St. Louis of France

Louis IX was the king of France from 1226 until his death in 1270, and he is the only French monarch to be canonized a saint. Louis was considered the model of a Christian ruler and was well loved by his own people and well esteemed by the leaders of other nations and the church because of his personal holiness and his works of justice. He was known for inviting the poor to eat at his own table, even serving them himself. He reformed the justice system, built many cathedrals and hospitals, and his reign was a time of peace and prosperity for France (if you overlook the two Crusades that he led!). Louis saw his rule as an expression of his vocation from God.

In our contemporary political arena, a leader’s faith often comes under scrutiny. How do you see faith playing a role in how each of us engages with secular, political issues?