Wednesday, August 25, 2010

King Saint Louis IX of France

Image of King St. Louis, taken from Recta Ratio

(The following is the legend of the breviary for King St. Louis IX of France, as quoted in Dom Prosper Guéranger's entry in The Liturgical Year for 25 August, in Volume XIV of the 1983 Marian House edition of the English translation by the Benedictines of Stanbrook.)

"Louis IX, king of France, having lost his father when he was only twelve years old, was educated in a most holy manner by his mother Blanche. When he had reigned for twenty years, he fell ill and it was then he conceived the idea of regaining possession of Jerusalem. On his recovery therefore, he received the great standard from the bishop of Paris and crossed the sea with a large army. In a first engagement, he repulsed the Saracens; but a great number of his men being struck down by pestilence, he was conquered and made prisoner."

"A treaty was then made with the Saracens, and the king and his army were set at liberty. Louis spent five years in the east. He delivered many Christian captives, converted many of the infidels to the faith of Christ, and also rebuilt several Christian towns out of his own resources. Meanwhile, his mother died, and on this account, he was obliged to return home, where he devoted himself entirely to good works."

"He built many monasteries and hospitals for the poor; he assisted those in need and frequently visited the sick, supplying all their necessities at his own expense and even serving them with his own hands. He dressed in a simple manner and subdued his body by continual fasting and wearing a hair-cloth. He crossed over to Africa a second time to fight with the Saracens, and had pitched his camp in sight of them when he was stuck down by a pestilence and died while saying this prayer: 'I will come into thy house; I will worship towards thy holy temple and I will confess to thy name.' His body was afterwards translated to Paris and is honourably preserved in the celebrated church of St. Denis; but the head is in the Saint-Chapelle. He was celebrated for miracles, and Pope Boniface VIII enrolled his name among the saints."

King St. Louis, pray for us!


Post a Comment

<< Home