CASIMIR, the second son of Casimir III., King of Poland was born A. D. 1458. From the custody of a most virtuous mother, Elizabeth of Austria, he passed to the guardianship of a devoted master, the learned and pious John Dugloss. Thus animated from his earliest years by precept and example, his innocence and piety soon ripened into the practice of heroic virtue. At the age of twenty-five, sick of a lingering illness, he foretold the hour of his death, and chose to die a virgin rather than take the life and health which the doctors held out to him in the married state. In an atmosphere of luxury and magnificence the young prince had fasted, worn a hair-shirt, slept upon the bare earth, prayed by night, and watched for the opening of the church doors at dawn. He had become so tenderly devoted to the Passion of Our Lord that at Mass he seemed quite rapt out of himself, and his charity to the poor and afflicted knew no bounds. His love for our blessed Lady he expressed in a long and beautiful hymn, familiar to us in our own tongue. The miracles wrought by his body after death fill a volume. The blind saw, the lame walked, the sick were healed, a dead girl was raised to life. And once the Saint in glory led his countrymen to battle, and delivered them by a glorious victory from the schismatic Russian hosts.
One hundred and twenty-two years after his death the Saint's tomb in the cathedral of Vienna was opened, that the holy body might be transferred to the rich marble chapel where it now lies. The place was damp, and the very vault crumbled away in the hands of the workmen; yet the Saint's body, wrapped in robes of silk, was found whole and incorrupt, and emitted a sweet fragrance, which filled the church and refreshed all who were present. Under his head was found his hymn to Our Lady, which he had had buried with him. The following night three young men saw a brilliant light issuing from the open tomb and streaming through the windows of the chapel.
Reflection. —Let the study of St. Casimir's life make us increase in devotion to the most pure Mother of God—a sure means of preserving holy purity.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
St. Lucius is praised greatly by St. Cyrian for his manner of dealing with lapsed Christians; he was exiled from Rome almost immediately after he became bishop; he lived only a few weeks after his return.
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Ferial Day in Lent – Saturday After Ash Wednesday
Introit • Ps. 29, 11
The Lord hath heard, and hath had mercy on me: the Lord became my helper. Ps. 29, 2. I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me; and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me. Glory be …
Give ear to our supplications, O Lord, and grant that we may keep with devout service this solemn fast, wholesomely instituted for the cure of soul and body. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Is. 58, 9-14
Lesson from Asaias the Prophet.
[God rejects the hypocritical fasts of the Jews: recommends works of mercy, and sincere godliness.]
Thurs saith the Lord God: If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which profiteth not. When thou shalt pour out thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul then shall thy light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday.
And the Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill thy soul with brightness, and deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a fountain of water whose waters shall not fail. And the places that have been desolate for ages shall be built in thee: thou shalt raise up the foundations of generation and generation: and thou shalt be called the repairer of the fences, turning the paths into rest. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy own will in my holy day, and call the sabbath delightful, and the holy of the Lord glorious, and glorify him, while thou dost not thy own ways, and thy own will is not found: to speak a word: Then shalt thou be delighted in the Lord, and I will lift thee up above the high places of the earth, and will feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father. For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Gradual • Ps. 26, 4
One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord. That I may see the delight of the Lord, and be protected by His holy temple.
Gospel • Mark 6, 47-56
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Mark.
[Christ teaches at Nazareth: he sends forth the twelve apostles: he feeds five thousand with five loaves; and walks upon the sea.]
At that time, when it was late, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and himself alone on the land. And seeing them labouring in rowing, (for the wind was against them,) and about the fourth watch of the night, he cometh to them walking upon the sea, and he would have passed by them. But they seeing him walking upon the sea, thought it was an apparition, and they cried out. For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he spoke with them, and said to them: Have a good heart, it is I, fear ye not.
And he went up to them into the ship, and the wind ceased: and they were far more astonished within themselves: For they understood not concerning the loaves; for their heart was blinded. And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Genezareth, and set to the shore. And when they were gone out of the ship, immediately they knew him: And running through that whole country, they began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.
And whithersoever he entered, into towns or into villages or cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch but the hem of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
Offertory • Ps. 118, 154, 125
O Lord, enliven me according to Thy word, that I may know Thy testimonies.
Receive, O Lord, the sacrifice with the immolation of which it hath been Thy will to be graciously appeased; grant, we beseech Thee, that, being purified by its operation, we may present such a spiritual affection as shall be well pleasing to Thee. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 2, 11, 12
Serve ye the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling; embrace discipline, lest you perish from the just way.
Nourished with the gift of the Bread of Life, we beg, O Lord, that, that which is a mystery to us in the present life may become an aid of the eternal. Through our Lord.