Portal:Catholic Church/Patron Archive/August 25

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Painting of Saint Louis by Auguste de Creuse, 1837

Saint Louis (1214 – 25 August 1270) is the only French king to be declared a saint. Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed the canonisation of Louis in 1297. Louis IX is often considered the model of the ideal Christian monarch. The impact of his canonization was so great that many of his successors were named Louis.

Louis was crowned in Reims at the age of 12, following the death of his father Louis VIII; his mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled the kingdom as regent until he reached maturity. During Louis' childhood, Blanche dealt with the opposition of rebellious vassals and obtained a definitive victory in the Albigensian Crusade which had started 20 years earlier. As an adult, Louis IX faced recurring conflicts with some of the most-powerful nobles, such as Hugh X of Lusignan and Peter of Dreux. His reign saw the annexation of several provinces, notably parts of Aquitaine, Maine and Provence.

Louis IX was a reformer and developed French royal justice, in which the king was the supreme judge to whom anyone could appeal to seek the amendment of a judgment. He banned trials by ordeal, tried to prevent the private wars that were plaguing the country, and introduced the presumption of innocence in criminal procedure. To enforce the application of this new legal system, Louis IX created provosts and bailiffs.

Following a vow he made after a serious illness and confirmed after a miraculous cure, Louis IX took an active part in the Seventh and Eighth Crusades. He died from dysentery during the latter crusade, and was succeeded by his son Philip III.
Attributes: Depicted as King of France, generally with a crown, holding a sceptre with a fleur-de-lys on the end, possibly with blue clothing with a spread of white fleur-de-lys (coat of arms of the French monarchy)
Patronage: France, French monarchy, Third Order of St. Francis, Archdiocese of New Orleans, Roman Catholic Diocese of Port-Louis, hairdressers; passementiers (lacemakers)