In 1458, St. Casimir was born and lived in the royal court of his parents, Casimir IV the Great and Queen Elizabeth of Habsburg. At only thirteen years of age, he accepted the crown of Hungary because he wanted to defend Christianity against the Turkish invasions.
His youthful enthusiasm was notable but not sufficient to be successful. Soon after, his father had him educated in public affairs and left him to rule as heir-apparent to the throne of Poland when he had to attend to matters in Lithuania. St. Casimir lived and reigned with great dignity and holiness, setting a lofty example for his people through prayer and fasting as well as practicing the virtues of prudence and justice in temporal affairs.
He had an extraordinary devotion to Our Lady and composed the hymn of St. Bernard of Claivaux, "Omni die dic Marix mea laudes anima". St. Casimir died at the age of 26, weakened by long hours of fasts and mortification. Many miracles have been attributed to his intercession.
The modern day reader is very unaccustomed to the idea that a layperson can become a saint and more surprised when a member of royalty is saintly because of the erroneous propaganda that the courts of the nobles are always corrupt.
History proves that many saints came from the royal houses.
In fact, the frequency of sanctity in the courts is a testimony that the society in general was more Catholic. On the other hand, if we consider the past 200 years since the French and American Revolutions, it is difficult to find saints in the political governmental milieu.
Let us pray to St. Casimir for the grace of understanding the glory of the saintly nobility.