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St. Louis IX, King of France

Died 25 August (his memorial); Canonized 1297; Crowned at age 12; king for 44 years; married at age 19, and father of eleven. Founded monasteries, built hospitals for the blind and lepers, and collected relics. Fed the poor at his own table. Franciscan tertiary.

Patronage - barbers, builders, button makers, Crusaders, death of children, difficult marriages, distillers, embroiderers, hairdressers, masons, needle workers, parenthood, parents of large families, prisoners, sculptors, sick people, soldiers, stone masons and cutters, tertiaries.

Governmental accomplishments - improved the tax system, simplified government, improved the judiciary, built the first French navy; brought peace back to the internal affairs of the country. He displayed such a sense of justice that the foreign monarchs would ask him to settle their disputes. Liberated thousands of Christian captives on the Second crusade and died of typhus in the effort.
Representation: crown of thorns; nails; king holding a cross or crown of thorns.

To his son in his will:
       "My dearest son, my first instruction is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength. Without this there is no salvation. Keep yourself, my son, from everything that you know displeases God, that is to say, from every mortal sin. You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you would allow yourself to commit a mortal sin.
       If the Lord has permitted you to have some trial, bear it willingly and with gratitude, considering that it has happened for your good and that perhaps you well deserved it. If the Lord bestows upon you any kind of prosperity, thank Him humbly and see that you become no worse for it, either though vain pride or anything else, because you ought not to oppose God or offend Him in the matter of his gifts.
       Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation as you can. Thank God for all the benefits He has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater. Always side with the poor rather than with the rich, until you are certain of the truth.
       Be devout and obedient to our mother the Church of Rome and the Supreme Pontiff as your spiritual father.
       In conclusion, dearest son, I give you every blessing that a loving father can give a son. May the three Persons of the Holy Trinity and all the saints protect you from every evil. And may the Lord give you the grace to do His will so that He may be served and honored through you, that in the next life we may together come to see Him, love him and praise Him unceasingly. Amen."

His last words were a prayer for his people that they be not constrained to deny the Holy Name.  Then he had himself laid on ashes arranged on the floor in the form of a cross where he died in the middle of the afternoon on August 25, 1270.