Ordinary Time: August 25th
Wednesday of the Twenty First Week of Ordinary Time; Optional Memorials of St. Louis of France, King and St. Joseph Calasanz, priest
Old Calendar: St. Louis IX of France
St. Louis IX, (1215-1270) who became King of France at the age of twelve, had been religiously brought up by his mother, Blanche of Castile. Throughout his life, he remained deeply devout and as a king, his conduct was that of a real saint. He devoted himself to the affairs of his kingdom and to those of Christendom and was a great peacemaker — kings and princes constantly sought his aid in settling disputes. He was humble and upright, helpful to the needy, and in-person nursed lepers and the sick. St. Louis gave to all the example of a life overflowing with charity and sovereign justice. He was a tertiary of the Order of the Holy Trinity and Captives (the Trinitarians) and a strong supporter of the Franciscan Orders and other mendicant orders as well. A full decade before he died in Tunis, in honor of the King's support and Catholic manner of life, St. Bonaventure proposed to the Franciscans' General Chapter that suffrages be prayed for the King annually (essentially a Feast Day, as for those already sainted!), the Chapter approved the proposal three years later. Immediately after Louis IX's death, the Franciscans began an active campaign for his canonization, and he was venerated by the Secular Franciscan Order and the Third Order Regular as protector and advocate as soon as he was canonized. He died near Tunis, lying on a bed of ashes, during a crusade for the deliverance of the Holy Land.St. Joseph Calasanz (1556-1648) was born in Petralta, Aragon, and died in Rome. He studied law and theology and was ordained a priest in 1583. He always showed a great interest in the religious instruction of children, especially of those who were poor and neglected. He journeyed to Rome, became a member of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and opened a free school for the education of homeless children. In 1602 he founded the Order of Piarists who were to continue this charitable work among youth. According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, St. Joseph's feast is celebrated on August 27.
St. Louis of France
Reigning from 1226 to 1270, Louis IX showed how a saint would act on the throne of France. He was a lovable personality, a kind husband, a father of eleven children, and at the same time a strict ascetic.
- From the Catholic Culture library, St. Louis, King of France
- Read the Biography of Saint Louis IX, King of France (1214-1270)
- Watch the Last Words of Saint Louis IX, King of France, 1270
- Read more about St. Louis and views some images here and here
- Learn about the origin and meaning of the Fleur-de-lis.
St. Joseph Calasanz
St. Joseph is the founder of the Poor Clerks Regular (Piarists), a community devoted to the task of educating youth. At an early age, Joseph loved to care for children; he gathered them together, conducted religion classes in boyish fashion, and taught them how to pray. After a time of severe illness, he was ordained a priest. His zeal found expression as he organized the Order of the Poor Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools and directed the members in the instruction and rearing of children from poor parents.