Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Louis of Toulouse, August 18,2017

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Louis of Toulouse, August 18,2017

Joshua addresses the people, and in the process provides a catalogue of the astounding mercies and graces that the Lord has bestowed on his people: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Red Sea crossing, the fall of Jericho. All of it points to the victory of God’s love over what we would otherwise deem impossible. The ability to love in this way is what God imparts sacramentally to married people.


Opening Prayer

“Lord Jesus Christ, your call to holiness extends to all in every state of life.  Sanctify our lives–as married couples and as singles–that we may live as men and women who are consecrated to you.  Make us leaven in a society that disdains life-long marriage fidelity, chastity, and living single for the Lord.” In your Name, we pray. Amen.

Reading I
Jos 24:1-13

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem, summoning their elders, their leaders, their judges and their officers. When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people:  “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: In times past your fathers, down to Terah, father of Abraham and Nahor, dwelt beyond the River and served other gods. But I brought your father Abraham from the region beyond the River and led him through the entire land of Canaan. I made his descendants numerous, and gave him Isaac. To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I assigned the mountain region of Seir in which to settle, while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

“Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and smote Egypt with the prodigies which I wrought in her midst. Afterward I led you out of Egypt, and when you reached the sea, the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Red Sea with chariots and horsemen. Because they cried out to the LORD, he put darkness between your people and the Egyptians, upon whom he brought the sea so that it engulfed them. After you witnessed what I did to Egypt,
and dwelt a long time in the desert, I brought you into the land of the Amorites
who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I delivered them into your power. You took possession of their land, and I destroyed them, the two kings of the Amorites, before you. Then Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab, prepared to war against Israel.  He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you; but I would not listen to Balaam. On the contrary, he had to bless you, and I saved you from him. Once you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho, the men of Jericho fought against you, but I delivered them also into your power. And I sent the hornets ahead of you that drove them (the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites) out of your way; it was not your sword or your bow.
“I gave you a land that you had not tilled and cities that you had not built, to dwell in; you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.”

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22 and 24

R. His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the LORD of lords,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.

Who led his people through the wilderness,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who smote great kings,
for his mercy endures forever;
And slew powerful kings,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.

And made their land a heritage,
for his mercy endures forever;
The heritage of Israel his servant,
for his mercy endures forever;
And freed us from our foes,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.

Mt 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
They said to him, “Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him,
“If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry.”
He answered, “Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”
The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1 – The question of divorce

Today’s gospel reading addresses the matter of divorce, which never received the blessing of our Lord. When confronted with question on divorce, Jesus responded: “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”

This is an issue which some people are so prone to argue or debate on. Often in this present day polygamous society, quite a number of people cannot accept the position of our Lord. Most often people justify their decision to separate and divorce their spouses. They are like the Pharisees who posed this question to Jesus: “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”   To the question Jesus replied: “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

One who opts to divorce a spouse only reveals the UNFORGIVENESS in his or her heart. As Jesus said, Moses allowed divorce because of the “hardness of your hearts” implying not only one’s failure to align oneself to God’s precepts but one’s UNFORGIVENESS. One’s decision to divorce a spouse then is to pursue one’s self-centered will vs. God’s will of forgiveness and reconciliation.

One who seeks to reconcile with a spouse should then be received with love and forgiven. Marriage is forever – in good or bad times, in health or sickness- whatever the situation maybe. God did not force couples to be one in marriage. It was our free will. It was us who vowed before God and man about our love. Amidst our sins against our spouses, we should be able to look back at our marriage covenant which we sealed in our own free will and complete knowledge, all in His Mighty Name.

We are all witness to God’s willingness to forgive and which we should emulate and imitate in our relationships especially with our spouses. One can be so sinful but if he repents and comes back to God, he will be forgiven.

Faced with irreconcilable differences, spouses separate. Divorce lawyers will even say, remarry or seek the company of another. Is this the alternative God wants us to take?

Are we opting for divorce or are we going to let God prevail and accept His will on us? Or are we going to insist on our RIGHTS to happiness?


Marriage should not be subject to divorce but continuous re-building. It should not only be words and talk but love that shows itself in action through self-giving and denial.


Heavenly Father, give me the grace to always see my spouse with the eyes of Jesus, give me the heart that forgives just as I want to be forgiven. In Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Reflection 2 – What God has joined together

What is God’s intention for our state in life, whether married or single?
Jesus deals with the issue of divorce by taking his hearers back to the beginning of creation and to God’s plan for the human race. In Genesis 2:23-24 we see God’s intention and ideal that two people who marry should become so indissolubly one that they are one flesh. That ideal is found in the unbreakable union of Adam and Eve. They were created for each other and for no one else. They are the pattern and symbol for all who were to come. Jesus explains that Moses permitted divorce as a concession in view of a lost ideal. Jesus sets the high ideal of the married state before those who are willing to accept his commands.

