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St. Louis is often referred to as the “model Christian monarch,” and part of the reason for this recognition was his extraordinary charity to the poor. He not only instructed others to feed the poor, but he fed them with his own hands.
A 19th-century biography, St. Louis, King of France, explains how he had an affection for the poor starting in his youth.
From his very childhood the king took pity on the poor and afflicted and the custom was that wherever the king went, a hundred and twenty poor persons should every day have an abundant meal in his house, of bread wine and meat or fish.
This affection for the poor led him to take matters into his own hands, ensuring that everyone was fed, before he began eating.
In Lent and Advent the number of the poor was increased, and several times it happened that the king waited upon them and placed food before them and carved for them and gave them money with his own hand when they went away. Particularly, at the great vigils of solemn festivals, he waited upon the poor, as above related, before he himself eat or drank anything.
St. Louis even invited the poor to dine at his own table, eating the same food that he ate.
Besides all that, he had every day to dine and sup with him, old men and cripples, to whom he gave of the same dishes that be himself partook of, and when they had eaten, they carried away a certain sum in money.
All leaders can be inspired by this saintly king, who not only told people to feed the poor, but fed them himself, accompanying them in any way possible.