St. Casimir of Poland
Fifteenth century Polish prince, the younger son of King Casimir IV of Poland and Elizabeth of Austria. Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1471; third in line for the throne. Lived a highly disciplined, even severe life, sleeping on the ground, spending a great part of the night in prayer, dedicating himself to lifelong celibacy. He had a great devotion to Mary, supported the poor, and lived a virtuous life amid the dissolute court.
Hungarian nobles prevailed upon Casimir’s father to send his 15-year-old son to be their king; Casimir obeyed, taking the crown, but refusing to exercise power. His army was outnumbered, his troops deserting because they were not paid. Casimir returned home, and was a conscientious objector from that time on.
He returned to prayer and study, maintained his decision to remain celibate even under pressure to marry the emperor’s daughter. Reigned briefly as king during his father‘s absence