Saint Louis IX was a king of France. He was born in 1214 and came to the throne when he was just 12. His mother, Blanche of Castille, governed France until he was old enough to do so himself. She brought him up in the love of God, teaching him to be just, treating all his subjects equally, and to be merciful to the needy. As king he reformed the legal system, abolishing trial by ordeal and introducing the principle of the presumption of innocence. He also brought peace to the land by forbidding noblemen to wage private wars against each other.
After Louis recovered from a grave illness he vowed to join in a crusade to recover the holy lands from the Moslem Egyptians. In his first attempt, he captured the Egyptian city of Damietta but was forced to surrender it when he was captured by the enemy. He invaded Egypt a second a second time, and his army was laid low by dysentery. Louis himself died of the disease in 1270.
Louis took his duty as king very seriously and was famous for his justice, wisdom, and piety. He is one of the patron saints of France. His feast is August 25.