From His Mother's Knee: A King Who Ruled for Christ the King
Thomas A. Droleskey
Today's saint, Louis IX, King of France, learned from his mother's knee to love God and to hate sin. His saintly mother, Blanche of Castile, knew that her son would have to learn to love God as He revealed Himself to men exclusively through the Catholic Church and that he would have to strive to grow in sanctity in order to win Heaven by ruling according to the mind of Christ the King and ever reliant upon Mary our Immaculate Queen. Blanche's ambitions for her son was not that he should rule many lands or win many battles for naturalistic reasons. Her ambitions for her son revolved around his winning souls for the Catholic Church and that he would win his own battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil in order to have the crown of eternal glory placed on his head after his earthly crown signifying his kingly rule was removed following his death.
Saint Louis IX was born in 1214 and anointed King of France at Rheims in 1226. Dom Prosper Gueranger describes this accession of Saint Louis to the throne as follows in The Liturgical Year:
He was only twelve years old; but our Lord had given him the surest safeguard of his youth, in the person of his mother, that noble daughter of Spain, whose coming to France, says William de Nangis, was the arrival of all good things. The premature death of her husband Louis VIII left Blanche of Castile to cope with a most formidable conspiracy. The great vassals, whose power had been reduced during the preceding reigns, promised themselves that they would profit of the minority of the new prince in order to regain the rights they had enjoyed under the ancient feudal system to the detriment of the government. In order to remove this mother, who stood up single-handed between the weakness of the heir to the throne and their ambition, the barons, everywhere in revolt, joined hands with the son of John Lackland, Henry II, who was endeavoring to recover the possessions in France lost by his father in punishment for the murder of prince Arthur. Strong in her son’s right and in the protection of Pope Gregory IX, Blanche held out; and she, whom the traitors to their country called the foreigner in order to palliate their crime, saved France by her prudence and her brave firmness. After nine years of regency, she handed over the nation to its king, more united and more powerful than ever since the days of Charlemagne. . . . Yet who was greater than this humble king, making more account of his Baptism at Poissy than of his anointing at Rheims; saying his Hours, fasting, scourging himself like his friends the Friars Preachers and Minors; ever treating with respect those whom he regarded as God’s privileged ones, priests, religious, the suffering and the poor? The great men of our days may smile at him for being more grieved at losing his breviary than at being taken captive by the Saracens. But how have they behaved in the like extremity?
Saint Louis IX understood that though he had to use the authority as a civil ruler that had been given him by God to rule justly according to His laws, that he would pay a high price at the moment of his Particular Judgment if he did anything contrary to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law and/or did anything that put into jeopardy the public honor and glory due the Blessed Trinity and thus damaged the sanctification and salvation of the souls of his subjects,. Saint Louis IX knew that there were limits that existed in the nature of things which he had no authority to transgress. And he recognized that the Church herself had the right to interpose herself as a last resort following the exhausting of her Indirect Power of teaching and preaching and exhortation if he proposed to do things–or had in fact done things–contrary to the laws of God and thus deleterious to the salvation of souls. Saint Louis understood that being a good Catholic was an absolute precondition to being a good ruler or a good citizen.
Consider, for example, the wisdom of Pope Leo XIII, contained in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885, concerning the nature of the State and the family in the Middle Ages, a wisdom that must be taken into account when reflecting upon the life and example of Saint Louis IX:
It is not difficult to determine what would be the form and character of the State were it governed according to the principles of Christian philosophy. Man’s natural instinct moves him to live in civil society, for he cannot, if he dwelling apart, provide himself with the necessary requirements of life, nor procure the means of developing his mental and moral faculties. Hence it is divinely ordained that he should lead his life–be it family, social, or civil–with his fellow-men, amongst whom alone his several wants can be adequately supplied. But as no society can hold together unless some one be over all, directing all to strive earnestly for the common good; every civilized community must have a ruling authority, and this authority, no less than society itself, has its source in nature, and has, consequently, God for its author. Hence it follows that all public power must proceed from God. For God alone is the true and supreme Lord of the world. Everything, without exception, must be subject to Him, and must serve Him, so that whosoever holds the right to govern, holds it from one sole and single source, namely, God, the Sovereign Ruler of all. There is no power but from God.
The right to rule is not necessarily, however, bound up with any special mode of government. It may take this or that form, provided only that it be of a nature to insure the general welfare. But whatever be the nature of the government, rulers must ever bear in mind that God is the paramount ruler of the world, and must set Him before themselves as their exemplar and law in the administration of the State. For, in things visible, God has fashioned secondary causes, in which His divine action can in some wise be discerned, leading up to the end to which the course of the world is ever tending. In like manner in civil society, God has always willed that there should be a ruling authority, and that they who are invested with it should reflect the divine power and providence in some measure over the human race. (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
A beautiful expression of this recognition can be found in a letter written to his son, the future King Philip III, by Saint Louis IX:
1. To his dear first-born son, Philip, greeting, and his father's love.
2. Dear son, since I desire with all my heart that you be well "instructed in all things, it is in my thought to give you some advice this writing. For I have heard you say, several times, that you remember my words better than those of any one else.
