February 24, 2019 A View From the Rectory

On Monday, March 4, the Feast of Saint Casimir, I invite everyone to a 7pm Mass at our beautiful Church of Saint Casimir in Woodbine. Saint Casimir Church which was dedicated on February 1, 1939, maintains a legacy to the Polish community who helped found this church and is enlivened by our Hispanic sisters and brothers who worship with us today.

Saint Casimir’s Story

Casimir, born of kings and in line to be a king himself, was filled with exceptional values and learning. As a teenager, Casimir lived a highly disciplined, even severe life, sleeping on the ground, spending a great part of the night in prayer and dedicating himself to lifelong celibacy. When nobles in Hungary became dissatisfied with their king, they prevailed upon Casimir’s father, the king of Poland, to send his son to take over the country. The army he was supposed to lead was clearly outnumbered by the “enemy”; some of his troops were deserting because they were not paid. At the advice of his officers, Casimir decided to return home.His father was irked at the failure of his plans, and confined his 15-year-old son for three months. At this point he made up his mind never again to become involved in the wars of his day, and no amount of persuasion could change his mind. He returned to prayer and study, maintaining his decision to remain celibate even under pressure to marry the emperor’s daughter.

He reigned briefly as king of Poland during his father’s absence. He died of lung trouble at 25 while visiting Lithuania, of which he was also Grand Duke. He was buried in Vilnius, Lithuania.

For many years, Poland and Lithuania faded into the gray prison on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Despite repression, the Poles and Lithuanians remained firm in the faith which has become synonymous with their name. Their youthful patron reminds us: Peace is not won by war; sometimes a comfortable peace is not even won by virtue, but Christ’s peace can penetrate every government repression of religion.

Last year, following the Mass on the Feast of Saint Casimir, we gathered under tents for a feast. This year, in keeping with the humble nature of our church and our patron Saint Casimir we will gather after the Mass in the lower church for light refreshments. In order to prepare, I ask you to sign up in the vestibules of our churches or call the office (609) 390-0664.

Fr. Pete