Feastday: August 25
Patron of Third Order of St. Francis, France, French monarchy; hairdressers
Louis IX was born in Poissy, France in 1214 to Louis VIII and Blanche of Castille. He succeeded to the throne at the age of twelve under the regency of his mother. On his twenty-first birthday he assumed full kingship. He was well known for protecting the French clergy from secular leaders and for strictly enforcing laws against blasphemy. Louis generally remained neutral in international disputes.
However, because of a dispute between the Count of Le Marche and the Count of Poitiers, in which Henry III supported the Count of Le Marche, he was forced to go to war with England. In 1242 Louis defeated Henry III at Tailebourg. After the war, he made restitution to the innocent people whose property had been destroyed. He established the Sorbonne (1252) and the monasteries of Rayaumont, Vavert, and Maubuisson. Louis led two crusades, the Sixth and the Seventh Crusades. He was captured and imprisoned during the Sixth (1244-1249). At the onset of the Seventh Crusade in 1270, Louis died of dysentry. Boniface VIII canonized him in 1297.