ST. LOUIS OF FRANCE
1 Maccabees, Chapter 12, Verse 39-42
39 Then Trypho sought to become king of Asia, assume the diadem, and do violence to King Antiochus. 40 But he was AFRAID that Jonathan would not permit him, but would fight against him. Looking for a way to seize and kill him, he set out and came to Beth-shan. 41 Jonathan marched out to meet him with forty thousand picked fighting men and came to Beth-shan. 42 But when Trypho saw that Jonathan had arrived with a large army he was AFRAID to do him violence.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth-yes. Jonathan was speaking softly yet at the same time he was carrying a big stick which was his large army with him. As a former police officer, we would in order to prevent any trouble show up in force thus preventing the need to take action. Yet we must always be cautious for often evil men are vile and full of trickery. In this case Jonathan is finally undone for he is sucked into accepting gifts and praise from Trypho thus letting go of his stick; his army and is finally captured and killed. Pride goes often before the fall.
St. Louis of France
Reigning from 1226 to 1270, Louis IX showed how a saint would act on the throne of France. He was a lovable personality, a kind husband, a father of eleven children, and at the same time a strict ascetic. To an energetic and prudent rule Louis added love and zeal for the practice of piety and the reception of the holy sacraments. He was brave in battle, polished at feasts, and addicted to fasting and mortification. His politics were grounded upon strict justice, unshatterable fidelity, and untiring effort toward peace. Nevertheless, his was not a weakly rule but one that left its impress upon following generations. He was a great friend of religious Orders, a generous benefactor of the Church. The Breviary says of him: "He had already been king for twenty years when he fell victim to a severe illness. That afforded the occasion for making a vow to undertake a crusade for the liberation of the Holy Land. Immediately upon recovery he received the crusader's cross from the hand of the bishop of Paris, and, followed by an immense army, he crossed the sea in 1248. On the field of battle Louis routed the Saracens; yet when the plague had taken large numbers of his soldiery, he was attacked and taken captive (1250). The king was forced to make peace with the Saracens; upon the payment of a huge ransom, he and his army were again set at liberty." While on a second crusade he died of the plague, with these words from the psalm upon his lips: "I will enter Thy house; I will worship in Thy holy temple and sing praises to Thy Name!" (Ps. 5). It was his mother's supreme desire that her son should become a kind, pious and just ruler. She was wont to say to him: "Never forget that sin is the only great evil in the world. No mother could love her son more than I love you. But I would rather see you lying dead at my feet than know that you had offended God by one mortal sin." These words remained indelibly impressed upon his mind. St. Louis was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis and so is included in the family of Franciscan saints.
St. Louis’ Last Instructions to his Eldest Son
Then he [Louis] called my Lord Philip, his son, and commanded him, as if by testament, to observe all the teachings he had left him, which are hereinafter set down in French, and were, so it is said, written with the king's own saintly hand:
· "Fair son, the first thing I would teach thee is to set thine heart to love God; for unless he love God none can be saved. Keep thyself from doing aught that is displeasing to God, that is to say, from mortal sin. Contrariwise thou shouldst suffer every manner of torment rather than commit a mortal sin.
· "If God send thee adversity, receive it in patience and give thanks to our Savior and bethink thee that thou hast deserved it, and that He will make it turn to thine advantage. If He send thee prosperity, then thank Him humbly, so that thou becomest not worse from pride or any other cause, when thou oughtest to be better. For we should not fight against God with his own gifts.
· "Confess thyself often and choose for thy confessor a right worthy man who knows how to teach thee what to do, and what not to do; and bear thyself in such sort that thy confessor and thy friends shall dare to reprove thee for thy misdoings. Listen to the services of Holy Church devoutly, and without chattering; and pray to God with thy heart and with thy lips, and especially at Mass when the consecration takes place. Let thy heart be tender and full of pity toward those who are poor, miserable, and afflicted, and comfort and help them to the utmost of thy power.
· "Maintain the good customs of thy realm and abolish the bad. Be not covetous against thy people and do not burden them with taxes and imposts save when thou art in great need.
· "If thou hast any great burden weighing upon thy heart, tell it to thy confessor or to some right worthy man who is not full of vain words. Thou shalt be able to bear it more easily.
· "See that thou hast in thy company men, whether religious or lay, who are right worthy and loyal and not full of covetousness, and confer with them oft; and fly and eschew the company of the wicked. Hearken willingly to the Word of God and keep it in thine heart, and seek diligently after prayers and indulgences. Love all that is good and profitable and hate all that is evil, wheresoever it may be.
· "Let none be so bold as to say before thee any word that would draw or move to sin, or so bold as to speak evil behind another's back for pleasure's sake; nor do thou suffer any word in disparagement of God and of His saints to be spoken in thy presence. Give often thanks to God for all the good things he has bestowed on thee, so that thou be accounted worthy to receive more.
