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.
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.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Third Sunday of Lent
Introit • Ps. 24, 15, 16
My eyes are ever towards the Lord: for He shall pluck my feet out of the snare: look Thou upon me, and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor. Ps. 24, 1-2. To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust: let me not be ashamed. Glory be …
Have regard to the desires of the lowly, O almighty God, we beseech Thee, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty in our defense. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Ephes. 5, 1-9
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians.
[Exhortations to a virtuous life. The mutual duties of man and wife, by the example of Christ and of the Church.]
Brethren, be ye therefore followers of God, as most dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: Or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks. For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light. For the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth.
Gradual • Ps. 9, 20, 4
Arise, O Lord, let not man be strengthened; let the gentiles be judged in Thy sight. When my enemy shall be turned back, thy shall be weakened and perish before Thy face.
Tract. Ps. 122, 1, 3
To Thee have I lifted up my eyes, Who dwellest in heaven. Behold as the eyes of the servants are on the hands of their masters. And as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress: so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He have mercy on us. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
Gospel • Luke 11, 14-28
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ teaches his disciples to pray. He casts out a dumb devil, confutes the Pharisees, and pronounces woes against them for their hypocrisy.]
At that time, Jesus was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb: and when he had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke: and the multitudes were in admiration at it: But some of them said: He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.
And others tempting, asked of him a sign from heaven. But he seeing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself, shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say, that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub; by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out devils; doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you.
When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth. But if a stronger than he come upon him, and overcome him; he will take away all his armour wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils. He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest; and not finding, he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out. And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished.
Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck. But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.
Offertory • Ps. 18, 9-12
The justices of the Lord are right, rejoicing hearts, and His judgments are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb; for Thy servant keepeth them.
May this offering, O Lord, we beseech Thee, wipe out our sins, and sanctify the bodies and minds of Thy servants for the celebration of the sacrifice. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 83, 4, 5
The sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest, where she may lay her young ones: Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God: blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, they shall praise Thee forever and ever.