SAINT LOUIS IX, KING of FRANCE
Saint Louis IX, King of France, son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, was born on April 25, either 1214 or 1215 and died near Tunis on August 25,1270.
He was eleven years old when he became King following the death of his father. At 19 years of age he married Marguerite of Provence, and together they had eleven children.
In 1238 he led a Crusade, and was captured by the Mohammedans, but a truce was arranged, and he was released and returned to France.
St. Louis was a patron of Architecture. The Sainte Chapelle was constructed in the 1240's, towards the western end of the Ile de La Cite, in the middle of the Seine River in Paris, to house relics brought back from the Holy Lands, notably sections of the True Cross, and Christ's Crown of Thorns. These are now reported to be in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, and put on display every Easter. ( The famous Cathedral of Notre Dame is situated towards the eastern end of the same island.) Sainte Chapelle is famous for its magnificent Stained Glass windows, which are a sight to behold.
It was under his patronage that Robert of Sorbonne founded the "College de la Sorbonne", which became the seat of the theological faculty of Paris.
King Louis was noted for his charity. He would say that the Peace and Blessings of the realm come to us through the poor. Beggars were fed from his table, he washed their feet and ministered to the needs of lepers. He founded many hospitals and houses etc.
In 1267 King Louis again set out for the East, but in 1270 he contracted a serious contagious disease at the siege of Tunis, and after receiving the Last Sacraments he died of that disease.
Saint Louis's canonisation was declared at Orvieto in 1297, by Pope Boniface VIII.
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