Casimir the Great’s reign ends without a male heir

REMEMBER ME. Casimir III the Great. I showed skill in foreign diplomacy and succeeded in doubling the size of the kingdom. I neutralized potential enemies to the west and north and set on an eastward expansion by extending the borders far to the southeast, the Polish kingdom gained access to the Black Sea trade. In 1355, in Buda, I appointed my nephew Louis I of Hungary as my successor if I did not produce a male heir, just as his father had done with Charles I of Hungary for help against Bohemia. In return, I acquired a favorable attitude, necessary in the conflicts with the hostile Teutonic order and the kingdom of Bohemia.

I was 45 at the time, so having a son didn’t seem unreasonable. However, I only had five daughters. I tried to adopt my grandson, Casimir IV, Duke of Pomerania in my last will. The child was born to my eldest daughter Elisabeth, Duchess of Pomerania in 1351. This part of the will, however, was invalidated by Louis I of Hungary, who had traveled to Krakow shortly after my death in 1370 and bribed the nobles with future privileges.
Additionally, I had a son-in-law, Louis VI of Bavaria, Margrave and Elector of Brandenburg who was considered a possible successor, but who was not deemed ineligible since his wife, Casimir Kunigunde’s daughter died in 1357. Thus King Louis I of Hungary succeeded Poland and was proclaimed king on my death in 1370. (To be continued.)

EASTER CUSTOMS. Since the Council of Nicaea in 325, the date of Easter is celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. In the West, only the Celtic Church of Britain and Ireland refused to accept the date until 664 due to their own Celtic calendar.
Easter Sunday mass did not exist in the early church. Today, what is celebrated as Easter happened during the nighttime hours before Easter dawn, the Vigil.
In the early church, those who were baptized on the Easter Vigil wore a white robe, which was worn throughout Easter week as a symbol of their new life. Those who were baptized in previous years did not wear white robes, but new clothes to indicate their part in the new life. Therefore, the wearing of new clothes at Easter was a symbol of paschal grace.
In Europe during the Middle Ages, people took a long walk after Easter mass. It was a sort of procession preceded by an Easter candle crucifix. This tradition evolved into Easter parades.
While in ancient Egypt and Persia, friends exchanged decorated eggs on the vernal equinox, the start of the new year. These eggs were symbols of fertility. Near Eastern Christians adopted this tradition and the Easter egg became a religious symbol, representing the tomb from which Jesus emerged. In medieval times, eggs were traditionally given at Easter to all servants, along with other gifts. It seems that the custom of hiding eggs is universal.

SYMBOL. The butterfly symbolizes the life cycle of Jesus and the Christian in the following order: the caterpillar stage represents natural earthly life; the cocoon represents the death of the body; the butterfly emerging from the cocoon represents the resurrection. While the eagle is believed to have life-restoring qualities like those of the phoenix, it symbolizes the rebirth of man at baptism as it restores itself by flying close enough to the sun to ignite its feathers and then diving in the water to be reborn. However, the pelican is a symbol of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and in the Eucharist as it was believed that he fed his babies with his own blood which the pelican spilled by piercing its chest with its beak. “I’m like a pelican in the desert.” Psalm 102:6:

CURIOSITY/ EASTER. The first American Easter sunrise service was held on April 11, 1773, by the Moravians of Salem, North Carolina. At the Hollywood Bowl, the largest service was held in 1921. While the Easter Parade began in Atlantic City in 1876 and the state of Florida is named after Easter. Ponce de Leon first spotted the land there on March 17, 1573, which happened to be Easter, so he named it after the Spanish designation for the holiday – Florida or Flower Festival. Some European folklore holds that an egg laid on Good Friday, if kept for a hundred years, will turn into a diamond. The first chocolate Easter egg was produced and marketed by Fry’s of Bristol in 1873. The first famous person to dress up for Easter was Constantine the Great.
FOLKLORE/EASTER. In some parts of Ireland, if someone you see looks hungry, you give one Easter egg to a true gentleman, two eggs to an ordinary gentleman, three to a churl and four to the lowest churl. While in Germany Easter eggs are sometimes collected door to door like Halloween, but in France boys celebrated Easter by throwing eggs in the air and trying to catch them before they hit the ground . In Poland, some people hang a herring at midnight on the eve of Easter marking the end of Lent with its 40 days of eating nothing but food like herring.

CUSTOMS. The funniest Polish Easter customs are the Dingus-Smigus rites which take place on Easter Monday. The boys sprinkled the girls with water or perfume. On this day, one should not be angry with such tricks and a girl would most likely be disappointed if she was ignored, as it would mean that the boys did not like her. After the sprinkling, the young people went around the countryside singing songs. Today, these traditions are rarely practiced in Poland, but the people of the Buffalo area have kept this tradition alive.
To all a happy and blessed Easter.

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