St. Louis IX of France was the son of King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, born on April 25, 1215. When he was just 11 years old, he was made king. Louis had 11 children, and led an exemplary life of virtue and prayer. His mother had often said, “I would rather see you dead at my feet than guilty of a mortal sin,” and Louis took those words to heart.
As king, he was an avid lover of justice, and took great steps to make sure the country’s justice system worked properly. All of 13th century Christian Europe viewed him as their international judge.
Louis was also known for his charity, saying, “The peace and blessings of the realm come to us through the poor.” He fed beggars at his table and ate their leftovers. He washed their feet and ministered to the wounds of lepers. Every day, he fed over 100 poor and needy people.
Louis was responsible for the establishment of many great architectural marvels, including the Sainte Chappelle, which he commissioned as a reliquary for the Crown of Thorns. He was a patron of the College de la Sorbonne, and founded many hospitals and houses for the poor.
On August 25, 1270, St. Louis died of the plague. He is the patron of masons and builders.