Blog Post - March 4th

S. Casimir| Pope S. Lucius I| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection


St. Casimir

(1458-1483)

Both Calendars

Casimir, born of kings and in line (third among 13 children) to be a king himself, was filled with exceptional values and learning by a great teacher, John Dlugosz. Even his critics could not say that his conscientious objection indicated softness. Even 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. Casimir obeyed his father, as many young men over the centuries have obeyed their government. 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. The lad 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 23 while visiting Lithuania, of which he was also Grand Duke. He was buried in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Comment:

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.

Patron Saint of:

Lithuania

Poland

Russia


Also today, in the Latin Calendar, we commemorate the Feast day of S. Lucius I, Pope and Martyr. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.

Another Story:

Reigned 253-254; died at Rome, 5 March, 254. After the death of St. Cornelius, who died in exile in the summer of 253, Lucius was chosen to fill his place, and consecrated Bishop of Rome. Nothing is known of the early life of this pope before his elevation. According to the "Liber Pontificalis", he was Roman born, and his father's name was Porphyrius. Where the author obtained this information is not known. The persecution of the Church under the Emperor Gallus, during which Cornelius had been banished, still went on. Lucius also was sent into exile soon after his consecration, but in a short time, presumably when Valerian was made emperor, he was allowed to return to his flock. The Felician Catalogue, whose information is found in the "Liber Pontificalis", informs us of the banishment and the miraculous return of Lucius: "Hic exul fuit et postea nutu Dei incolumis ad ecclesiam reversus est." St. Cyprian, who wrote a (lost) letter of congratulation to Lucius on his elevation to the Roman See and on his banishment, sent a second letter of congratulation to him and his companions in exile, as well as to the whole Roman Church (ep. lxi, ed. Hartel, II, 695 sqq.).

The letter begins:

Beloved Brother, only a short time ago we offered you our congratulations, when in exalting you to govern His Church God graciously bestowed upon you the twofold glory of confessor and bishop. Again we congratulate you, your companions, and the whole congregation, in that, owing to the kind and mighty protection of our Lord, He has led you back with praise and glory to His own, so that the flock can again receive its shepherd, the ship her pilot, and the people a director to govern them and to show openly that it was God's disposition that He permitted your banishment, not that the bishop who had been expelled should be deprived of his Church, but rather that he might return to his Church with greater authority.

Cyprian continues, alluding to the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, that the return from exile did not lessen the glory of the confession, and that the persecution, which was directed only against the confessors of the true Church, proved which was the Church of Christ. In conclusion he describes the joy of Christian Rome on the return of its shepherd. When Cyprian asserts that the Lord by means of persecution sought "to bring the heretics to shame and to silence them," and thus to prove where the Church was, who was her one bishop chosen by God's dispensation, who were her presbyters bound up with the bishop in the glory of the priesthood, who were the real people of Christ, united to His flock by a peculiar love, who were those who were oppressed by their enemies, and at the same time who those were whom the Devil protects as his own, he obviously means the Novatians. The schism of Novatian, through which he was brought forward as antipope, in opposition to Cornelius, still continued in Rome under Lucius.