3. Therefore, dear son, the first thing I advise is that you fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth.
4. You should, with all your strength, shun everything which you believe to be displeasing to Him. And you ought especially to be resolved not to commit mortal sin, no matter what may happen and should permit all your limbs to be hewn off, and suffer every manner of torment , rather than fall knowingly into mortal sin. (Letter to His Son Philip)
That is, one entrusted with the rule over others has an obligation to be especially vigilant about the state of his own mortal soul. Mortal sin kills the life of Sanctifying Grace in the soul, thereby darkening the intellect (which is thus more ready to deny the truth or be slower to accept it) and weakening the will, inclining the sinner more and more to a disordered love of self and to an indulgence in his uncontrolled appetites. A soul in a state of Mortal Sin is more apt to act contrary to truth and to do so arbitrarily, leading a life of contradiction and confusion that is ultimately reflected in his relations with others. As even Plato himself understood from natural reasoning alone, disorder in the soul leads to disorder in society. Well, disorder in the soul is caused principally by unrepentant Mortal Sin. If one wants to know one of the chief reasons why the modern State has been corrupted, one should start by looking at the glorification of Mortal Sin in every aspect of our culture (which is found among those libertarians who believe that the State has no role to play in such issues as contraception or abortion or perversity, that these are all matters of "personal liberty").
Saint Louis went on to explain to his son, the future King Philip III, that he must bear his crosses with patience and be ever grateful for the blessings he receives from God, making sure to avoid become conceited because of the privilege he would be given to serve as a ruler over his subjects:
5. If our Lord send you any adversity, whether illness or other in good patience, and thank Him for it, thing, you should receive it in good patience and be thankful for it, for you ought to believe that He will cause everything to turn out for your good; and likewise you should think that you have well merited it, and more also, should He will it, because you have loved Him but little, and served Him but little, and have done many things contrary to His will.
6. If our Lord send you any prosperity, either health of body or other thing you ought to thank Him humbly for it, and you ought to be careful that you are not the worse for it, either through pride or anything else, for it is a very great sin to fight against our Lord with His gifts.
7. Dear son, I advise you that you accustom yourself to frequent confession, and that you choose always, as your confessors, men who are upright and sufficiently learned, and who can teach you what you should do and what you should avoid. You should so carry yourself that your confessors and other friends may dare confidently to reprove you and show you your faults. (Letter to His Son Philip)
That is, Saint Louis IX, who suffered much during his lifetime, including imprisonment by the Saracens and failure in his last crusade, was explaining to his son that we must bear our crosses with manly courage, understanding that our sins deserve far worse than we suffer in this life and that there is no suffering we encounter that is the equal of what one of our least venial sins did to Our Lord in His Sacred Humanity on the wood of the Holy Cross. Any prosperity that God sees fit to bestow upon us is His gratuitous gift that can be taken away at any moment. We should be thankful for His gifts but detached from them in order to place our heart where it rightly belongs–to the thing of Heaven, thus building up treasure there.
Saint Louis went on to explain to his that he must be a man of prayer in order to rule justly and thus to be counted among the just when he died:
8. Dear son, I advise you that you listen willingly and devoutly the services of Holy Church, and, when you are in church, avoid to frivolity and trifling, and do not look here and there; but pray to God with lips and heart alike, while entertaining sweet thoughts about Him, and especially at the mass, when the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are consecrated, and for a little time before. (Letter to His Son Philip)
Saint Louis IX, a Third Order Franciscan--and the Patron Saint of the Third Order of Saint Francis--who assisted at two Masses a day and spent many hours before the Blessed Sacrament in fervent prayer, anticipated by over six hundred fifty years these words of Pope Leo XIII, contained in Mirae Caritatis, May 28, 1902, concerning the necessity of Eucharistic piety as an absolute precondition to the discharge of one's duties in civil office:
Indeed it is greatly to be desired that those men would rightly esteem and would make due provision for life everlasting, whose industry or talents or rank have put it in their power to shape the course of human events. But alas! we see with sorrow that such men too often proudly flatter themselves that they have conferred upon this world as it were a fresh lease of life and prosperity, inasmuch as by their own energetic action they are urging it on to the race for wealth, to a struggle for the possession of commodities which minister to the love of comfort and display. And yet, whithersoever we turn, we see that human society, if it be estranged from God, instead of enjoying that peace in its possessions for which it had sought, is shaken and tossed like one who is in the agony and heat of fever; for while it anxiously strives for prosperity, and trusts to it alone, it is pursuing an object that ever escapes it, clinging to one that ever eludes the grasp. For as men and states alike necessarily have their being from God, so they can do nothing good except in God through Jesus Christ, through whom every best and choicest gift has ever proceeded and proceeds. But the source and chief of all these gifts is the venerable Eucharist, which not only nourishes and sustains that life the desire whereof demands our most strenuous efforts, but also enhances beyond measure that dignity of man of which in these days we hear so much. For what can be more honourable or a more worthy object of desire than to be made, as far as possible, sharers and partakers in the divine nature? Now this is precisely what Christ does for us in the Eucharist, wherein, after having raised man by the operation of His grace to a supernatural state, he yet more closely associates and unites him with Himself. For there is this difference between the food of the body and that of the soul, that whereas the former is changed into our substance, the latter changes us into its own; so that St. Augustine makes Christ Himself say: "You shall not change Me into yourself as you do the food of your body, but you shall be changed into Me" (confessions 1. vii., c. x.).
