Saint Louis, King is also known as Louis IX of France. He was the King of France from 1226 to 1270. He was born on April 25 1214 in Poissy, France and died on August 25 1270 in Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa. We celebrated his feast day on August 25 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Saint Louis IX, King of France Biography|
|Date of Birth||April 25 1214|
|Place of Birth||Poissy, France|
|Profession||King of France|
|Place of Work||France|
|Date of Death||August 25 1270 (aged 56)|
|Place of Death||Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa|
|Feast Day||August 25|
|Canonization||By Pope Boniface VIII on July 11 1297 in Rome, Papal States|
|Patron Saint of||
St. Louis, King Life History
Saint Louis was the son of King Louis VIII of France and grandson of King Philip II of France. From his mother’s side, his mother was Blanche of Castile and his grandfather was King Alfonso VIII of Castile.
Louis was baptized in La Collégiale Notre-Dame church and thereafter, he was taught Latin, writing, public speaking, government, and military arts by tutors who were hired by his mother.
His grandfather King Philip II of France died when he was nine years old and his father King Louis VIII ascended to power. Three years later, his father died on November 8 1226 and the 12 years old St Louis was crowned king at Reims Cathedral. Because St Louis was still a minor, his mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled the kingdom as a regent until he became of age.
During Blanche of Castile’s regency, she taught Louis to be a good Christian and a great leader. She often told him that as much as a mother loves her son, she would rather see him dead at her feet than see him commit a mortal sin.
When Louis became of age, he took the reigns of power and her mother took the influential advisory role of her son, the king.
St Louis married Margaret of Provence on May 27 1234. Margaret and Eleanor, the wife of King Henry III of England, were sisters. Margaret was very religious and St Louis loved that very much. Their bond was very strong for they spent much of their time together, reading, listening to music, and riding much to the chagrin of his mother.
During a religious crusade, St Louis and his army went to Egypt in June 1249 to campaign against the Muslim Ayyubid empire. His army was defeated and he was captured. During his captivity, he recited the Divine Office every day. After paying the ransom he was released and went to the Holy Land, Jerusalem and after four years he returned to France.
St Louis also acted diplomatically with the Kingdom of Mongolia to deter the Muslim expansion but his advances were turned down by the rulers there.
During Saint Louis’ reign, the kingdom of France was very influential economically and politically. France had the largest and strongest army and was the wealthiest kingdom. He was regarded by his fellow kings in Europe as a first among equals, not because of his kingdom’s strong military and economy, but because of his personality.
His Christian values were very visible especially in practice and also in his fair arbitrations among his fellow rulers and others when quarrels broke out. As an extremely devout Catholic, St Louis built the Holy Chapel (Sainte-Chapelle) in Paris. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the relationship between the papacy and France was very cordial.
Louis IX always protected the poor never spoke ill of anyone. He was a very repentant sinner who had a very great love for the Church. The high level of his mercy was examplified when he forgave a rebel prince who had followed his father in a rebellion. Louis said he cannot execute him because, “A son cannot refuse to obey his father.”
St Louis was very charitable. He fed hundreds of poor beggars from his table, washed their feet and tended to the lepers. He founded many hospitals like those in Pontoise, Vernon, and Compiégne. He also founded houses like the Filles-Dieu house for reformed prostitutes and the Quinze-Vingt house for 300 blind men.
Saint Louis’ Death
St Louis organized for another crusade to Tunis in 1270, after he heard of the tales of the missionaries in the hands of the muslims there. When they landed there, a disease broke out and many died of dysentery. St Louis died of the same on August 25 1270.
When his body was returned back to France, some remains were buried at the cathedral of Monreale near Palermo, Italy and his bones were carried in a procession across France and Italy and finally interred in the royal necropolis at the Basilica of Saint-Denis in France.
St. Louis, King was canonized by Pope Boniface VIII on July 11 1297 in Rome, Papal States. He is the only French king to be declared a saint
The Sisters of Charity of St. Louis, a Roman Catholic religious order founded in 1803 in Vannes, France, and the Sisters of St Louis, founded in 1842, in Juilly, France are named in his honour.
Things, Places, and Institutions named after Saint Louis
- The French Royal Military Order of Saint Louis
- St. Louis, Missouri, United States
- São Luís, Maranhão in Brazil
- San Luis, Pampanga in the Philippines
- San Luis, Batangas in the Philippines
- San Luis, Aurora in the Philippines
- San Luis Province in Argentina
- San Luis Potosí in Mexico
- Saint-Louis, Senegal
- Saint-Louis, New Caledonia, France
- Île Saint-Louis, island in the river Seine, Paris, France
- The Cathedral Saint-Louis in Versailles, France
- The St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, United States
- The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri, United States
- The Basilica of St. Louis, King of France in St. Louis, Missouri, United States
- Saint Louis Catholic High School, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
- Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, Oceanside, California, United States
- The Church of St Louis in Moscow, Russia
- The Cathedral of St Louis in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
- The Cathedral of St Louis in Carthage, Tunisia
- Rue Saint Louis of Pondicherry, India
St. Louis, King is the Patron Saint of
- Third Order of Saint Francis
- The French Monarchy
- Diocese of Port-Louis
- Archdiocese of New Orleans
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