St. Louis was born in France and was the son of King Louis VIII of France and Queen Blanche.
When Prince Louis was small, his mother hugged him tightly and said, “I love you very, very much, my dear son. But I would rather see you dead at my feet than ever to have you commit a mortal sin.”
Louis never forgot those words. He grew to treasure his Catholic faith. When he was twelve, his father died and he became the king. Queen Blanche ruled until her son was twenty-one.
Louis became a remarkable king. He married Margaret, the daughter of a count. They loved each other very much. They had eleven children. Louis was a good husband and father. And as long as his mother, Queen Blanche lived, he showed her great respect.
Busy as he was, the king found time for daily Mass and the recitation of the Divine Office. He was a Third Order Franciscan and lived a simple lifestyle as a good Catholic. He was generous and fair. He ruled his people with wisdom, charity and true Christian principles.
He knew how to settle arguments and disputes. He listened to the poor and the needy. He had time for everybody, not only for rich and important people. He supported Catholic education and built monasteries.
King Louis never used bad language and did not allow anyone in the castle to use it either.
St. Louis felt it was his duty to help the suffering Christians in the Holy Land. He wanted to be part of the Crusades and protect them.
Twice he led an army against the Turks. The first time, he was taken prisoner. But even in jail, he behaved as a true Christian knight. He was unafraid and noble in all his ways.
He was freed and returned to take care of his kingdom in France. Yet as soon as he could, he returned to fight the enemies of the faith again. But on the way, this greatly loved king became sick with typhoid fever. A few hours before he died, he prayed, “Lord, I will enter into your house, worship in your holy temple, and give glory to your name.”
St. Louis died at the age of 56, on August 25, 1270.
Reflection: It may be true that wealth could drag us to the pit of hell but not in the case of St. Louis of France. If we know how to manage our wealth especially in charitable works then we are assure of salvation. Charity excuses multiple of sins and it is by our charity that we are judged. This what Our Blessed Lord tells us in the Gospel, to give alms, to pray and to fast. And all of these, St. Louis lovingly follow. Heaven is for everyone, for those who did the Father’s Will.
Prayer: O God, who brought Saint Louis from the cares of earthly rule to the glory of a heavenly realm, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that, by fulfilling our duties on earth, we may seek out your eternal Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.