Moreover, in this most admirable Sacrament, which is the chief means whereby men are engrafted on the divine nature, men also find the most efficacious help towards progress in every kind of virtue. And first of all in faith. In all ages faith has been attacked; for although it elevates the human mind by bestowing on it the knowledge of the highest truths, yet because, while it makes known the existence of divine mysteries, it yet leaves in obscurity the mode of their being, it is therefore thought to degrade the intellect. But whereas in past times particular articles of faith have been made by turns the object of attack; the seat of war has since been enlarged and extended, until it has come to this, that men deny altogether that there is anything above and beyond nature. Now nothing can be better adapted to promote a renewal of the strength and fervour of faith in the human mind than the mystery of the Eucharist, the "mystery of faith," as it has been most appropriately called. For in this one mystery the entire supernatural order, with all its wealth and variety of wonders, is in a manner summed up and contained: "He hath made a remembrance of His wonderful works, a merciful and gracious Lord; He hath given food to them that fear Him" (Psalm cx, 4-5). For whereas God has subordinated the whole supernatural order to the Incarnation of His Word, in virtue whereof salvation has been restored to the human race, according to those words of the Apostle; "He hath purposed...to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in Him" (Eph. i., 9-10), the Eucharist, according to the testimony of the holy Fathers, should be regarded as in a manner a continuation and extension of the Incarnation. For in and by it the substance of the incarnate Word is united with individual men, and the supreme Sacrifice offered on Calvary is in a wondrous manner renewed, as was signified beforehand by Malachy in the words: "In every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My name a pure oblation" (Mal. i., 11). And this miracle, itself the very greatest of its kind, is accompanied by innumerable other miracles; for here all the laws of nature are suspended; the whole substance of the bread and wine are changed into the Body and the Blood; the species of bread and wine are sustained by the divine power without the support of any underlying substance; the Body of Christ is present in many places at the same time, that is to say, wherever the Sacrament is consecrated. And in order that human reason may the more willingly pay its homage to this great mystery, there have not been wanting, as an aid to faith, certain prodigies wrought in His honour, both in ancient times and in our own, of which in more than one place there exist public and notable records and memorials. It is plain that by this Sacrament faith is fed, in it the mind finds its nourishment, the objections of rationalists are brought to naught, and abundant light is thrown on the supernatural order.
But that decay of faith in divine things of which We have spoken is the effect not only of pride, but also of moral corruption. For if it is true that a strict morality improves the quickness of man's intellectual powers, and if on the other hand, as the maxims of pagan philosophy and the admonitions of divine wisdom combine to teach us, the keenness of the mind is blunted by bodily pleasures, how much more, in the region of revealed truths, do these same pleasures obscure the light of faith, or even, by the just judgment of God, entirely extinguish it. For these pleasures at the present day an insatiable appetite rages, infecting all classes as with an infectious disease, even from tender years. Yet even for so terrible an evil there is a remedy close at hand in the divine Eucharist. For in the first place it puts a check on lust by increasing charity, according to the words of St. Augustine, who says, speaking of charity, "As it grows, lust diminishes; when it reaches perfection, lust is no more" (De diversis quaestionibus, Ixxxiii., q. 36). Moreover the most chaste flesh of Jesus keeps down the rebellion of our flesh, as St. Cyril of Alexandria taught, "For Christ abiding in us lulls to sleep the law of the flesh which rages in our members" (Lib. iv., c. ii., in Joan., vi., 57). Then too the special and most pleasant fruit of the Eucharist is that which is signified in the words of the prophet: "What is the good thing of Him," that is, of Christ, "and what is His beautiful thing, but the corn of the elect and the wine that engendereth virgins" (Zach. ix., 17), producing, in other words, that flower and fruitage of a strong and constant purpose of virginity which, even in an age enervated by luxury, is daily multiplied and spread abroad in the Catholic Church, with those advantages to religion and to human society, wherever it is found, which are plain to see. (Pope Leo XIII, Mirae Caritatis, May 28, 1902.)
Saint Louis IX was the personification of all of the virtues written about by Pope Leo XIII that flow from a life steeped in the pursuit of personal sanctity, a life that sought to seek the shelter of Our Lord in His Real Presence and was tenderly devoted to the Mother God, a life that set aside earthly pleasures and honors in order to seek the choicest riches of all: eternal life in the glory of the Beatific Vision in Heaven. Saint Louis IX knew that no one could exercise the powers of civil rule properly unless his mind was enlightened by the Deposit of Faith and his will strengthened by Sanctifying Grace to in order to seek God's will first and to help advance the cause of the common good all society in light of the common end of all men: to be citizens of Heaven for all eternity. Christ must reign first as the King of the hearts of individual men and then as the King of all nations. A world where Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does not reign as King over men and their nations is a world that will be ruled by the devil and all of its minions, a point that Pope Leo XIII made in Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900:
From this it may clearly be seen what consequences are to be expected from that false pride which, rejecting our Saviour's Kingship, places man at the summit of all things and declares that human nature must rule supreme. And yet, this supreme rule can neither be attained nor even defined. The rule of Jesus Christ derives its form and its power from Divine Love: a holy and orderly charity is both its foundation and its crown. Its necessary consequences are the strict fulfilment of duty, respect of mutual rights, the estimation of the things of heaven above those of earth, the preference of the love of God to all things. But this supremacy of man, which openly rejects Christ, or at least ignores Him, is entirely founded upon selfishness, knowing neither charity nor selfdevotion. Man may indeed be king, through Jesus Christ: but only on condition that he first of all obey God, and diligently seek his rule of life in God's law. By the law of Christ we mean not only the natural precepts of morality and the Ancient Law, all of which Jesus Christ has perfected and crowned by His declaration, explanation and sanction; but also the rest of His doctrine and His own peculiar institutions. Of these the chief is His Church. Indeed whatsoever things Christ has instituted are most fully contained in His Church. Moreover, He willed to perpetuate the office assigned to Him by His Father by means of the ministry of the Church so gloriously founded by Himself. On the one hand He confided to her all the means of men's salvation, on the other He most solemnly commanded men to be subject to her and to obey her diligently, and to follow her even as Himself: "He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me" (Luke x, 16). Wherefore the law of Christ must be sought in the Church. Christ is man's "Way"; the Church also is his "Way"-Christ of Himself and by His very nature, the Church by His commission and the communication of His power. Hence all who would find salvation apart from the Church, are led astray and strive in vain.
