Detail of 'St-Louis IX at the Battle of Taillebourg',
painted by Eugène Delacroix in 1837 (at 'Galerie des Batailles', Versailles). The decisive engagement of this brief, but critical war was fought on 21 or 22 July 1242, near the strategic bridge over the Charente river just south of the château of Taillebourg.
King and Confessor
SIMPLE / WHITE
King Louis IX of France (1215-70) is acknowledged the ideal Christian monarch. Not only was his private life marked by a spirit of contemplation and asceticism overflowing in Christ-like charity toward all men, from fellow kings to the lowest of his subjects; he also gave his country a rule of unprecedented peace, justice, and material and spiritual prosperity. He fostered the flowering of Gothic architecture, developed the University of Paris. So great was his apostolic zeal that when he joined the Crusades he personally prepared Saracen converts for baptism and sent their children to France for a Catholic education. In a message to the Sultan of Tunis he wrote: "I desire so strongly the salvation of your soul that to secure it I would gladly spend the rest of my life in a Saracen prison. . . ." He died of plague at Tunis during his second campaign to save the Holy Land.
Mass of a CONFESSOR OF THE FAITH, except
O God, You raised the blessed confessor Louis from an earthly throne to the glory of Your kingdom in heaven. May the merits and prayers of this saint bring us to share in the kingdom of Jesus Christ, Your Son, the King of kings; who lives and rules with You . . .
LESSON Wisdom 10:10-14
The Lord conducted the just through the right ways, and shewed him the kingdom of God, and gave him the knowledge of the holy things, made him honourable in his labours, and accomplished his labours. In the deceit of them that overreached him, he stood by him, and made him honourable. He kept him safe from his enemies, and he defended him from seducers, and gave him a strong conflict, that he might overcome, and know that wisdom is mightier than all. He forsook not the just when he was sold, but delivered him from sinners: he went down with him into the pit. And in bands he left him not, till he brought him the sceptre of the kingdom, and power against those that oppressed him: and shewed them to be liars that had accused him, and gave him everlasting glory.
GOSPEL Luke 19:12-26
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples, "A certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. And calling his ten servants, he gave them ten pounds and said to them: 'Trade till I come.' But his citizens hated him and they sent an embassage after him, saying: 'We will not have this man to reign over us.' "And it came to pass that he returned, having received the kingdom: and he commanded his servants to be called, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading, And the first came saying: 'Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.' And he said to him: 'Well done, thou good servant, because thou hast been faithful in a little, thou shalt have power over ten cities.' And the second came, saying: 'Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.' And he said to him: 'Be thou also over five cities.' And another came, saying: 'Lord, behold here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin. For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up what thou didst not lay down: and thou reapest that which thou didst not sow.' "He saith to him: 'Out of thy own mouth I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up what I laid not down and reaping that which I did not sow. And why then didst thou not give my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have exacted it with usury?' And he said to them that stood by: 'Take the pound away from him and give it to him that hath ten pounds.' And they said to him: 'Lord, he hath ten pounds.' But I say to you that to every one that hath shall be given, and he shall abound: and from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken from him."
O Almighty God, may we be made acceptable to You through the prayers of Your blessed confessor Louis, who spurned the pleasures of this world and sought only to please Christ the King. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .
O God, may the Church have as her defender the blessed confessor Louis, on whom You bestowed renown on earth and glory in heaven. Through our Lord . . .
Wishing to escape an marriage arranged by Constans II and become a nun, she went to Rome. There she received the veil from Pope Liberius. Upon the death of her father, she returned to Constantinople and, renouncing any claim to the imperial crown, distributed her wealth to the poor. She then planned to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
However, a terrible storm shipwrecked her on the shores of Naples. Finding refuge on the tiny island of Megarides (the site of the present-day Castel dell'Ovo), the site of a small hermitage, Patricia died shortly after from disease.
Like St. Januarius there, a vial believed to be filled with her blood reportedly liquefies thirteen hundred years after her death.