Thought for the Day – 25 August – The Memorial of St Louis IX – King of France
The long reign of St Louis IX (1226-1270) is the period of a cultural explosion in France and Europe, at the height f the ‘Thirteenth, the Greatest of Centuries, he age of remarkable saints and remarkable leaders – St Francis of Assisi, St Thomas Aquinas, St Dominic, Pope Innocent III, St Albert the Great and Emperor Frederick II. St Louis was at the heart of this development and has been looked upon as the model for Christian leadership.
As husband, father, king, he showed himself, not only an exemplary Christian but also, an amazing human being, who never lost the personal touch and who sat on the seat of power with such rare humility, love and faith. He was known for his horror of offending God – keeping always in mind the words of his mother – “I love you, my dear son, as much as a mother can love her child; but I would rather see you dead at my feet, than that you should ever commit a mortal sin.” and for his honest and upright dealings with all. He never looked upon his position as the opportunity to take unfair advantage of others but as one of complete service! He maintained and grew, throughout his life, whether upon the throne at home or in battle on foreign soils, his life of prayer, penance and love for all.
Does power necessarily corrupt or is it possible, proved by St Louis, to use power for the glory of the Kingdom of God!
St Louis, pray for us – most especially for France and for the whole Church of Christ, which you loved so much!