Spirituality for Today – August 2011 – Volume 16, Issue 1

Saint of the Month
St. Louis of Anjou, August 19

An image of Saint Louis of AnjouSaint Louis of Anjou

Louis was born in 1274 in southern France. The son of a royal family, Louis and his two brothers were sent to Spain in 1288 as hostages in exchange for their father, Prince Charles, who had been taken prisoner several years earlier. Louis spent seven years in captivity, all the whole showing a cheerful acceptance of his fate. While in prison, Louis studied with several Franciscan monks, who encouraged his deepening faith.

During a serious illness, Louis vowed to join the order if he survived. After his release from prison in 1295, his family intended that Louis marry. However, he decided to honor his promise to become a Franciscan. When his family protested, Louis renounced his right to his father's title, saying, "Jesus Chris is my kingdom."

Despite his determination to become a monk, Franciscan leaders refused to accept Louis, fearing it would upset his family. Louis then went to a castle in Naples, where he befriended a poor scholar, James d'Euese, who later became Pope John XXII.

In December 1296, Loius went to rome and finally joined the Franciscans. By order of Pope Boniface VII, he was also named a priest and a bishop. Reluctantly, Louis went to his see in Toulouse, France. He tried to carry over the simplicity of his order to his duties as bishop. Louis wore a plain habit, celebrated Mass every day and preached in his diocese. However, within a few months, exhausted by the demands of his job, he asked to resign. The Pope refused his request. A little later, Louis became ill while traveling and died in Brignoles. He was canonized by Pope John XXII in 1371.

Dear God,
You called Louis to serve Your as a humble monk
and he did not fail to answer You.
Whatever purpose You have laid out for my life,
grant that I always have the strength to stay true to that path,
so that my journey ends by Your side in heaven.
I ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives