Patron saint of Poland and Lithuania, St. Casimir lived from 1461 to 1484. The second son of Polish King Casimir IV and Elizabeth of Austria, and third of 13 children, he dedicated himself to God at an early age. Disabused of privilege, he rebelled against the wealthy. He hardly slept and prayed all day and night.
Casimir was forced to lead the king’s army in an invasion of Hungary. However, the expedition fell apart. The king banished Casimir to Dobski Castle. Although exiled from royal life, Casimir showed strength. He refused to lead any more military forays and rejected a proposed marriage to create a royal alliance.
Spending his final days studying, praying, and aiding the poor, Casimir died of lung disease at age 23. He was buried to the music of his favorite hymn, “Daily, Daily Sing to Mary,” which is now known as the Hymn of St. Casimir.