Les enseignements de Saint Louis

I was baptized in the Saint Louis Cathedral of La Rochelle and when I look back over my shoulder, my past may have been driven by this king, Saint Louis, a model of Justice. I though that some abstracts here could be welcome. The original text in French was taken here, and I translated with Google.

Dear son, because I desire with all my heart that you be taught well in all things, I thought that I would teach you some teaching by this writing, because I have heard you say several times that you will retain more from me than of any other.

Dear son, I teach you first that you love God with all your heart and with all your might, for without it no one can be worth anything.

You must beware of all things that you think must displease him and which are in your power, and especially you must have this will that you do not make a mortal sin for anything that can happen, and that before making a mortal sin with knowledge, that you would suffer that your legs and arms be cut off and your life taken by the most cruel martyrdom.

If Our Lord sends you persecution, disease or other suffering, you must endure it debonairly, and you must thank Him and be grateful to Him because you must understand that He did it for your good. Also, you must think that you deserved this – and even more if he wanted to – because you liked him little and served him little, and because you did a lot of things against his will.

If Our Lord sends you prosperity, health of body or something else, you must thank Him humbly and then take care that because of this there will not happen to you any misfortune caused by pride or by some other fault, because it is a very great sin to fight Our Lord with his gifts.

Dear son, I advise you to make a habit of confessing often and always electing confessors who are not only pious but also sufficiently well educated, so that you are taught by them things that you should avoid and things that you should avoid. you must do ; and always be of such disposition that confessors and friends dare to teach you and to correct you with boldness.

Dear son, I teach you that you willingly hear the service of the Holy Church, and when you are in church be careful not to waste your time and speak empty words. Say your prayers with recollection or by mouth or thought, and especially be more collected and more attentive to prayer while the body of Our Lord Jesus Christ will be present at Mass and then also for a little while before.

Dear son, I teach you that you have a compassionate heart towards the poor and towards all those whom you will consider to be suffering either in heart or in body, and according to your power relieve them willingly or with moral support or alms.

If you feel unwell, tell your confessor or someone else whom you take to be a loyal man capable of keeping your secret well, because that way you will be more at peace, provided that it is, of course one thing you can talk about.

Dear son, willingly seek the company of good people, whether religious or lay, and avoid the company of bad people. Speak willingly with the good ones, and willingly listen to speak of Our Lord in sermons and in private. Willingly buy indulgences.

Love the good in others and hate the bad.

And do not suffer words to be said before you that may attract people to sin. Doesn’t listen willingly to gossip about others.

Do not suffer in any way from the words that turn against Our Lord, Our Lady or the saints without you taking revenge, and if the culprit is a cleric or an adult whom you do not have the right to punish, report the thing to whoever can punish him.

Take care that you are so good in all things that it is obvious that you recognize the generosities and the honors that Our Lord has done you so that, if it pleases Our Lord that you have the honor to govern the kingdom, may you be worthy to receive the anointing with which the kings of France are sacred.

Dear son, if it happens that you become king, take care to have the qualities which belong to kings, that is to say that you are so just that, whatever happens, you do not stray from Justice. And if there should be a quarrel between a poor man and a rich man, preferably support the poor against the rich until you know the truth, and when you do, do justice.

And if it happens that you have a quarrel with someone else, support the opponent’s quarrel in front of your board, and don’t seem like you love your quarrel too much until you know the truth, for the members of your council might be afraid to speak out against you, which you must not want.

If you learn that you own something wrongly, either from your time or from that of your ancestors, make it big right away whether it is in land, money or whatever. If the problem is so thorny that you cannot find out the truth of it, come to such a solution by consulting your prudential council, that your soul and that of your ancestors be at rest. And if you ever hear that your ancestors made restitution, always take care to know if there is still anything left to return, and if you find it, return it immediately for the salvation of your soul and those of yours. ancestors.

Be very diligent to protect in your domains all kinds of people, especially people of holy Church; forbid that we do them harm or violence in their persons or their property. And I want to remind you here of a word said by King Philip, my grandfather, as one of his council told me to have heard it. The king was one day with his private council – as was also the one who spoke to me about the matter – and some members of his council told him that the clerics were doing him great harm and that one wondered with astonishment how he put up with it. And he replied, “I believe they are doing me great harm; but, when I think of the honors that Our Lord does me, I much prefer to suffer my injury, than to do something by which there is a scandal between me and Holy Church. I remind you of this so that you are not too disposed to believe others against people of the Holy Church. You must therefore honor and protect them so that they can do the service of Our Lord in peace.