In the matter of confession and the restoration of the "Lapsi" (fallen) Lucius adhered to the principles of Cornelius and Cyprian. According to the testimony of the latter, contained in a letter to Pope Stephen (ep. lxviii, 5, ed. Hartel, II, 748), Lucius, like Cornelius, had expressed his opinions in writing: "Illi enim pleni spiritu Domini et in glorioso martyrio constituti dandam esse lapsis pacem censuerunt et poenitentia acta fructum communicationis et pacis negandum non esse litteris suis signaverunt." (For they, filled with the spirit of the Lord and confirmed in glorious martyrdom, judged that pardon ought to be given to the Lapsi, and signified in their letters that, when these had done penance, they were not to be denied the enjoyment of communion and reconciliation.) Lucius died in the beginning of March, 254. In the "Depositio episcoporum" the "Chronograph of 354" gives the date of his death as 5 March, the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" as 4 March. The first date is probably right. Perhaps Lucius died on 4 March and was buried 5 March. According to the "Liber Pontificalis" this pope was beheaded in the time of Valerian, but this testimony cannot be admitted. It is true that Cyprian in the letter to Stephen above mentioned (ep. lxviii, 5) gives him, as well as Cornelius, the honorary title of martyr: "servandus est enim antecessorum nostrorum beatorum martyrum Cornelii et Lucii honor gloriosus" (for the glorious memory of our predecessors the blessed martyrs Cornelius and Lucius is to be preserved); but probably this was on account of Lucius's short banishment. Cornelius, who died in exile, was honoured as a martyr by the Romans after his death; but not Lucius. In the Roman calendar of feasts of the "Chronograph of 354" he is mentioned in the "Depositio episcoporum", and not under the head of "Depositio martyrum". His memory was, nevertheless, particularly honoured, as is clear from the appearance of his name in the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum". Eusebius, it is true, maintains (Church History VII.10) that Valerian was favourable to the Christians in the early part of his reign. The emperor's first persecution edict appeared only in 257.

Lucius was buried in a compartment of the papal vault in the catacombs of St. Callistus. On the excavation of the vault, de Rossi found a large fragment of the original epitaph, which only gives the pope's name in Greek: LOUKIS. The slab is broken off just behind the word, so that in all probability there was nothing else on it except the title EPISKOPOS (bishop). The relics of the saint were transferred by Pope Paul I (757-767) to the church of San Silvestro in Capite, or by Pope Paschal I (817-824) to the Basilica of St. Praxedes [Marucchi, "Basiliques et eglisesde Rome", Rome, 1902, 399 (inscription in San Silvestro), 325 (inscription in S. Praxedes)]. The author of the "Liber Pontificalis" has unauthorizedly ascribed to St. Lucius a decretal, according to which two priests and three deacons must always accompany the bishop to bear witness to his virtuous life: "Hic praecepit, ut duo presbyteri et tres diaconi in omni loco episcopum non desererent propter testimonium ecclesiasticum." Such a measure might have been necessary under certain conditions at a later period; but in Lucius's time it was incredible. This alleged decree induced a later forger to invent another apocryphal decretal, and attribute it to Lucius. The story in the "Liber Pontificalis" that Lucius, as he was being led to death, gave the archdeacon Stephen power over the Church, is also a fabrication. The feast of St. Lucius is held on 4 March.

Daily Meditation

God's Healing Power:

Saying yes to God's healing power means letting go of self-destructive behaviors. It means turning a deaf ear to promptings that would have us obey their demands in the name of doing what we want.

Quote by S. Padre Pio:

In the Eucharist we receive not only those graces that perfect us but the very author of these graces.




Divine Mercy Reflection


Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111


This first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction to this book, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.


In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.


The reflections in this first chapter, based on the first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.


Reflection 63: How do You Speak to Others?


When speaking to others, the love and Mercy of God must flow from our lips. But how? What should our speech look like? One way to examine our speech to others is to look at it in the light of how we should speak to God. When speaking to God we should speak with honesty, simplicity, humility and confidence. Think of a sincere child praying to God. This pure soul exudes these qualities well. So should we. And if we speak to God with these qualities, they will also be a good guide in our speech to others (See Diary #215).


Reflect upon the people and conversations that you have. Do you speak from pride or sarcasm? Do you struggle with gossip or carelessness? Think about what your speech would look like if it were honest, simple, humble and confident in God’s grace. Joy will be present in each conversation guided by these virtues.


Lord, help me to speak with a merciful and kind heart. Help me to guard my tongue against malice and harshness. Forgive me for my past indiscretions and help me to be a mouthpiece of Your generous and merciful Heart to others. Jesus, I trust in You.

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