August 25: Louis, King of France, 1270
August 25, 2010 11 Comments
Welcome to the Holy Women, Holy Men blog! We invite you to read about this commemoration, use the collect and lessons in prayer, whether individually or in corporate worship, then tell us what you think. For more information about this project, click here.
About this commemoration
Louis IX of France was canonized by the Church in 1297. A man of unusual purity of life and manners, he was sincerely committed to his faith and to its moral demands. Courageous and fearless in battle, patient and uncomplaining in adversity, he was an impartial, just, and compassionate sovereign. The one word that summarizes his character is integrity.
Louis’ crusading adventures in the Middle East and in North Africa were of little historical consequence. Such ventures were part of the piety of his time. Throughout his life he was diligent in attending divine worship, and constant in his charities, both open and secret. Unusually free of the bigotry of his age, Louis had an intelligent interest in the theological issues of his day. But his primary concern was to put Christian ethics into practice in both his personal and his public life.
Louis was born at Poissy, April 25, 1214, and was crowned King at Rheims on November 29, 1226. His early religious exercises of devotion and asceticism were inspired by his mother, Blanche of Castile. He died August 25, 1270, while on crusade at Tunis, and was buried with his royal peers in the basilica of St. Denis near Paris.
After his canonization, his relics were transferred to the Sainte Chapelle, the lovely Gothic chapel in Paris which he built as a shrine for relics of our Lord’s passion. The building is itself a fitting monument to his genuine piety and beautiful character.
Because of his determined effort to live a personal life of Franciscan poverty and self-denial in the midst of worldly power and splendor— he wore a hair shirt under his royal dress—Louis is honored as patron saint of the Third Order of St. Francis.
Collect of the Day
O God, you called your servant Louis of France to an earthly throne that he might advance your heavenly kingdom, and gave him zeal for your Church and love for your people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate him this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Preface of Baptism
We invite your reflections about this commemoration and its suitability for the official calendar and worship of The Episcopal Church. How did this person’s life witness to the Gospel? How does this person inspire us in Christian life today?
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From Holy, Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints © 2010 by The Church Pension Fund. Used by permission.