So I teach you that you love religious people mainly and that you willingly help them in their needs; and those by whom you believe that Our Lord is most honored and served, those love more than others.

Dear son, I teach you that you love and honor your mother, and that you willingly remember and observe her good teachings, and be inclined to believe her good advice.

Love your brothers and always want their good and their advancement, and take their place of father to teach them to all good, but take care that, out of love for anyone, you do not decline to do well, nor do something that you don’t have to.

Dear son, I teach you that the benefits of holy Church that you will have to give, that you give them to good people by great council of prudhommes; and it seems to me that it is better to give them to those who have no prebends than to those who already have them; for if you look for them well, you will find enough of those who have nothing and in whom the gift will be well spent.

Dear son, I teach you that you defend yourself, as much as you can, from having war with no Christian; and if you are wronged, try several ways to find out if you cannot find a way to recover your rights before you go to war, and be careful to avoid the sins that go on in war. And if it happens that you have to do it, or because one of your men fails in your court to seize his rights, or that he does wrong to some church or to some poor person or to whomever either and do not want to make a fine, or for any other reasonable case for which you must make war, diligently order that the poor people who are not guilty of forfeiture be protected and that damage not come to them neither by fire nor by anything else; for it would be better for you to constrain the evildoer by taking his possessions, his towns or his castles by force of siege. And take care that you are well advised before declaring war, that the cause is quite reasonable, that you have warned the wrongdoer and that you have waited long enough, as you must.

Dear son, I teach you that the wars and the struggles that will be in your land or between your men, that you take the trouble, as much as you can, to appease them, because it is something that pleases you very much. Our Lord. And Monsieur Saint Martin gave us a very great example of this because, at the moment when he knew from Our Lord that he had to die, he went to make peace between the clerics of his archbishopric, and it seemed to him by doing so that ‘he was putting an end to his life.

Dear son, diligently watch out that there are good bailiffs and good provosts in your land, and often make sure that they do good justice and that they do not do others wrong or things that they should not. Likewise, those who are in your hotel, take care that they do not do injustice to anyone because, how much you must hate the evil that exists in others, you must hate more that which would come from those who would have received their power of you, and you have to keep and defend more than it happens.

Dear son, I teach you that you are always devoted to the Church of Rome and to our Holy Father the Pope, and show him respect and honor as you owe your spiritual father.

Dear son, willingly give power to people of good will who know how to use it well, and take great pains to ensure that sins are removed from your land, that is to say ugly oaths and everything that is done or is done. said against God or Our Lady or the saints: sins of the body, games of dice, taverns or other sins. Bring all this down in your land wisely and in a good way. Drive out heretics and other bad people from your land as much as you can by properly seeking the wise advice of good people so that your land may be purged.

Advance good with all your power; take great pains so that you know how to recognize the kindnesses that Our Lord has done to you and that you know how to thank Him for it.

Dear son, I teach you that you have a firm intention that the money you spend will be spent wisely and that it will be raised. And it is a meaning that I would very much like you to have, that is to say that you avoid frivolous expenses and unfair perceptions and that your money is justly raised and well spent – and it is the same meaning that our Lord teaches you with the other senses which are profitable and suitable to you.

Dear son, I pray you that, if it pleases Our Lord that I pass away from this life before you, that you make me help by Masses and by other prayers and that you ask prayers for my soul near the religious orders of the kingdom of France, and that you hear in all that you will do that is good, that Our Lord gives me part.

Dear son, I give you all the blessing that a father can and should give to his son, and I pray to Our Lord God Jesus Christ that, through his great mercy and through the prayers and merits of his blessed mother, Virgin Mary, and angels and archangels, of all saints, he keeps you and forbids you that you do anything that is against his will, and that he gives you grace to do his will so that ‘he be served and honored by you; and may he grant to you and me, by his great generosity, that after this mortal life we ​​may come to him for eternal life, where we can see him and love and praise him endlessly, Amen.

To him be glory, honor and praise, who is one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit, without beginning and without end. Amen.


A book I find very inspiring about the Catholic Church and slavery.


In conclusion, the problem is not the king but his injustice toward the people.

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