Javascript is currently disabled. This site requires Javascript to function correctly. Please enable Javascript in your browser!

Saint Louis of France

Saint Louis of France
  • Century: 13th Century
  • Patronage: Barbers, Grooms
  • Feast Day: August 25th

St. Louis of France was crowned King at the age of 12, after his father’s death.  His mother Blanche of Castile, ruled during his youth.  At his coronation as King of France, he bound himself by oath to behave as God’s anointed, and as the father of his people.  He would be the King of Peace.  Other Kings have done the same, but he was different in the sense that he actually interpreted his Kingly duties in the light of faith.  He brought peace and justice to France, after the two previous reigns were at war. 

When he was 19 he married Marguerite of Province.  They had 11 children, through a loving marriage.  Louis and his army seized Damietta, on the Nile, but not long after, they were surrounded and captured.  St. Louis obtained the release of the army by giving up the city and paying a ransom.  He stayed in Syria, for four years afterwards. 

He is credited for extending justice in civil administration.  He drew up regulations for his officials, which became the first of a series of reform laws.  He implemented “examination of witnesses” in court and encouraged the beginning of using written records in court.  He was devoted to his people, founding many hospitals, visiting the sick, and like his patron St. Francis, even cared for people with leprosy. 

He united France through the force of his personality and holiness.  For many years, the nation was at peace.  Every day, St. Louis chose thirteen guests from among the poor to eat with, and many more poor being served meals near his palace.  He actually kept of list of needy people that he helped on a regular basis and during Lent and Advent, never turned anyone down that came to him for a meal.  

He was disturbed by new Muslim advances in Syria, and in 1267 at the age of 41 led his crusades there to do battle.  His crusade was diverted to Tunis, and the army was decimated by disease within a month – St. Louis himself died on foreign soil at the age of 44.  He was canonized twenty-seven years later. 

Practical Take Away

St. Louis showed us with his life, that one can serve our vocation in life, by the “light of God”.  He spent his life trying to serve others, while being crowned the King of France, at the age of 12.  He went on to get married, and had 11 children, bringing them up in the Catholic Church. He also governed in a way that brought peace to France for many years.  His life shows us that with God as our “center”, we can bring peace to our lives, our surroundings, and have the courage and compassion to serve others.