St. Casimir (Kazimieras, 1458-1484) is the only one canonized Lithuanian saint. He is the patron of Lithuania and Lithuanian youth. Archbishop Jurgis Matulaitis (18711927) was beatified in 1987. Lithuanian Catholics pray waiting for his canonisation.
The history of Christianity in Lithuania is marked by a coexistence of different confessions. Three Lithuanians are being venerated as saints of the Orthodox Church. Saints John (Ioann), Anthony and Eustathius were courtiers of the grand duke Algirdas. They died as martyrs for Christ in 1347. The relics of Lithuanian Orthodox saints are venerated in the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius.
The close political and cultural relationship between Lithuania and Poland throughout the centuries traced through the lives of many saints who lived in both countries. Mykolas Giedraitis (Michał Giedroyć) born in Lithuanian noble family lived in the 15th century. He entered the order of Canons Regular de Poenitentia (White Augustinians) in Bistrica (Bystrzyca) northeast of Vilnius. In 1460 he gained a doctorate of philosophy in the University of Krakow. He served as sacristan in the church of St. Mark in Krakow. Mykolas Giedraitis was known for his humility and devotion. He died on May 5, 1485. Both in Lithuania and Poland Mykolas Giedraitis was venerated as blessed, however he was not officially beatified by the Church. Pope John Paul II, who used to pray at the tomb of Blessed Michał in Krakow, has declared him as patron of sacristans in 1985, commemorating the 500 anniversary of his death. Lithuanian bishops have consigned the documents supporting the process of official canonization of blessed Mykolas Giedraitis, led by the Archdiocese of Krakow.
Barbora Umiastauskaitė, who lived in the 17th century in Žagarė (town in the Northwest of Lithuania) was venerated by people, but never officially canonized. From ancient times people came to pray for her intercession to the church in Žagarė. Her body did not burned during the fire in the church. In 1755 Samogitian Bishop Antanas Tiškevičius in his report about the diocese of Samogitia sent to Rome, mentioned seven miracles attributed to the girl Barbora. During the first Soviet occupation in 1940 the coffin with her body was destroyed.
Fr. Jurgis Ambraziejus Pabrėža (17711849), Franciscan priest, botanist and folk doctor was also considered a holy man by the people. The tomb of Fr. Jurgis Pabrėža in the cemetery of Kretinga has been visited by great many of faithful seeking his intercession.
Following the initiative of the Holy Father Lithuanian Catholic Church has made the list of the witnesses of faith of the 20th century. The list includes 115 persons. The solemn commemoration of the witnesses of faith from the whole world was held in Coliseum of Rome on May 7, 2000. Commemoration of the witnesses of faith does not coincide with the process of canonization. However there are five persons in the mentioned list of Lithuanian witnesses of faith, for whom the canonization process is already opened. Three of them are hierarchs of the Church, Servants of God: Archbishop Teofilius Matulionis (18731962), Archbishop Mečislovas Reinys (18841953) and Bishop Vincentas Borisevičius (18871946). The canonization process is started also for two lay women, Servants of God. Elena Spirgevičiūtė (19241943) was murdered defending her human dignity. Adelė Dirsytė (19091955) was the author of the famous Siberian prayer book, translated into many languages. She was a teacher, involved in social activities and died in exile in Siberia.