As with individuals, so with nations. These, too, must necessarily tend to ruin if they go astray from "The Way." The Son of God, the Creator and Redeemer of mankind, is King and Lord of the earth, and holds supreme dominion over men, both individually and collectively. "And He gave Him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, and tongues shall serve Him" (Daniel vii., 14). "I am appointed King by Him . . . I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession" (Psalm ii., 6, 8). Therefore the law of Christ ought to prevail in human society and be the guide and teacher of public as well as of private life. Since this is so by divine decree, and no man may with impunity contravene it, it is an evil thing for the common weal wherever Christianity does not hold the place that belongs to it. When Jesus Christ is absent, human reason fails, being bereft of its chief protection and light, and the very end is lost sight of, for which, under God's providence, human society has been built up. This end is the obtaining by the members of society of natural good through the aid of civil unity, though always in harmony with the perfect and eternal good which is above nature. But when men's minds are clouded, both rulers and ruled go astray, for they have no safe line to follow nor end to aim at. . . .
A system of morality based exclusively on human reason robs man of his highest dignity and lowers him from the supernatural to the merely natural life. Not but that man is able by the right use of reason to know and to obey certain principles of the natural law. But though he should know them all and keep them inviolate through life-and even this is impossible without the aid of the grace of our Redeemer-still it is vain for anyone without faith to promise himself eternal salvation. "If anyone abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire, and he burneth" john xv., 6). "He that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark xvi., 16). We have but too much evidence of the value and result of a morality divorced from divine faith. How is it that, in spite of all the zeal for the welfare of the masses, nations are in such straits and even distress, and that the evil is daily on the increase? We are told that society is quite able to help itself; that it can flourish without the assistance of Christianity, and attain its end by its own unaided efforts. Public administrators prefer a purely secular system of government. All traces of the religion of our forefathers are daily disappearing from political life and administration. What blindness! Once the idea of the authority of God as the Judge of right and wrong is forgotten, law must necessarily lose its primary authority and justice must perish: and these are the two most powerful and most necessary bonds of society. Similarly, once the hope and expectation of eternal happiness is taken away, temporal goods will be greedily sought after. Every man will strive to secure the largest share for himself. Hence arise envy, jealousy, hatred. The consequences are conspiracy, anarchy, nihilism. There is neither peace abroad nor security at home. Public life is stained with crime. (Pope Leo XIII, Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900.)
Saint Louis IX was a just judge who would spend time time under a tree hearing the cases of his subjects, knowing that he would be judged by the Judge of his immortal soul if he, in his own words, "swayed either to the right or the left," if he showed any favoritism in any way that would be a violation of the precepts of justice, both natural and Divine. Having learned from his mother's knee to love God and to grow in holiness, Louis IX is the model for all rulers at all times in all places.
Sadly, this simple fact is lost on so many Catholics today, including traditional Catholics steeped in the heresy of Americanism, who believe that it is possible for a purely naturalistic system, one that incorporates elements from Protestantism, which is a rejection of the Divine Plan God instituted for man's return to Him, and Judeo-Masonry, to establish and maintain social order. One man, who works for an organization steeped in Americanism, devoted to the cause of "civil liberty" and steeped with Mormons and Masons and others who reject the necessity of the confessionally Catholic State, placing them perfectly in line with the ethos of conciliarism, was aghast three years ago when I reminded him of the example of Saint Louis IX's seeking to build up a kingdom wherein subjects would be concerned first and foremost about the salvation of their immortal souls. "What's that got to do with America?" the man sneered in a smug tone of ethnocentric self-righteousness.
Well, the example of Saint Louis IX has everything to with America. He is the exemplar of what it is to see all things in light of man's Last End, of seeking to please God, of crusading, quite literally, against infidels precisely because they were infidels. Saint Louis IX led crusades to the Holy Land not to replace one set of Mohammedan infidels in civil power with others in the name of "civil liberty" or "democracy." He led crusades to restore the reign of Christ the King as the fundamental precondition for personal happiness in this passing vale of tears and thus of all social order.
Is this what is happening in Iraq at present as a secular Mohammedan thug has been replaced with believing Mohammedans who are now free to persecute each other and Eastern Rite Catholics and Orthodox Christians? No, it is not the spirit of Christ the King that motivates George W. Bush. It is the spirit of his Skull and Bones/Judeo-Masonic/Americanist beliefs that he has the responsibility to remake the world in the image of the "joys" provided by the American concept of "civil liberty." And it is not the spirit of Christ the King that motivates the Communist Barack Hussein Obama and his apostate vice president, Joseph Biden, or that motivates or any other naturalist of the false opposites of the naturalist "left" or the naturalist "right."
Saint Louis X fought for Christ the King, understanding that the devil desired man to reign supreme in the world, something that Father Denis Fahey pointed out in The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World:
The word Revolution may be taken in two senses. The primary signification is that of a radical transformation of society undertaken with the aim of destroying the ancient order of things based on the supernatural life of the Mystical Body of Christ. The second signification is derived from former, and according to it the word is applied to the doctrines or principles in the name of which the social transformation is accomplished and to the new institutions set up in the place of those overthrown. In the sec nod sense, the quintessence of the principles of the revolution is to be found in the Declaration of the Rights of Man which we shall study presently in a special chapter. The aim of revolution, then, is the enthronement of man's reason as supreme, the inauguration of the new reign of rationalism or naturalism.
