Prayer to St. Louis
O God, who 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, forever and ever.
When our parish was founded in 1829, it was known as the Lamb of God. In 1843, with the completion of the new brick church, it was consecrated "St. Louis Roman Catholic Church" after the patron saint of our benefactor Louis Stephen LeCouteulx. As early as 1845, the parish has marked the Feast of Saint Louis, August 25th with festive liturgies and picnics.
Louis IX, was born at Poissy, France in 1214. He succeeded to the throne at the early age of twelve under the regency of his mother Blanche of Castille. Having married Margaret of Provence in 1234, he was the father of eleven children.
Louis, a follower of St. Francis of Assisi, was known for his ardent piety and sanctity. Unlike other Kings who gave customary offerings to the poor, Louis invited the poor to his own table each day, where he waited on them and attended to their needs. His personal interest in the poor led to the founding of numerous charitable institutions including hospitals for the destitute and lepers.
Known as the "Peace King", he managed to mediate between the popes and the German Emperors which kept France out of war. As a Ruler, he dispensed justice fairly and with great attention to the needs of his subjects. He was known for his scrupulous honesty.
Ardent to the Church of Rome, he collaborated with the Papal Inquisition which fought to enforce religious orthodoxy throughout his Realm.
Louis was also a great patron of the arts and architecture. During his reign, the famous Sorbonne Theological School was formed in Paris and the gothic jewel, the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, was built as his personal chapel. In the Sainte Chapelle, he enshrined the true Crown of Thorns which he had secured from the Emperor in Constantinople.
Louis led two Crusades to the Holy Land, both ending in catastrophe. On his first crusade, he was taken prisoner by Muslim forces in 1250 for which his countrymen were forced to pay a ransom. On his second crusade in 1270, Louis is credited as having restored the holy site at Tunis and having personally assisted in the burial of his dead soldiers.
Upon his death at Tunis in 1270, he was laid out on a bed of ashes in the shape of the cross.
Revered as a saint before his death, he was canonized by Pope Boniface VII in 1297.
St. Louis, the only King of France to be canonized was recently hailed as the "the greatest of all Saint-Kings" by biographer Jacques LeGoff.