Whether married or single – be consecrated for the Lord
Jesus, likewise sets the high ideal for those who freely renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Both marriage and the single life are calls from God to live a consecrated life, that is to live as married couples or as singles who belong not to themselves but to God. Our lives are not our own, but they belong to God. He gives strength, joy, and blessing to those who seek to follow his way of holiness in their state of life. Do you seek the Lord Jesus and his grace for your state of life?

“Lord Jesus Christ, your call to holiness extends to all in every state of life. Sanctify our lives – as married couples and as singles – that we may live as men and women who are consecrated to you. Make us leaven in a society that disdains life-long marriage fidelity, chastity, and living single for the Lord.” – Read the source:

Reflection 3 – Husband and wife forever

The gospel reading today addresses the question of divorce, which never received the blessing of our Lord. When confronted with the question on divorce, Jesus responded: “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate” (Mt 19:4-5). Then, why are there divorces today?

Here’s a story for us to reflect on. A young naval officer had just been promoted to lieutenant commander. He decided not to tell his wife but to let her be surprised when he came home that evening. He expected she would immediately notice the new gold oak leaf insignia on his collar, and be exuberant with joy. Much to his disappointment, however, she hardly said a word. Soon it was obvious that she was upset about something and about to cry. When he asked her what was wrong, she sobbed, “You didn’t even notice my new hairdo.” This story reveals how self-centered the husband and the wife.

There was a study last year 2005(cf. New York Post, Dec. 27,2005, p. 15) from the University of Rochester: Why some new marriages are so full of bliss and others are so full of battles? The finding is that 40% of divorces occur in the first 5 years of marriage, said Ronald Rogge, Asst. Psychology Professor conducting the study. It turns out that it’s not important what the topics of the problems are but what’s more important is how you handle those problems. Do you negotiate…with your partner, or do they turn into major battles? He added that too many married couples act like singles, thinking only of what they want and need, instead of what their partner need. How can we help the married couples today?

The master listened patiently to a wife complaining about her husband. Finally he said to her, “Your marriage would be happy, my dear, if you were a better wife.” “And how can I become a better wife?” The master said, “By not trying so hard to make your husband better. It is in your acceptance of the weaknesses and strengths of each other is the beginning of understanding and love.” What should we do to make our love last? The master said, “Have a common love for other things.” What are the examples of common love for other things? One of this is your common fund.

Spouses who get in each other’s face about money rarely succeed financially. That’s why the topic of marital concord came up at a recent National Association of Personal Financial Advisors conference. Charlottesvile, Va. Planner David John Marotta told peers that he insists certain married clients adhere to the five money vows as follows: 1. Keep a spending diary for a month. Most money arguments start with partners blaming each other for the disappearance of their dollars. 2. Pick an amount – say, 0.5% of yearly take-home pay – that neither of you can spend without the others okay. Otherwise, either partner can ruin the budget with a single splurge. 3. Give each other veto power over any decision to borrow. 4. Set aside at least 15% of the take-home pay. Saved-up money helps you reach goals more quickly as a couple. 5. Promise not to abdicate on money issues. If you’re not involved in the process, you’re part of the problem.”

For the happy couple, the benefits go beyond money, he says” “It’s rare to have financial harmony and still want to dump each other” (Source: Money Magazine, August 2007, p. 23). Let us go beyond money and turn to Jesus who sets the high ideal of the married state before those who are willing to accept his commands. Our lives are not our own, but they belong to God. He gives the grace and power to those who seek to follow his way of holiness in their state of life. Do you seek Christ and his grace for your state of life?

Reflection 4 – Promises

The satirist Jonathan Swift writes, “Promises and pie crusts are made to be broken.” Italian philosopher and writer Niccolo Machiavelli claims, “A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.” Many illustrious persons extol the wisdom of keeping promises, but the fact remains that many promises are not kept, and many of us seem to view this as the norm.

Today’s first reading (Ez 16:1-15, 60, 63) speaks of the most sacred of promises, the covenant between God and God’s people. In accordance with the covenant, God has bestowed abundant blessing on the people, yet they have consistenly broken their promise and strayed from the committed relationship they have with God. Yet God restores the covenant, shaming those who have strayed with an additional abundance of love and pardon.

This covenant between God and God’s people is what Christian marriage signifies: a commitment so absolute that love and pardon are offered again and again. In spite of lapses or failures, the covenant is renewed and the bond is strengthened. Jesus offers this to his followers as a model of God’s own love.

How is it possible that we who call ourselves Christians, unable to maintain our end of the covenant with God, can ever sustain the perfection of a marriage covenant with one another? It is no wonder that the disciples of Jesus responded that it is better not to marry. In our human weakness, especially when both partners are human and weak, how can we hope to model God’s love? Yet that is our goal. And it applies not only to marriage, but to our baptismal covenant to one another as part of the Body of Christ.