One of the saddest spectacles in our times is the contrast between the accurate grasp which the enemies of the Mystical Body of our Lord Jesus Christ have of the significance of the modern struggle, and the incomprehension or indifference of so many Catholics. For this incomprehension on the part of Catholics, the reading of non-Catholics and anti-Catholic books and papers is, of course, largely responsible. But the teaching of Christian doctrine and history in non-communicating compartments, as if there were a real history of the actual existing world apart from the history of the acceptance or non-acceptance of the Mystical Body by the world must, bear a still heavier burden of responsibility. Catholic teachers of history would do well to meditate upon the following extract from the work of the French anti-Catholic romantic historian, Michelet (1798-1874), entitled Nos Fils:--
"We must examine and penetrate the full meaning of the faith, for which we are combating. . . . There is no such thing as original sin. Every child is born innocent and is not marked beforehand by the sin of Adam. That impious myth is disappearing. In its place, justice and humanity stand forth. Accordingly, two principles are now face to face; the Christian principle and the principle of 1789. There is no possibility of reconciliation between them. Odd and even numbers will never agree, neither will justice and injustice so in the same way 1789 and the heritage of original sin will be completely opposed to each other. . . . Education then will be completely different according as it takes as its starting point the old or the new principle." (Father Denis Fahey, The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World.)
Before continuing on with Father Fahey, it is could to interject at this point that the work of the French Revolution, which began on July 14, 1789, was diametrically opposed to the Catholicity of the France of Saint Louis IX, whose reign ended 519 years before that fateful date. The French Revolutionaries hated Saint Louis IX, King of France. They destroyed his mortal remains and those of Saint Louis and Saint Genevieve, the Patroness Saint of Paris, and Saint Joan of Arc.
Note well what the this Michelet character quoted by Father Fahey wrote: "Accordingly, two principles are now face to face; the Christian principle and the principle of 1789. There is no possibility of reconciliation between them." Who has said that there is such a possibility? Who, then, is on the side of illogic, doing, whether wittingly or unwittingly, the work of the devil to create a "healthy laicism: where it is considered to be a sin against "religious liberty" to have the confessionally Catholic State? Hmmm. Let's see here. . . .
Ah, yes, the then Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger wrote the following in Principles of Catholic Theology:
Let us be content to say here that the text [in Gaudium et Spes] serves as a countersyllabus and, as such, represents on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789. Only from this perspective can we understand, on the one hand, the ghetto-mentality, of which we have spoken above; only from this perspective can we understand, on the other hand, the meaning of the remarkable meeting of the Church and the world. Basically, the word "world" means the spirit of the modern era, in contrast to which the Church's group-consciousness saw itself as a separate subject that now, after a war that had been in turn both hot and cold, was intent on dialogue and cooperation. From this perspective, too, we can understand the different emphases with which the individual parts of the Church entered into the discussion of the text. While German theologians were satisfied that their exegetical and ecumenical concepts had been incorporated, representatives of Latin American countries, in particular, felt that their concerns, too, had been addressed, topics proposed by Anglo-Saxon theologians likewise found strong expression, and representatives of Third World countries saw, in the emphasis on social questions, a consideration of their particular problems. (Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, 1982, pp. 381-382)
Saint Louis IX was and remains the symbol of all that hated by the scions of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the Church. No matter how hard the conciliarists try to deconstruct the lives of the saints so as to make them fit into the paradigm of their counterfeit religion, saints such as Louis IX stand in stark contrast to the diabolical embrace of the anti-Incarnational thrust of Modernity and the anti-dogmatic thrust of Modernism.
Father Fahey, knowing that the errors of Modernity were abroad in the Church through the ethos of Modernism, tried to warn Catholics of the dangers that were ahead of them:
A fitting conclusion to this section will be the following quotation from the French Masonic review, L'Acacia (October, 1931). It is worthy of consideration by all Catholics:--
"At the present day," the Masonic review states, "in the coming year 1932 and henceforward, there are only two doctrines, two principles, for which men are combating: Integral Humanism, no matter what may be the particular form of social reconstruction favored by its propagandists, Individualism, Radicalism, Laicism, Socialism, Communism, and Anarchy:; and Clerio-Theism, which is always one and the same, no matter how it may seek to hide its appearance."
Let us hope that this integral truth will come home to all Catholics that the world is divided into two camps, the camp of those who stand for Christ the King and His rule in all its integrity, and the camp of Satan with its motto, Non serviam--"I will not serve" (Jeremias ii. 20) (Father Denis Fahey, The Mystical Body of Christ the King in the Modern World.)
I am afraid that the breed of naturalists known as political "conservatives" do not understand this point, trusting in the power of their vaunted, religiously-indifferentist "philosophy" to save the world. And it is the case, of course, that conciliarists, completely reject this understanding, lost in the fog of the Hegelian dialectic of opposing ideas.
Alas, the modern world, including that of the United States of America, is the product of the rejection of the Divine Plan that Saint Louis sought, as ably as he could, to implement during his long reign over the French people. Masonry had to attack that Divine Plan head-on with massive violence in France in light of its Catholic heritage. Although it had been a long time since France had had a king of the likes of Louis IX, the Revolutionaries knew that someone like him could emerge once again.
