Today the church remembers Louis, King of France, 1270.In fiction and fancy Louis IX of France is the king who gallantly led the French army in the crusades. This idea of Louis is true, but this image emerged from a man of deep conviction and rigorous self-discipline. Louis is best remembered in France as a peacemaker and law-giver. He curbed the private feudal warfare that had for years ravaged France, and he significantly reformed the taxing and judicial systems of the kingdom. He had a good sense of justice and fairness and tried to see that every man, peasant or prince, got his day in court. Strong in the Christian faith, he was a staunch opponent of the Albigensian heresy in France, but he was no bigot. He never made unreasonable demands on his enemies. His traditional enemies at home, the English, respected him so much that they asked him to arbitrate their disputes among themselves. Louis was a patron of learning and the arts. He was one of the founders of the University of Paris (the Sorbonne), and the grand cathedrals of Amiens, Bourges, and Chartres were largely built during his reign and with his patronage. Certainly the medieval ideal of Christian kingship was realized in the person of Louis IX. Guided by the example of Louis, may we use our position for your glory, O God. Amen.
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O God, you called your servant Louis of France to an earthly throne that he might advance your heavenly kingdom, and gave him zeal for your Church and love for your people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate him this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.