We humans will fall short, but perfect love is our goal. When we celebrate the successes of those who keep their solemn promises, we get a glimpse of God’s own perfect love. This gives us the encouragement we need to continue striving toward that goal of keeping our covenant with God and with one another. (Source: Cecilia A. Felix. Weekday Homily Helps. Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, August 13, 2010).

Reflection 5 – Jesus’ vision of Christian marriage

The general principle of Jesus’ vision of Christian marriage is clear: marriage is indissoluble. Jesus interprets Genesis: “Whom God has joined, let no man separate.”

Moses, however, did allow divorce. And so the Pharisees bring this up to Jesus. Jesus responds, “What Moses said was not a law, it was a concession.” The Jews of Moses’ day were hardheaded, he says, they refused to accept that a man must remain united with one woman for life.

The Pharisees’ understanding of Moses’ attitude toward divorce provides Jesus with an opportunity to present his vision of what marriage is. And a very beautiful vision it is! A lifelong love commitment: a shared life stretching over many years, so intimate in every aspect of its reality that the two spouses can be called one flesh; a life of love, issuing in the gift of love the spouses give to each other and to God, the child; the years of loving nurture and care which will allow the child to grow into a loving adulthood in the service of God and neighbor.

A truly inspiring vision.

Only with the help of Christ and his Holy Spirit can the couple develop the sympathy, the understanding, the forgiving spirit, the caring love, which any marriage would welcome, which Christian marriage demands.

Pope Benedict XVI said, “None of us gave ourselves life or singlehandedly learned how to live. All of us received from others both life itself and its basic truths, and we have been called to attain perfection in relationship and loving communion with others. The family, founded on indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman, is the expression of this relational, filial and communal aspect of life. It is the setting where men and women are enabled to be born with dignity, and to grow and develop in an integral manner” (Homily at Mass for the 5th World Meeting of Families, July 9, 2006). “The family is itself based primarily on a deep interpersonal relationship between husband and wife, sustained by affection and mutual understanding. To enable this, it receives abundant help from God in the sacrament of Matrimony, which brings with it a true vocation to holiness” (Address for 5th World Meeting of Families, July 8, 2006).

Reflection 6 – The Miracle Of Marriage

Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” —Genesis 2:23

When Pastor Howard Sugden performed the wedding ceremony for my husband and me, he emphasized that we were participating in a miracle. We believed him, but we didn’t comprehend the size of the miracle needed to hold two people together, much less become one.

After 20 years, I realize that the marriage, not the wedding, was the real miracle. Anyone can have a wedding, but only God can create a marriage.

One definition of wed is “to cause to adhere devotedly or stubbornly.” For some couples, “stubborn” is a more accurate description of their relationship than “devoted.”

God has in mind something much better for us than a stubborn refusal to divorce. The union of marriage is so strong that we become “one flesh.” God wants marriage to be the way it was when He first created Eve from Adam (Genesis 2:21-24). That’s what Jesus was explaining to the Pharisees when they asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” (Matthew 19:3). Jesus replied, “A man shall . . . be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (v.5).

To pledge your life to another is indeed an act of faith that requires belief in miracles. Thankfully, God is in the business of creating marriages.
— Julie Ackerman Link

The marriage bond that joins two hearts
No power on earth can break
If they commit their lives to Christ
And of His love partake. —D. De Haan

A happy marriage is a union of two good forgivers (Source: Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries).

Reflection 7 – The value of celibacy

Celibacy is meant to be a gift, a great joy. Jesus confirms this in today’s Gospel passage when he speaks of those who renounce marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

As someone who’s been married to the same man since 1975, I certainly know the joys of a physical union. But this is not what gives me the greatest pleasure in my relationship with Ralph.

Ignore all the media hype and social emphasis on the supposed “necessity” of having sensual pleasures to prove love and to feel loved. Forget the lies that are so prevalent in our world today, which claim that fun on a date means ending up in bed together. Sex is not needed for a close relationship, and there are plenty of other ways to have romantic fun.

This truth is misunderstood by couples who think it’s best to live together before the wedding. It’s unknown to young men who have said no to the priesthood because they don’t want miss out on sex and to women who have said no to religious life for the same reason. It’s been hidden from homosexuals who believe they must find a bed partner or else they’re missing something important. It’s not been explained well to couples who use artificial birth control because they don’t want to abstain for a couple of days during the woman’s fertile time.

Jesus acknowledges our physical, hormonal drives by saying: “Not everyone can accept this teaching.” At the same time, he makes it clear that those who don’t have physical relations are just as normal as those who do. Is it surprising that a quadriplegic can be happily married and that the spouse would find their spiritual and emotional union profoundly satisfying? Or that a priest would find complete fulfillment in a spiritual union with his bride, the Church?

