A Garner of Saints – Saint Louis of Toulouse

detail of a painting of Saint Louis of Anjou; oil on wood by Vincente Carducci, date unknown; Musée d'Histoire, Marseille, France; photographed on 28 June 2013 by Rvalette; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

The son of Charles II, king of Naples, and nephew of Louis of France. As a child he would leave his play for acts of devotion, and would often get out of bed and lie on the, floor. At the age of thirteen he was sent as a hostage to Alfonso, king of Aragon, who had taken his father prisoner. He remained seven years in captivity and was very badly treated, but no word of complaint ever escaped him. Such liberty as he enjoyed he devoted to the poor, and one day he assembled all the lepers of Barcelona to wash their feet and wait on them at table. In a severe sickness he entered the Franciscan order as the result of a vow. In 1291 he was released from captivity and was pressed by his relations to marry, but he persisted in his determination to remain chaste. At Rome he renounced the crown of Naples, which passed to his younger brother, and was ordained by the pope. Some time later, in 1296, Pope Boniface VIII made him bishop of Toulouse. Passing through Florence he refused a sumptuous apartment which the friars had prepared for him, and was lodged like a simple monk. At Toulouse the people received him with every manifestation of joy. He employed half of his revenues for the maintenance of his house and devoted the remainder to the poor. He always bore an extreme devotion to his order and wore the habit constantly. Towards the close of his life he proposed to resign his see and to go to Rome for the purpose; but Christ appeared to him in a vision and revealed to him that his end was near. In his last sickness he would rise from his bed to kneel before the crucifix, and he died in 1297 at the age of twenty-three. A monk saw his soul rise to Heaven in company of the spirits of the blessed, while a crimson rose issued from his mouth to signify his incomparable chastity. His body was carried to Marseilles, and on the road it was surrounded by a miraculous light, while the candles, when blown out, lighted of themselves. Many miracles were worked at his tomb, more than ten dead men were raised and numberless sick made whole, so that he was canonised in 1317. 19th August.

Attributes

  • Dressed as a bishop, with the Franciscan habit, and three crowns by him and a rose in his hand.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Louis of Toulouse”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 April 2017. Web. 23 July 2017. <>