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Louis IX (1214-1270) The Holy

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Regency

The mother of Louis Blanca of Castile, an intelligent, strong-willed and religious woman, had a great influence on her son. After the death of her husband, she became regent and was able to strengthen the authority of royal power. Beautiful and elegant, Louis was interested in his youth in various knightly pastimes. In 1234, he married Margaret, daughter of Count Raymund Berenger IV of Provence.

The entry of the king into the administration changed little of the policy of the government: the royal power was already so strong that it was not difficult for Louis to maintain his authority against the vassals. The English king Henry III Plantagenet tried to regain possession of his ancestors, but Louis won the battle at Talbebur (1242). Guided by the principles of justice, he did not take advantage of the victory and, contrary to the opinion of his advisers, gave Henry some of the land taken away from England under Philip II Augustus.

Seventh Crusade

In 1244, the French king was seriously ill and made a vow to impose a cross on himself. Having received a banner, a sling and a staff of a pilgrim in Saint-Denis and asking Pope Innocent IV for the blessing of Lyon, Louis with the Crusaders arrived in September 1248 in Cyprus, and in the spring of 1249 in Egypt, Damietta was taken on 6 June. Moving on, Louis approached Mansoura (1250), but the forces of the Crusaders were weakened by strife and unrest.

During the retreat to Damietta, the Saracens caught up with Louis and took him prisoner; the king paid off a huge amount of money and the return of Damietta. In May 1250, Louis sailed from Egypt, but remained 4 years (1250-1254) in Syria, waiting for the new Crusaders. Louis supported Christians in Palestine, established relations with Asian sovereigns, strengthened Jaffa, Caesarea, and Sidon. Upon learning of the death of his mother, Louis returned to France after a six-year absence and zealously set about doing state affairs.

State activity

Louis respected the rights of his vassals, although he was no longer the first between equals, but a sovereign. He did much to reform the court. He eliminated the shortcomings of the feudal system, which did not allow the supreme court in the kingdom, establishing, as a general principle, the right of the king to intervene in the affairs of his subjects. He banned court fights and private wars; dissatisfied with the decision of local courts received the right of appeal to the royal court. There is a story about how Louis after Mass left the palace, sat down under an oak tree and listened to complaints.

Under Louis, the judicial authority of the king expanded considerably; the central judicial institution was the Paris parliament, which consisted of peers and lawyers. All branches of the administration were under the watchful eye of Louis. Legists, whose activities greatly contributed to the expansion of royal power, enjoyed great influence. Under Louis, a compilation of customary laws promulgated during his reign (“Etablissements de St. Louis”) was drafted. Louis with dignity defended the interests of France from the claims of Rome. The French clergy stood more for Louis and for the interests of secular power than for the papal throne. In March 1269, Louis announced the Pragmatic Sanction, which protected the independence of the French church from Rome, destroyed money requisitions and contributions to the Roman court. During the struggle between Frederick II Hohenstaufen and Innocent IV, Louis openly condemned the actions of the pope.

In 1263, the monetary system was streamlined: now the coins of the royal coinage, unlike local coins, were in use throughout France.

Louis loved books and art. It is called Pericles of medieval architecture. He diligently erected temples: in his time are the Cathedral of Reims, the church of Saint-Chapelle in Paris, the monastery of Royomon, etc.

In 1239 Pope Gregory IX ordered the removal of all copies of the Talmud from the Jews. Louis IX in 1240 in connection with this organized a “dispute between Christians and Jews” (more precisely, the Catholic and Jewish priests), after which the sacred book of followers of Judaism was condemned. In 1242, in Paris, 22 wagons were burned with Talmuds seized from the Jews; subsequently, smaller actions were repeated several times

The eighth crusade. Death in Tunisia

The failure of the Seventh Crusade did not dampen the enthusiasm of Louis IX, who in 1267 received permission from Pope Clement IV to embark on a military expedition to the Holy Land. In March 1270 he went to Tunis, hoping for the conversion of Caliph Muhammad I al-Mustansir to Christianity. While awaiting the arrival of the Count of Provence and Charles I of Anjou, King of Sicily, with military assistance, Louis was inactive. In the army of the crusaders began an epidemic; the son of Louis Jean Tristan died, and on August 3, Louis himself fell ill. However, the sick king still continued to lead the army and even received ambassadors of the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos.

On August 25, 1270, Louis IX died suddenly, and after 2 days his son Dauphin Philip was proclaimed the new king of France.

The body of Louis IX was transported by his younger brother Carl of Anjou to Sicily and buried in the Monreale Cathedral, where even now the altar with his insides is kept in the altar dedicated to Louis. Subsequently, the remains of Louis were moved to Saint-Denis.

Immediately after the death of Louis, the question of his canonization was raised by his son King Philip III the Bold and supported by many influential people in France. After 27 years, in August 1297, Pope Boniface VIII ‘s bullet Gloria laus proclaimed him a saint. So Boniface tried to restore good relations with Philip IV the Fair. Louis was canonized under the name of St. Louis the French; he became the first saint among the French kings, with the exception of Dagobert II, who was considered a saint before the canonization process was formalized.

In the name of St. Louis were called many Catholic churches both in France and abroad, including the Church of St. Louis of France in Moscow, as well as the cathedral on Birsa Hill, the alleged death place of the king (within the modern city of Tunisia).

Sources:
Le Goff J. Louis IX Saint
Garro A. Louis the Holy and his kingdom

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