John II Casimir
POLAND, 1999, a series on the rulers of Poland, Scott 3480
featuring a painting of King Jan II Kazimierz by Jan Matejko
John II Casimir (Jan II Kazimierz) who became cardinal and King of Poland was in the Society albeit briefly. He was the son of King Sigismund III Vasa and Constance Hapsburg of Austria. According to many historians his spiritual and religious life was formed by the Jesuits. He entered the Jesuits in Loreto in 1643, but left it soon after and was released from his vows by Pope Innocent X. In November of 1648 he was elected to be King of Poland and was crowned two months later. His reign was one of warfare. He is known for an act of faith and devotion: on 1 April 1656 in the Cathedral of Lviv he put himself and Poland under the protection of the Blessed Virgin and proclaimed her Queen of Poland (see postal card below). He abdicated the throne in 1668 and went to France where the French king gave him the Abbeys of St.-Germain-des-Prés in Paris and St. Martin in Nevers. He died in Nevers in 1672 and was buried in the Church of St.-Germain-des-Prés in Paris. In 1676 his body was brought back to Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, but his heart remains in Paris at St.-Germain-des-Prés.
POLAND, 2006, a postal card, the 350th anniversary of John Casimir's dedication of Poland in 1656 to the protection of the Blessed Virgin
The stamp reproduces a painting (see detail) by Jan Matejko
POLAND, 2000, postal stationary: an envelope with the imprinted stamp showing part of the painting of the Matejko portrait
POLAND, 1987, a special cancel featuring Casimir's coat of arms