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Louis IX of France [1214(1215?)-1270] -- "Crusader" -- French monarch, saint

Relationship to me: 23GGFa
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a/k/a
France (1226-1270), King
Saint Louis

The model medieval Christian ruler, his reign was a golden age for Gothic architecture, Christian kingship and France.

He acceded to the throne at age 12 on the death of his father, Louis VIII, but his mother, Blanche of Castile, was regent during his minority (1226-34). He married in the year of his accession Margaret of Provence, by whom he had four children.

His was a long and comparatively peaceful reign, save for a brief uprising of the nobles (1242-43). He led the Seventh Crusade (1248-54), his mother again acting as regent in his absence. Her death (1252) forced his return to France. He was defeated and captured (1250) at al-Mansurah, Egypt. He and his men were ransomed, but he remained in Syria (1250-54) to strengthen its defenses.

He signed the Treaty of Corbeil (1258); abandoned French claims on Roussillon and Barcelona. By the Treaty of Paris with England (1259), Normandy, Anjou, Touraine, Maine, and Poitou became French, while Henry III was recognized as duke of Aquitaine.

He led another crusade to Tunisia (1270), where he took Carthage, but contracted dysentery and died in Tunis. (Some sources say he died of plague.)

He was canonized only 37 years after his death (1297) -- a process that sometimes takes centuries.

Iconography
St Louis is often depicted holding a model of the Sainte Chapelle, a Paris chapel he built to house holy relics. This has led to his patronage of stonemasons and sculptors. He is also the patron saint of the French monarchy and the military. His feast day is 25 August, the anniversary date of his death in 1270.  -30-
 

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