The case in the United States has been different. Judeo-Masonry did not have to attack the Church head-on as the Divine Plan, that is, the Social Reign of Christ the King had never exited here. The Masons knew that Catholics would be coopted over the course of time into accepting the lies of pluralism and civil liberty and brotherhood and egalitarianism and religious indifferentism, coming to view the Church through the naturalist eyes of the world rather than viewing the world through the eyes of the true Faith, hence the insidious nature of Americanism. Father Fahey pointed this out in The Kingship of Christ according to the principles of Saint Thomas Aquinas:
State supremacy over and indifference to all religions is then the steady aim of Freemasonry, according to Pope Leo XIII. But there has been a difference in the mode of procedure of Masonry in Protestant and Catholic countries, and it is well at this point to say a few words about this. Protestants find little difficulty in accepting that religion be a purely private matter, since, logically for them, all visible Churches are purely human organizations. As Catholics, on the contrary, believe in the existence of one True Church, through which alone one becomes member of the Mystical Body of Christ, which they know to be supra-national, and to which they claim that all States should be indirectly subordinate, in view of man's real end, union with God in Supernatural Life, they are bound to oppose this sectioning of public and private life. The movement known as the Protestant Reformation was an appeal to Evangelical liberty, conceived as an attachment to Christ, but in flagrant conflict with the order established by Christ for His communication of Himself to man. It was thus a revolutionary movement aimed at the destruction of the order established by Our Lord for the return of man to God. It failed signally in the countries of Latin civilization and in Ireland, where there was a better grasp of order and of the supremacy of spiritual values than in Germany or England. Ireland's traditional social institutions moulded by Catholicism were, it is true, broken up, but the Irish people still retained their hold on God's plan for order in the world, in spite of the efforts of the disordered minds in power. In the Latin countries, in spite of much decay, down to the French Revolution, the social institutions retained the impress of the Kingship of Christ. Revolution then has always been aimed at by Masonry in these countries in order to get rid of the existing social structure in which the Kingship of Christ is respected, and to install Naturalism. In Protestant countries, on account of the public rejection of God's order, the gradual ousting of what is retained of Our Lord's doctrine from the constitution and public life of the country goes on inevitably. The advent of Naturalism in Protestant countries being only a question of time, there is in general no need for Masonry to take forcible steps for the uprooting of the past. Satan can there afford to bide his time in his struggle against Christ the King. (Father Denis Fahey, The Kingship of Christ according to the principles of Saint Thomas Aquinas.)
You see, the United States was destined for its current social ruin precisely because of its false foundations. Not even those elements in its founding documents that can be reconciled with Catholic State can resist the tide of the floodwaters of Modernity, unchecked by the Catholic Church as the state religion and, indeed, today endorsed by the the counterfeit church of conciliarism as a concession to the principles of 1789. A civil state not organized according to the Divine Plan falls inevitably into ruin, resulting in the surrender of legitimate human liberties to those who rule in order to preserve an notion of "order" that is from Hell, founded in the belief that man can organize himself socially without being submissive to the Deposit of Faith that Our Lord entrusted exclusively to His true Church and without relying upon Sanctifying Grace to persevere in virtue and thus scale the heights of personal sanctity. There would be no talk of a "Plan B" "morning after pill," no less the surgical dismemberment of babies, in a Catholic States of America.
No, a confessionally Catholic State is not a guarantor of social order, only the necessary precondition for it. Individual men must choose to cooperate with God's grace to build up the Kingship of Christ in their own souls and hence in every aspect of their nation's life. This is never an easy task given the frailties of fallen human nature, which is why the Church's shepherds must exhort the faithful to lives of holiness unspotted by the world and proclaim the immutable doctrine, contained in the Ordinary Magisterium of the Catholic Church, of the Social Reign of Christ the King that was exemplified so well by Saint Louis IX in the Thirteenth Century.
The great leader of France during most of the Thirteenth Century, Saint Louis IX, wrote this in his letter to his son Philip:
3!. Dear son, I advise you always to be devoted to the Church of Rome, and to the sovereign pontiff, our father, and to bear him the the reverence and honor which you owe to your spiritual father. (Letter to His Son Philip)
There is no more cogent summary of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ. Saint Louis was telling his son that he, although destined to be a king, was subordinate to the Church founded by Our Lord upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. All States, no matter the construct of their civil governments, must be so subordinate. Remember this and remember well: Catholics do not care about "states' rights." They care about God's laws, which bind all men at all times, whether they are acting individually in their own lives or in the institutions of civil governance.
Importantly, Saint Louis admonished his son as follows:
32. Dear son, freely give power to persons of good character, who know how to use it well, and strive to have wickednesses expelled from your land, that is to say, nasty oaths, and everything said or done against God or our Lady or the saints. In a wise and proper manner put a stop, in your land, to bodily sins, dicing, taverns, and other sins. Put down heresy so far as you can, and hold in especial abhorrence Jews, and all sorts of people who are hostile to the Faith, so that your land may be well purged of them, in such manner as, by the sage counsel of good people, may appear to you advisable.
The State has the obligation to work to remove those conditions that breed sin in the midst of its cultural life. Yes, sin there will always be. True. However, the State, which the Church teaches has the obligation to help foster those conditions in civil society in which citizens can better save their souls, must not tolerate grave evils (such as blasphemy or willful murder) under cover of law. Saint Thomas Aquinas understood that some evils may have to be tolerated in society. Graver evils, however, undermine the common good and put into jeopardy the pursuit of man’s last end. Pope Saint Pius X made this point in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906:
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-"Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur." He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them.... As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. -- "Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere.... Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error." (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)
Why, though, should the State seek to banish blasphemy and heresies, going so far as to punish blasphemers and heretics? It is quite simple. Those who can violate the Second Commandment in order to do violence against the Holy Name can just as easily do violence against their fellow-men. Those who put into question the Received Teaching of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man are worse criminals than those who commit physical crimes against persons and property. Why? Because those who can place into question the truths of Our Blessed Lord and Savior make it more possible for people to reject the necessity of the Faith in their own lives and that of their nations, giving rise to the very statist crimes that are of such justifiable concern to those in the libertarian and/or anarchist camps.
