Canonized in 1297 as Saint Louis, King Louis IX of France (r.
1226-1270) was one of the most important kings of medieval history
and also one of the foremost saints of the later Middle Ages. As a
saint, Louis became the centerpiece of an ideological program that
buttressed the ongoing political consolidation of France and
underscored Capetian claims of sacred kingship.
M. Cecilia Gaposchkin reconstructs and analyzes the process that
led to the monarch's canonization and the consolidation and spread
of his cult. Differing political and religious ideals produced
competing images of the sanctity of Louis in late-thirteenth and
early fourteenth-century France. Drawing on hagiography, sermons,
and liturgical evidence-the latter a rich but little-explored
historical source-Gaposchkin shows how various groups (including
Dominicans, Cistercians, and Franciscans) and individuals (such as
Philip the Fair and Joinville) used commemoration of the saint-king
to sanctify their own politics and notions of identity and
religious virtue. Louis' cult was disseminated to a wider, nonelite
public through sermons in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
and then revived by the Bourbon kings in the seventeenth
In deepening our knowledge of this royal saint, this elegantly
written book opens the curtain on the religious sensibilities and
secular politics of a transitional period in European history.
Table of Contents
You are viewing the table of contents
You do not have access to this
on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.