My friend Louis just died a few months ago. He was born in Poissy, France on April 25, 1214 and he died August 25, 1270. He was the fourth child but since the first three died, he was heir to the throne. His father died when he was 12. His mother Queen Blanche of Castile stepped in until he was of age. Blanche taught him to be a kind and thoughtful Christian. We both had privileged childhood learning from the best tutors who taught us geography, history and literature. He married a girl named Margaret on May 29, 1234. Louis and Margaret had eleven children together. I remember his wedding it was very nice
He always talked about how much he loved God. He wasn’t a liar either He would spend countless hours alone talking to God. His connection with God was so close he made a promise to God to be a King of Peace. So in first years as a king when there was rebellion he put a stop to it and made peace. He was always helping his people whenever he had the chance. He established hospitals and took care of the sick. He was always so thoughtful. I remember how he fed 120 poor people every day including 13 poor people who ate at his table. He would wash his guests’ feet as an imitation of the Last Supper. For a long time, France was peaceful because of him and his holiness. He wasn’t perfect though he had a quick temper and was a glutton.
He thought of new ideas such as having written records in court. He had people write down the law so people were clear as to what it was. He started hospitals one of them is Quinze-Vingts. It was for the poor, blind, and the sick. Also enjoyed his faith he had people build the great Gothic cathedrals in France.
I remember how strongly he felt about taking the Holy Land from the Muslims. He thought that the Holy Land should be under control of the Christians. I was with him when he went on the two crusades to take control of the Holy Land. When we left for our first crusade the people he put in charge of France abused their powers. They used their power to make a profit in gambling. I can see his face in my mind and see how angry he got when he had found out what they had done. He had royal investigators watch the officials and make sure they didn’t cheat the people anymore. During our first crusade his army took the city of Damietta, Egypt. When we went to capture the citadel al-Mansurah it took a long time to capture so his army was exhausted. His army was struck with disease and exhausted by the attack and they retreated to Damietta. We were later captured by the Egyptians and had to pay a ransom to be set free.
On our second crusade we went to Tunisia. He chose Tunisia because he thought it was a good place to begin and get victories. It paid off because we had many victories in Tunisia. We had confidence to capture the Holy Land but our army was struck with disease and died.
I remember the day Louis died I was kneeling next to him praying that he wouldn’t die. He died on August 25, 1270 at the age of 56. He died on foreign land in Africa during the second crusade. The disease that killed my friend was the Bubonic Plague. He gave his son Phillip instructions to take care of the poor. When his body was brought back to France people knelt as the procession passed. I remember his funeral and how everyone was crying I couldn’t cry anymore because I had already shed all my tears. His funeral was held at Notre Dame de Paris. He was buried in the tomb of the kings of France.
My dear friend Louis did so many great things in his life. He was a king who used his power for good. He told me that he wanted people to give more to charity. He talked about doing more for the people who are less fortunate. He was always looking for ways to give to his community. He let the people who lived on the streets have a nice meal at his table.
I chose Saint Louis of France as the Saint I would like to be and take the name on my confirmation day. I am impressed by his devotion to God and his people. I think it is important to love people as much as you love God. He also gave important ideas such as having written records of what happened in court. He wanted the law to be written down so it was clear what the laws were. He also helped many people that he invited to eat with him; he visited the sick, and established hospitals. He showed great care and compassion for everyone even those who aren’t royalty. Doing this research reminded me of the importance of helping those who are less fortunate then me.