Popes Gregory XVI and Leo XIII explained the harm of the modern concept of "civil liberty" and how it corrupts men and their nations:
This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly "the bottomless pit" is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws -- in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.
Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice. We are in tears at the abuse which proceeds from them over the face of the earth. Some are so carried away that they contentiously assert that the flock of errors arising from them is sufficiently compensated by the publication of some book which defends religion and truth. Every law condemns deliberately doing evil simply because there is some hope that good may result. Is there any sane man who would say poison ought to be distributed, sold publicly, stored, and even drunk because some antidote is available and those who use it may be snatched from death again and again?
The Church has always taken action to destroy the plague of bad books. This was true even in apostolic times for we read that the apostles themselves burned a large number of books. It may be enough to consult the laws of the fifth Council of the Lateran on this matter and the Constitution which Leo X published afterwards lest "that which has been discovered advantageous for the increase of the faith and the spread of useful arts be converted to the contrary use and work harm for the salvation of the faithful." This also was of great concern to the fathers of Trent, who applied a remedy against this great evil by publishing that wholesome decree concerning the Index of books which contain false doctrine."We must fight valiantly," Clement XIII says in an encyclical letter about the banning of bad books, "as much as the matter itself demands and must exterminate the deadly poison of so many books; for never will the material for error be withdrawn, unless the criminal sources of depravity perish in flames." Thus it is evident that this Holy See has always striven, throughout the ages, to condemn and to remove suspect and harmful books. The teaching of those who reject the censure of books as too heavy and onerous a burden causes immense harm to the Catholic people and to this See. They are even so depraved as to affirm that it is contrary to the principles of law, and they deny the Church the right to decree and to maintain it. (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832.)
The sovereignty of the people, however, and this without any reference to God, is held to reside in the multitude; which is doubtless a doctrine exceedingly well calculated to flatter and to inflame many passions, but which lacks all reasonable proof, and all power of insuring public safety and preserving order. Indeed, from the prevalence of this teaching, things have come to such a pass that may hold as an axiom of civil jurisprudence that seditions may be rightfully fostered. For the opinion prevails that princes are nothing more than delegates chosen to carry out the will of the people; whence it necessarily follows that all things are as changeable as the will of the people, so that risk of public disturbance is ever hanging over our heads.
To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God.
So, too, the liberty of thinking, and of publishing, whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrance, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountain-head and origin of many evils. Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. These remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only way to heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the making of laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals. The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preserves in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and, by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason, even though they be not carried out in action.
To wish the Church to be subject to the civil power in the exercise of her duty is a great folly and a sheer injustice. Whenever this is the case, order is disturbed, for things natural are put above things supernatural; the many benefits which the Church, if free to act, would confer on society are either prevented or at least lessened in number; and a way is prepared for enmities and contentions between the two powers, with how evil result to both the issue of events has taught us only too frequently.
Doctrines such as these, which cannot be approved by human reason, and most seriously affect the whole civil order, Our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs (well aware of what their apostolic office required of them) have never allowed to pass uncondemned. Thus, Gregory XVI in his encyclical letter "Mirari Vos," dated August 15, 1832, inveighed with weighty words against the sophisms which even at his time were being publicly inculcated-namely, that no preference should be shown for any particular form of worship; that it is right for individuals to form their own personal judgments about religion; that each man's conscience is his sole and allsufficing guide; and that it is lawful for every man to publish his own views, whatever they may be, and even to conspire against the State. On the question of the separation of Church and State the same Pontiff writes as follows: "Nor can We hope for happier results either for religion or for the civil government from the wishes of those who desire that the Church be separated from the State, and the concord between the secular and ecclesiastical authority be dissolved. It is clear that these men, who yearn for a shameless liberty, live in dread of an agreement which has always been fraught with good, and advantageous alike to sacred and civil interests." To the like effect, also, as occasion presented itself, did Pius IX brand publicly many false opinions which were gaining ground, and afterwards ordered them to be condensed in summary form in order that in this sea of error Catholics might have a light which they might safely follow. (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1900.)
Saint Louis IX understood these immutable truths that were merely reiterated by the Popes of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. He ruled according to these truths. He did not care about originality of thought. Saint Louis IX, King of France, cared about fidelity to Catholic teaching so that he could order his own soul rightly and thus be in a better position to pursue the temporal good of his realm in of the Last End of his subjects. There is no need to "re-think" any of this. We need only to follow what the true Popes have reiterated as the binding Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, from which no Catholic may dissent and remain a member of the Catholic Church in good standing. Pope Pius XI noted in this in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922:
Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of the laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV.
There is a species of moral, legal, and social modernism which We condemn, no less decidedly than We condemn theological modernism. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)
We live in times that are almost without precedent in the history of the world. Even the pagan Romans, as decadent many of them became, wore clothing in public. Even they would have been aghast at the public acceptance in the contemporary Western world, including in the United States of America, of the occasions of sin and of simply utter disgust caused by shirtless men and nearly-naked women in almost every public venue imaginable, especially in times of warmer weather. There is no "civil right" to dress immodestly. There is no "civil right" speak indecently. There is no "civil right" to compose, produce or perform "rock" music. There is no "civil right" to manufacture, prescribe and distribute contraceptives. There is no "civil right" to kill innocent preborn babies. There is no "civil right" to propagate false beliefs. Saint Louis IX understood all of this. Why don't we? Why do we lionize the false god of civil liberty that is a denial of the rights of Christ the King and a major proximate cause of the degradation of popular culture and thus a detriment to souls?
