New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Louis IX

[painting of Saint Louis]Article

Confessor, King of France, born Poissy, France, 1215; died near Tunis, Africa, 1270. He was the son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile. Proclaimed king when only eleven years of age, he ruled under the guidance of his mother. He reigned for 44 years, a model Christian sovereign and a religious ascetic. He made numerous judicial and legislative reforms, and promoted Christianity in his kingdom by establishing religious foundations, aiding the Mendicant Orders, and propagating the synodal decrees of the Church. The relations of Saint Louis with the Holy See and the French clergy have given rise to conflicting interpretations. He was always a devoted son of the Church, but he would not tolerate any encroachment on the part of members of the hierarchy, and repeatedly protested against the abusive exercise of the right of excommunication. Although he refused pecuniary help to Pope Gregory IX in his war against Frederick II of Germany, he promised his support to Innocent IV against the same emperor, and actually saved the pope from capture. To assist in the Crusade he obtained from the pope permission to levy heavy taxes on the clergy, and in turn granted to the pope certain concessions concerning the collation of benefices. He never published the so-called “Pragmatic Sanction,” often quoted as a royal decree, limiting the pope’s authority over the French Church. It is a forgery fabricated in the 15th century at the time of the famous “Pragmatic Sanction” of Bourges. Saint Louis made two Crusades to the Holy Land; on the last he was taken ill and died. Patron of Versailles, La Rochelle, Blois, Oran, Carthage, New Orleans, Louisiana, Saint Louis, Missouri. Emblems: nails, crown of thorns. Canonized, 1297. Relics at Saint Denis, Paris, destroyed by revolutionists, 1793. Feast, 24 August.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Louis IX”. New Catholic Dictionary. Saints.SQPN.com. 5 August 2013. Web. 19 April 2014. <>