· "In order to do justice and right to thy subjects, be upright and firm, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left, but always to what is just; and do thou maintain the cause of the poor until such a time as the truth is made clear. And if anyone has an action against thee, make full inquiry until thou knowest the truth; for thus shall thy counsellors judge the more boldly according to the truth, whether for thee or against.
· "If thou holdest aught that belongeth to another, whether by thine own act or the act of thy predecessors, and the matter be certain, make restitution without delay. If the matter be doubtful, cause inquiry to be made by wise men diligently and promptly.
· "Give heed that thy servants and thy subjects live under thee in peace and uprightness. Especially maintain the good cities and commons of thy realm in the same estate and with the same franchises as they enjoyed under thy predecessors; and if there be aught to amend, amend and set it right, and keep them in thy favor and love. For because of the power and wealth of the great cities, thine own subjects, and especially thy peers and thy barons and foreigners also will fear to undertake aught against thee.
· "Love and honor all persons belonging to Holy Church, and see that no one take away or diminish the gifts and alms paid to them by thy predecessors. It is related of King Philip, my grandfather, that one of his counsellors once told him that those of Holy Church did him much harm and damage in that they deprived him of his rights, and diminished his jurisdiction, and that it was a great marvel that he suffered it; and the good king replied that he believed this might well be so, but he had regard to the benefits and courtesies that God had bestowed on him, and so thought it better to abandon some of his rights than to have any contention with the people of Holy Church.
· "To thy father and mother, thou shalt give honor and reverence, and thou shalt obey their commandments. Bestow the benefices of Holy Church on persons who are righteous and of a clean life, and do it on the advice of men of worth and uprightness.
· "Beware of undertaking a war against any Christian prince without great deliberation; and if it has to be undertaken, see that thou do no hurt to Holy Church and to those that have done thee no injury. If wars and dissensions arise among thy subjects, see that thou appease them as soon as thou art able. "Use diligence to have good provosts and bailiffs, and inquire often of them and of those of thy household how they conduct themselves, and if there be found in them any vice of inordinate covetousness or falsehood or trickery. Labor to free thy land from all vile iniquity, and especially strike down with all thy power evil swearing and heresy. See to it that the expense of thy household be reasonable.
· "Finally, my very dear son, cause Masses to be sung for my soul, and prayers to be said throughout thy realm; and give to me a special share and full part in all the good thou doest. Fair, dear son, I give thee all the blessings that a good father can give to his son. And may the blessed Trinity and all the saints keep and defend thee from all evils; and God give thee grace to do His will always, so that He be honored in thee, and that thou and I may both, after this mortal life is ended, be with Him together and praise Him everlastingly. Amen."
New Orleans Founded 1718
St. Louis Cathedral, the country’s oldest continuously operating cathedral, faces Jackson Square. Melding French, Spanish, Italian, and Afro-Caribbean cultures, New Orleans is a city that is at once elegant and debauched. And while it was gravely impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Big Easy has shown formidable resilience. Many of the city’s myriad pleasures are packed within the lively grid of streets that make up the Vieux Carré (aka the French Quarter). It is New Orleans’s most touristy area, yet also its heart. The French laid out the Quarter’s 90 blocks of narrow streets in the 1720s, and the Spanish—who ruled during the mid- to late 18th century—further developed it. Indeed, despite its name, the neighborhood looks more Spanish than French. Wherever you stroll, you risk sensory overload, from jazz on boisterous Bourbon Street to the smell of café au lait and beignets (deep-fried dough dusted with powdered sugar) wafting from Café du Monde in Jackson Square. Decatur Street offers souvenir stands, offbeat boutiques, and charming restaurants. It’s also home to Central Grocery, an old-fashioned Italian deli whose claim to fame is having perfected (some say invented) one of the city’s classic sandwiches, the muffuletta. Royal and Chartres streets are your best bets for upscale shopping. Be sure to pop into the tacky but fun Pat O’Brien’s to sample their Hurricane, a fruity—and potent—rum cocktail in a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp. Charming Soniat House is comprised of 30 antiques-filled rooms in a cluster of three 19th-century Creole town houses overlooking an interior courtyard garden where guests breakfast on warm biscuits and homemade preserves. For a big-hotel experience, and a big dose of history, it’s hard to beat the lavish 600-room 1886 Hotel Monteleone. Stop by its revolving circus-themed Carousel Bar for a Sazerac cocktail before dinner. The Windsor Court, arguably the finest hotel in the Big Easy, is known for its palatial accommodations, award-winning restaurant, the Grill Room, and museum-quality art collection—yes, that’s a Gainsborough.
Visitor info: www.neworleansonline.com.
Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph
The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Schultz, Patricia. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: Revised Second Edition