As noted above, Saint Louis IX understood that nothing less than his own salvation depended upon ruling justly according to the laws of God and thus for the eternal good for the souls of his subjects. He fulfilled Pope Leo XIII's injunction below, contained in Immortale Dei:
They, therefore, who rule should rule with even-handed justice, not as masters, but rather as fathers, for the rule of God over man is most just, and is tempered always with a father’s kindness. Government should, moreover, be administered for the well-being of the citizens because they who govern others possess authority solely for the welfare of the State. Furthermore, the civil power must not be subservient to the advantage of any one individual or if some few persons, inasmuch as it was established for the common good of all. But if those who are in authority rule unjustly, if they govern overbearingly or arrogantly, and if their measures prove hurtful to the people, they must remember that the Almighty will one day bring them to account, the more strictly in proportion to the sacredness of their office and pre-eminence of their dignity. The mighty should be mightily tormented. Then truly will the majesty of the law meet with the dutiful and willing homage of the people, when they are convinced that their rulers hold authority from God, and feel that it is a matter of justice and duty to obey them, and to show them reverence and fealty, united to a love not unlike that which children show their parents. Let every soul be subject to higher powers. To despise legitimate authority, in whomsoever vested, is unlawful, as a rebellion against the divine will, and whoever resists that, rushes wilfully to destruction. He that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. To cast aside obedience, and by popular violence to incite to revolt, is therefore treason, not against man only, but against God. (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
These are strong words. Yes, as both Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Robert Bellarmine noted in their respective works, there are grave circumstances in which it might be necessary for a well-organized collection of citizens to rebel against the unjust exercise of power by civil rulers. Such a rebellion must meet the conditions outlined in the Just War Theory. Of particular importance in a consideration as to whether the conditions justifying such a rebellion have been met is the principle of proportionality.
Nevertheless, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Immortale Dei, the Catholics of the Middle Ages understood full well that an unjust ruler would meet with an unhappy end if he did not repent of his injustice. Subjects, though, continued to pray for their rulers at all times, trusting in the power of the graces won for us by the shedding of Our Lord’s Most Precious Blood on Calvary to be applied to even the most hardened of sinners, including those vested with civil rule.
Indeed, it was the Faith itself that served as the check upon renegade rulers and curbed the tendency to absolutism in the State. Pope Leo XIII makes this clear in Immortale Dei:
As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound up to act to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion. Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him since from Him we came, bind also the civil community by a like law. For men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, not less than individuals, owes gratitude to God, who gave it being and maintains it, and whose ever-bounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its teaching and practice–not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only true religion–it is a public crime to act as though there no God. So, too, is it a sin in the State not to have care for religion, as something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of the many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will. All who rule, therefore, should hold in honor the holy name of God, and one of their chief duties must be to favor religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws, and neither to organize nor enact any measure that may compromise its safety. This is the bounden duty of rulers to the people over whom they rule. For one and all are we destined by our birth and adoption to enjoy, when this frail and fleeting life is ended, a supreme and final good in heaven, and to the attainment of this every endeavor should be directed. Since, then, upon, this depends the full and perfect happiness of mankind, the securing of this end should be of all imaginable interests the most urgent. Hence, civil society, established for the common welfare, should not only safeguard the well-being of the community, but have also at heart the interests of its individual members, in such mode as not in any way to hinder, but in every manner to render as easy as may be, the possession of that highest and unchangeable good for which all should seek. Wherefore, for this purpose, care must especially be taken to preserve unharmed and unimpeded the religion whereof the practice is the link connecting man to God. (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
Referring to Saint Louis IX, Dom Gueranger put it this way in The Liturgical Year:
For God, who commands us to obey at all times the power actually established, is ever the master of nations and the unchangeable disposer of their changeable destinies. Then every one of thy descendants, taught by a sad experience, will be bound to remember, O Louis, thy last recommendations: “Exert thyself that every vile sin be abolished from thy land; especially, to the best of thy power, put down all wicked oaths and heresy.”
Saint Louis IX knew that the only way to order a state rightly was by means of the true Faith. Individual citizens must seek first the Kingdom of God by cooperating with the graces made available to them by the Church in the sacraments. won them for them by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces. Individual citizens must live for the honor and glory of God at all times, keeping in mind that they could be called home to Him to render an account of their lives at any moment. Everything in social life, including politics and economics, must be subordinated to the Holy Faith. And Saint Louis IX knew that he, a ruler, had the obligation to so subordinate himself to the things of Heaven that he would be willing at all times to lose all worldly privileges, including the throne itself, to be able to have a seat at the throne of the King of Kings in Heaven.
Saint Louis IX, the patron of Third Order Franciscans, won a heavenly crown by his life of sanctity and detachment from the privileges of kingly rule. May he intercede for us to be so consecrated to Our Heavenly Queen, the Blessed Mother, that we may live in such a way in this life so as to have a place with him at the throne of the King all men, citizens and rulers alike, are called to acknowledge publicly and to obey with humility at every moment of their lives.
Inspired by his love of Holy Mass, his deep devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, his tender, filial love for the Blessed Mother, his shining example of justice administered to his subject with a view to his--and their--own Last End, and his abiding zeal for Christ the King, may we pray for the day when we will be governed his like again, a day that will come as a result of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the fruition of our daily fulfillment of her Fatima Message, especially by means of her Most Holy Rosary.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Louis IX, King of France, pray for us.