Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Saint Louis. King And Confessor. Feast Day, Today, 25 August.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

Saint Louis.
King And Confessor.
Feast Day 25 August.


White Vestments.

English: King Saint Louis IX mediates between the
King of The English 
and his Barons (23 January 1264).
Français: Saint Louis médiateur entre le roi d'Angleterre et ses barons (23 janvier 1264) ou 'Saint-Louis se prononçant comme arbitre à Amiens entre Henri III roi d'Angleterre et les barons anglais.
Artist: Georges Rouget (1783–1869).
Date: 1820.
Current location: Palace of Versailles, France.
Source/Photographer: Joconde database
(Wikimedia Commons)

Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).
Date: 31 March 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Sodacan.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Saint Louis.
King of France.
Available on YouTube at

Louis IX, born in 1215, became King of France at the age of twelve. He was very piously brought up by his mother, Queen Blanche, who taught him to wish rather to die than to commit a Mortal Sin. He liked to be called Louis of Poissy, the place where he had been Baptised, to show that his Title of Christian was his most glorious Title of Nobility.

"Despising the pleasures of the World, he only strove to please Jesus Christ, the true King" (Collect), "and was," says Bossuet, "the holiest and most just King who has ever worn the Crown."

Assiduous in attending The Offices of The Church, he ordered them to be Solemnly Celebrated in his Palace, where, every day, he heard two Masses. At Midnight, he rose for Matins and began his Royal Day with The Office of Prime. He introduced into his Chapel the custom of genuflecting at the words in the Creed: Et homo factus est, and of bowing down humbly at the passage in The Passion when Jesus expires.

Statue of King Saint Louis IX,
Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre,
Paris, France.
Photo: 10 July 2009.
Author: Larry Johnson.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Both these pious practices were adopted by The Church. "They impute to me as a crime my assiduity at Prayer," he would say, "but not a word would be said if I gave to play or to the hunt the hours I give to Prayer." But never did his piety hinder him from devoting to the affairs of the Kingdom the greater part of his time.

Having recovered from a serious illness, he made a Vow to undertake a Crusade to reconquer Jerusalem. At first victorious, he fell at last into the hands of the Saracens. Restored to freedom, he remained five years in The East helping the Christians. On his return to France, he made many pious Foundations and built The Sainte Chapelle, as a precious Reliquary for The Holy Crown of Thorns and the important particle of The True Cross, which Baldwin II, Emperor of Constantinople, had presented to him.

King Saint Louis IX meeting Pope Innocent IV at Cluny Abbey, France.
Date: 14th-Century.
Author: Grandes Chroniques de France, Paris

Most austere, himself, he was most charitable to others, and used to say: "It is more meet for a King to ruin himself in Alms, for God's sake, than in pomp and vain glory." "Often," says Joinville, "I have seen the good King, after Mass, go to the wood at Vincennes, sit down at the foot of an Oak Tree and there listen to all who who had to speak to him."

A Servant of Christ, he continually wore The Cross to show that his Vow remained unaccomplished. He undertook, in 1270, another Crusade, but an epidemic decimated his army, near Tunis, and struck him down.

With his arms crossed, and lying on a bed of ashes, he gave up his Soul to God in 1270, at the same hour that Christ died on The Cross. He was heard to repeat the day before his death: "We shall go to Jerusalem." It was, in reality, to Heavenly Jerusalem, conquered by his patience in the midst of his adversities, where he was to reign with The King of Kings (Collect).

Mass: Os justi.

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