Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25 Feast of Saint Louis IX Patron of the Third Order of Franciscans

 St Louis IX, King of France and Patron of the Secular Franciscan
Today is the feast of St. Louis, a king who cared for the poor.  Once a week Louis would invite 13 poor people to dine with him at his table. Louis (1214-1270) was king of France from 1226 until 
his death. In his day, he was viewed as the quintessential 

Christian ruler. He fostered a uniform system of justice and 

attempted to quell private wars in his realm and was

attentive to the rights of the poor 

 ...Very devout in his personal life, he was never heard to 

speak ill of anyone. He was a great patron of the Franciscan

 and Dominican friars and their evangelizing efforts. His life 

reminds us that Franciscan spirituality always involves a 

commitment to establishing God's justice in society and the 

promotion of peace. Although his life certainly expressed  

the values of true Christian penance - seeking to turn from 

evil and live out Gospel values - there is actually no 

historical record of his formally entering the Order of 

Penance (the "Third Order" of Franciscans). In the United 

States not only the city of St. Louis, but the California 

mission of San Luis Rey 

  (the new site of the Franciscan School of Theology) 

are named after him. The painting was done by El Greco 

several centuries after Louis's death).

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