About St Louis King of France Image

St. Louis IX was King of France from 1226 to 1270. He was renowned for his piety, justice, and charity.

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Who Was Saint Louis King of France?

Louis was born on April 25, 1214, at Poissy, France. He was the son of King Louis VIII and Queen Blanche of Castile. His mother played a significant role in his upbringing, instilling in him a strong sense of piety and duty. Louis succeeded his father to the throne at the young age of 12 in 1226, with his mother serving as regent due to his youth.

As he matured, Louis IX took a firm hand in ruling his kingdom. His reign, which lasted until his death in 1270, is noted for significant legal reforms. Louis was a devout Catholic and implemented his faith in governance. He established the Parlement of Paris, which became a key judicial institution, and issued ordinances that reformed the legal system, ensuring fairer justice for his subjects.

Louis was also known for his strong sense of justice and charity. He personally heard court cases and worked to eliminate corruption among officials. His reign saw the construction of several hospitals and churches, including the famous Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, built to house relics of the Passion of Christ, which he acquired from the Byzantine Emperor.

Louis led two major Crusades to the Holy Land. The first, the Seventh Crusade, took place from 1248 to 1254. Despite his capture by the Egyptians and the subsequent ransom, his piety and leadership earned him respect.

He also went on the Eighth Crusade, commenced in 1270, but ended tragically with his death from dysentery near Tunis on August 25, 1270.

Louis IX married Margaret of Provence in 1234, and they had eleven children. Known for his rigorous piety, he wore a hair shirt and fasted regularly. His dedication to his faith was evident in his patronage of the arts and his support for religious institutions.

After his death, Louis IX’s reputation for sanctity led to his canonization by Pope Boniface VIII in 1297, making him the only French king to be declared a saint.

He is remembered not only as a monarch who strengthened and reformed the kingdom of France but also as a paragon of Catholic virtue.