The Sanctity of Louis IX

The Sanctity of Louis IX: Early Lives of Saint Louis by Geoffrey of Beaulieu and William of Chartres

Translated by Larry F. Field
M. Cecilia Gaposchkin
Sean L. Field
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Cornell University Press
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    The Sanctity of Louis IX
    Book Description:

    Louis IX of France reigned as king from 1226 to 1270 and was widely considered an exemplary Christian ruler, renowned for his piety, justice, and charity toward the poor. After his death on crusade, he was proclaimed a saint in 1297, and today Saint Louis is regarded as one of the central figures of early French history and the High Middle Ages. InThe Sanctity of Louis IX, Larry F. Field offers the first English-language translations of two of the earliest and most important accounts of the king's life: one composed by Geoffrey of Beaulieu, the king's long-time Dominican confessor, and the other by William of Chartres, a secular clerk in Louis's household who eventually joined the Dominican Order himself. Written shortly after Louis's death, these accounts are rich with details and firsthand observations absent from other works, most notably Jean of Joinville's well-known narrative

    The introduction by M. Cecilia Gaposchkin and Sean L. Field provides background information on Louis IX and his two biographers, analysis of the historical context of the 1270s, and a thematic introduction to the texts. An appendix traces their manuscript and early printing histories.The Sanctity of Louis IXalso features translations of Boniface VIII's bull canonizing Louis and of three shorter letters associated with the earliest push for his canonization. It also contains the most detailed analysis of these texts, their authors, and their manuscript traditions currently available.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-6914-5
    Subjects: History, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures and Maps
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Note on Sources and Translation Policies
    (pp. xv-xvii)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-60)

    Louis IX was born in 1214, during the reign of his grandfather Philip II “Augustus” (r. 1180–1223).¹ This was a propitious decade for Paris and France. Philip Augustus had presided over the rapid growth of the prestige and power of the Capetian kings that followed his seizure of Normandy and neighboring counties from King John of England. In the very year of Louis’ birth, Philip won the battle of Bouvines, defeating the combined forces of other northern powers (England, Flanders, and a claimant to the German Imperial throne). Between 1210 and 1220, the new mendicant orders—the Dominicans and...

  8. Chapter One Three Early Letters on the Sanctity of Louis IX
    (pp. 61-68)

    Philip, by the grace of God king of France, sends love and greetings to all his beloved and faithful archbishops, bishops and abbots, priors, deacons, priests, and other church leaders, and to all the regular and secular convents, colleges, and chapters established in the kingdom of France to whom the present letter may come.¹

    We are compelled to announce to you all, with much bitterness of heart, some cruel news—far too sad and sorrowful—for which all faithful Christians must weep and which must in particular be endured by each and every person within the boundaries of the kingdom...

  9. Chapter Two Here Begins the Life and Saintly Comportment of Louis, Former King of the Franks, of Pious Memory
    (pp. 69-128)
    Geoffrey of Beaulieu

    For the honor and glory of the divine¹ name and the edification of the faithful, persuaded by the prayers of many great men and especially compelled² by obedience to the authority of my superiors, I have found it right and proper to present in writing the holy comportment and deeds of the most Christian Louis, former king of the Franks, so far as the divine mind shall see fit, through its grace, to inspire the memory of my own mind.

    To begin, therefore, I may adopt in commendation of the pious king that praise of King Josias, which we read...

  10. Chapter Three On the Life and Deeds of Louis, King of the Franks of Famous Memory, and on the Miracles That Declare His Sanctity
    (pp. 129-159)
    Brother William of Chartres

    [1]The wonderful Lord on high² does not cease to bring forth wonders around us in our own times, creating signs and changing wonders in these days. For a new sun—having risen in the western region and pouring forth its rays of light and heat over the world, setting now³in the south—has not cooled in its setting; but,keeping a furnaceof heat and lightin the works of heat,⁴ has left behinda light that is sweet and delightful forsoundeyes.⁵ On a spiritual level, we understand truly in this sun a man shining uniquely⁶...

  11. Chapter Four Pope Boniface VIII’s Bull Gloria Laus (11 August 1297)
    (pp. 160-172)

    Boniface, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to all the faithful of Christ,¹ greetings and apostolic blessing.

    Let all worshipers of the true faith who aspire to heaven now render glory, praise, and honor, in highest and earnest effort of reverent devotion, to Godthe Father of lights,who givesevery best gift and every perfect gift!² For, overflowing with mercy, generous in graces, munificent in recompense, He cast the eyes of his majesty down from the heights of heaven to the depths of earth and struck with kind consideration upon the noble merits and wondrous works of the...

  12. Appendix: The Manuscript and Printing Histories of the Texts
    (pp. 173-184)
  13. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 185-190)
  14. Index
    (pp. 191-198)