+ Saint Louis was born in 1214 and became King of France in 1226, when he was only twelve years old.
+ In 1234, he married Margaret of Provence and was the father of eleven children for whom he was the model of Christian virtue.
+ Known for his spirit of penance and prayer as well as his care for the poor, he was mindful of both the temporal and spiritual needs of his people. During his lifetime he was well-acquainted with Saint Thomas Aquinas and other learned men of his day and under his rule France experienced a cultural and spiritual renewal.
+ Louis is also remembered for the construction of La Sainte Chapelle in Paris, which he built to house the relic of the Crown of Thorns.
+ In 1248, and again in 1270, Louis joined in Crusades to the Holy Land. He died in Tunis, North Africa, on August 25, 1270.
+ Saint Louis was canonized in 1297 and his honored as a patron of France.
For prayer and reflection
“Thus says the Lord:
This is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking off every yoke?
Is it not sharing your bread with the hungry,
bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own flesh?”—Isaiah 58:6-7
On August 25, the Church also celebrates the memory of the priest Saint Joseph Calasanz. Dedicated to the care and education of poor children, he established the Piarist Order in 1621. Saint Joseph Calasanz died 1648 and was canonized in 1767. He is honored as the patron saint of Catholic Schools.
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,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.