John II Casimir, King of Poland (1609-1672)
John II Casimir (Jan II Kazimierz): King of Poland 1648-1668; born 22 March 1609 in Kraków, Poland, son of Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland and Constance of Austria. John Casimir was elected king of Poland in 1648, succeeding his half-brother Władysław IV Vasa (1595-1648). In 1641 he joined the Jesuits and was eventually made a cardinal, but he resigned this post in 1647. After a reign of twenty years, he abdicated the throne in 1668, joined the Jesuits again, and became abbot of St. Martin's monastery in Nevers, France, where he died 6 December 1672. He was succeeded as king of Poland by Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki (1640-1673).
John II Casimir confirmed the privileges of the Mennonites in a document of 16 June 1650 (found in Mannhardt, which stated that the Mennonites were not to be suppressed for their religion, that they should be released from the obligation of paying a protection fee, and remained in "full possession of their property, rights, privileges, justice, and all their customs."
When the Mennonites were later made suspect of Arianism in order to have them expelled from the country, the king again protected them ("in order that our income may not suffer serious loss") in an order dated 20 November 1660, for "the law of 1558 against Arians cannot be applied to the Mennonites, who are farmers, and whose religious services are not public, but are held as the religious dignitaries permit them. We promise for ourselves and our successors that we intend to preserve in freedom these subjects and Mennonites in Tiegenhagen together with their descendants, and we command our officials to protect the Mennonites in accord with this order and to see that they are protected by others."
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 431.
Mannhardt, W. Die Wehrfreiheit der Altpreussischen Mennoniten. Marienburg, 1863: LXIII-LXV.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 113. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Neff, Christian and Richard D. Thiessen. "John II Casimir, King of Poland (1609-1672)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2007. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/J6395.html.
APA style: Neff, Christian and Richard D. Thiessen. (October 2007). John II Casimir, King of Poland (1609-1672). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/J6395.html.