Saint of the day: Louis IX of France


Saint Louis IX of France was the son of King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, born April 25, 1215. When he was only 11 years old, he was made king. Louis had 11 children and led an exemplary life of virtue and prayer. His mother had often said, “I would rather see you dead at my feet than guilty of a mortal sin,” and Louis took those words to heart. As king, he was an avid lover of justice and took great steps to ensure that the country’s legal system was functioning properly. All of thirteenth-century Christian Europe regarded him as their international judge.

Louis was also known for his charity, saying, “The peace and blessings of the kingdom come to us through the poor.” He fed the beggars at his table and ate their leftovers. He washed their feet and healed the wounds of the lepers. Every day, he fed over 100 poor and needy people.

Louis was responsible for the creation of many great architectural wonders, including the Sainte Chappelle, which he commissioned as a reliquary of the crown of thorns. He was patron of the Collège de la Sorbonne and founded many hospitals and homes for the poor.

On August 25, 1270, Saint-Louis died of the plague. He is the patron of masons and builders.


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