A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Saint Louis IX de France (St Louis IX of France, Louis the Saint) (1214-70). Feast Day commemorating the death of the Roman Catholic member of the House of Capet born in Poissy and regarded as the ideal Christian ruler. His reign is remembered as a Medieval golden age in which the Kingdom of France reached an economic and political peak. Louis reformed and developed French royal justice, banning trials by ordeal, working to end the scourge of private wars and introducing the presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings, enforcing his new legal system with provosts and bailiffs. Louis had a reputation for fairness and moral integrity and united France, annexing parts of Aquitaine, Maine and Provence. Expanding the scope of the Inquisition in France, his laws punished blasphemy by mutilation of the tongue and lips. At the urging of the Pope, in 1243 Louis ordered the burning of 12,000 manuscript copies of the Talmud and other important Jewish books. He had thirteen special guests every day from among the poor to eat with him, and a large number of the poor were served meals near his palace. During Advent and Lent, all who presented themselves were given a meal and he often served them in person, keeping lists of needy people for whom he regularly cared in every province of his dominion. He interpreted his kingly duties in the light of faith and took the Cross on Crusade to honour a vow he had made whilst praying for recovery during a serious illness, leading the ill-fated Seventh and Eighth Crusades against the Ayyubids, Bahri Mamluks and Hafsid Kingdom. The 1248 Seventh Crusade was to Egypt in 1750 and Louis was captured and ransomed against a third of France’s annual revenue. After four years supporting the Crusaders in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, upon the death of his mother Louis returned home in 1254 to extend civil justice and found hospitals, visit the sick and, like his patron Saint Francis, care for people with leprosy. Disturbed by new Muslim advances in Syria, he led the Eighth Crusade to Tunis, landing at Carthage with the English Prince Edward Longshanks on 17 July 1270, where many died of dysentery, including Louis on 25 August. He was taken to Sicily and then buried in the Basilica of St Denis in Saint-Denis north of Paris. He is the only king of France canonised in the Catholic Church and there are many places named after him. Patron of France, the French monarchy, Third Order of St Francis, the Secular Franciscan Order, Archdiocese of New Orleans, hairdressers, passementiers (lace makers). Image: catholicnewsagency.com.
San José de Calasanz (St Joseph Calasanz Sch P, Giuseppe Calasanzio, Joseph Casasanta’s, Josephus a Matre Dei) (1557-1648). Liturgical Feast Day for Aragonese Spanish Catholic religious, priest, educator and close friend of the renowned astronomer Galileo Galilei. Calasanz studied under the Friars of the Trinitarian Order and read philosophy and law at the University of Lleida, where he earned the degree of Doctor of Laws cum laude before taking theological courses at the University of Valencia and at the Complutense University, then still at its original site in Alcalá de Henares east of Madrid. Calasanz visited the Abbey of Montserrat and then lived out most of the rest of his long his life in Rome, where he joined the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine CCD), gathered boys from the streets and provided them with schooling. He endeavoured to visit the seven principal churches of the city almost every evening, and also to honour the graves of the Roman martyrs. On account of his heroic patience and fortitude in the midst of trouble and persecution, he was called a marvel of Christian courage, a second Job. He founded the Pious Schools in Poli, Lazio, providing free education to the sons of the poor, and the Religious Order that ran them, the Ordo Clericorum Regularium Pauperum Matris Dei Scholarum Piarum (Order of Poor Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools, Sch P, Piarist Order, Scolopi), in various parts of Europe. Commonly known as the Piarists, members profess the usual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. In addition, according to the wishes of Calasanz, members also profess a fourth vow to dedicate their lives to the education of youth. Jewish Protestant pupils were treated with the same respect as other pupils. Calasanz died in Rome on 15 August 1648. Venerated in Catholic Church. Major shrine San Pantaleo, Rome. Universal Patron of all Christian Schools. Image: en.wikipedia.org.
Prayer Lord, You blessed Saint Joseph Calasanz with such charity and patience that he dedicated himself to the formation of Christian youth. As we honour this teacher of wisdom, may we follow his example in working for truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
First Council of Nicaea (Νίκαια). On 25 August 325, the First Council of Nicaea concluded its business in the Bithynian city now known as İznik, 140 km south of Constantinople, having been convened by Emperor Constantine I on 19 June the same year to attain consensus in the Church through an assembly representing all Christendom. The c50 CE Council of Jerusalem had been pre-ecumenical and so this was the first of the great ecumenical Councils, where Bishops, their representatives and assistants from churches across the world, both East and West, a total of 318 that included only five from the Western Church, gathered to clarify and to formalise key doctrines of the Church. The topics included Arianism, the nature of Christ, the celebration of Passover, the ordination of eunuchs, the prohibition of kneeling on Sundays and from Easter to Pentecost, the validity of baptism by heretics, lapsed Christians and sundry other matters. The main accomplishments were the settlement of the Christological issue of the divine nature of God the Son and his relationship to God the Father, the writing of the first part of the Nicene Creed, the mandating of a uniform observance of the date of Easter and the promulgation of early canon law. The original Nicene Creed had text ending with anathemas against Arian propositions preceded by the words: “We believe in the Holy Spirit” which terminate the statements of belief. The Creed is accepted by the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, Assyrian and Ancient Churches of the East, Anglican Communion and Lutheranism. Image: prezi.com.