‘As son, husband, father, ruler and Crusader, Saint Louis strove, in everything, to embody his holding on to God by faith. If we read the account of his daily life, written by Jean de Joinville, who knew the King most personally and fought alongside the King in the Crusades, beginning in 1248, we discover the source of the faith and good works by which Saint Louis held on to God, steadfastly remaining in the company of our Lord. Jean de Joinville writes:
“He so arranged the business of governing his country that every day he heard the hours of the Office sung, and a Requiem Mass without chant, and then a sung Mass of the day or the feast, if there was one. Every day after dinner he rested on his bed, and when he had slept and rested he said the Office of the Dead privately in his room with one of his chaplains, before hearing Vespers. In the evening he heard Compline (The Life of St. Louis, p. 36, n. 54)”.
Clearly, every day of the life of Saint Louis was centred in the Sacred Liturgy, above all, the Holy Eucharist.
When we consider the richness of virtue in the life of Saint Louis, for example, his daily and generous provision for the poor, his establishment of institutions to educate the young and to care for the sick and those in need, and his devotion to the sacred places of our Lord unto the giving of his last energies, we ask how it is possible that so many Christ-like qualities could be embodied in one man, in one lifetime.
The answer to our wonderment is the Eucharistic Sacrifice in which Saint Louis participated daily and which transformed him more and more into Christ’s own likeness. When we consider the complexity of his life as father of a large family and as ruler of a nation, we marvel at his wisdom, truly wisdom from God, by which he formed his every activity in daily Mass and praying of the Liturgy of the Hours.
Recalling the memory of Saint Louis, let us ask him to intercede for us, so that we may become men and women of the Eucharist. May we imitate Saint Louis, finding in the Holy Eucharist the grace to live every moment of our lives in and with Christ for the glory of God the Father and for the good of our neighbour, especially our neighbour who is in most need.
Imitating our beloved patron, Saint Louis, let us, each day, lift up our poor, sinful and doubting hearts to the Lord, placing them into His glorious pierced Heart. May we live every moment of our lives in the communion with the Lord, which is ours in the Holy Eucharist’.
from a homily, 2007, by Raymond, Cardinal Burke (Archbishop of St Louis, 2004-2008)
O God, who didst exalt blessed Louis from the cares of earthly rule to the glory of thy heavenly kingdom: grant, we pray thee, through his intercession; that, by fulfilling our duties on earth, we made be made heirs of the King of kings, even Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon
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