the Chapel of Our Lady in the castle of Vilna. He was canonized 37 years later in 1521 by Pope Leo X, but it wasn't until 1602 that the Poles and Lithuanians realized Casimir had been made a saint since the original bull never reached Poland since Leo's successor Pope Hadrian VI had assumed Leo X had sent it and therefore did not follow-up. As it were, Leo died before he could dispatch the original bull and it was lost in the shuffle. Once it was discovered, Pope Clement VIII took care of officially notifying the Polish people by reissuing the papal bull. Almost immediately the Polish King Sigismund III began erecting a chapel honoring Casimir in Vilna and it was completed by his successor King Wladislaus IV.

Friday, March 5, 1999

    Friday March 5:
    Lenten Weekday and
    FIRST FRIDAY plus World Day of Prayer

    Purple or violet vestments

      First Reading: Genesis 37: 2-4, 12-13, 17-28
      Psalms: Psalm 105: 5, 16-21
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 21: 33-43, 45-46

March 4, 1999       volume 10, no. 44
LITURGY

DAILY CATHOLIC

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