With compassion, we who are married can support and encourage those who live celibately. This means including singles in our family events. It means being conscious of what we wear, dressing modestly instead of looking like a temptation. It means taking a stand against entertainment that promotes marital physical pleasures without marriage between a man and a woman. And it also means taking time to educate ourselves about the difference between what scripture teaches and what the world says to the contrary — and why.

Since God gave us the gift of desiring physical intimacy, what’s the value of celibacy? Jesus implies that it’s better than being married. We know from the first part of this reading that he’s not against marriage. But why would he agree with his disciples when they said, “If that is the case between husband and wife, it is better not to marry”?

Note the beautiful description of God’s “wedding” (the covenant with Israel) in today’s first reading. We become his bride when we commit ourselves to loving him faithfully. Those who are single and celibate don’t have to divide their time and energies between God and an earthly spouse; they can experience giving love and devotion to God full-time and without a spouse getting jealous or becoming a distraction.

God is the greatest Lover in the universe! – Read the source:

Reflection 8 – A marriage made in heaven

What’s Jesus really saying in his tough stand against divorce? The Gospel reading for today can be hard to accept when a marriage is suffering from divisive troubles.

He also takes a tough stand on the value of celibacy when he refers to those who have “renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven” — in other words, for the sake of abiding by the laws of God, the mission of Christ, and the morality of the Holy Spirit as explained in the Bible and Church teachings. This covers celibacy for the sake of consecrated religious life, the ministerial priesthood, and purity in same-sex attractions.

“Not everyone can grasp this teaching”, Jesus said, and he explained why: We have to be given the understanding of it by the Holy Spirit. We should obey God even without understanding, but isn’t it better to ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand? To hear the Spirit’s voice, we have to be willing to humbly examine our own views and let go of whatever is not of God.

In his comments about divorce, Jesus says that unlawful marriages are not real marriages and therefore no adultery is committed when divorce and remarriage occurs. An example is when a spouse’s conduct is abusive and there is no ability or intention to love as Jesus loves; this fatal flaw probably existed from the start, and therefore the marriage was never valid.

A holy marriage permanently unites one man and one woman — physically, emotionally, and spiritually — as a representation of Christ’s love for his Bride. Who is Christ’s Bride? All Christians, as one holy, apostolic Church. Marriage is a vocation, a calling to prove to the unbelieving and confused world that God’s love and faithfulness are real.

A holy marriage is a testimony of God’s salvation plan. The entire salvation story in the Bible is the story of marriage, from Adam and Eve’s union and then the sin that damaged their unity with God, to the Israelites’ repeated unfaithfulness and recommitments to Yahweh, to Jesus’ unity with us and his sacrificial death to rescue us.

Human marriages go through the same struggles. Only by the grace of God, which is available to all who want it, can marriages survive the many temptations of division. This is why having a sacramental marriage is so very important. A sacrament is the active presence of Christ doing something supernatural in our lives.

A holy marriage exemplifies the Eucharist. God has gifted couples with a physical desire that binds their unity: “The two become one flesh.” At every Catholic Mass, we the Bride of Christ become “one flesh” with Jesus in the Eucharist.

In each of our vocations, married or celibate, we are all called to become fully united to our Eternal Spouse and show the world what a loving union really means.

What are you doing to promote holy marriage? We need — now more than ever — to stand strong as a unified Church to turn the tide of worldly influences back to what is healthy for children, couples, and society. If you agree, please sign our petition of support for God’s plan for marriage ( Visit and tell others about our website on the Vocation of Marriage ( And subscribe to and recommend my Reflections for Couples ( – Read the source:

Reflection 9 – St. Louis of Toulouse (1274-1297 A.D.)

When he died at the age of 23, Louis was already a Franciscan, a bishop and a saint!

Louis’s parents were Charles II of Naples and Sicily and Mary, daughter of the King of Hungary. Louis was related to St. Louis IX on his father’s side and to Elizabeth of Hungary on his mother’s side.

Louis showed early signs of attachment to prayer and to the corporal works of mercy. As a child he used to take food from the castle to feed the poor. When he was 14, Louis and two of his brothers were taken as hostages to the king of Aragon’s court as part of a political deal involving Louis’s father. At the court Louis was tutored by Franciscan friars under whom he made great progress both in his studies and in the spiritual life. Like St. Francis he developed a special love for those afflicted with leprosy.

While he was still a hostage, Louis decided to renounce his royal title and become a priest. When he was 20, he was allowed to leave the king of Aragon’s court. He renounced his title in favor of his brother Robert and was ordained the next year. Very shortly after, he was appointed bishop of Toulouse, but the pope agreed to Louis’s request to become a Franciscan first.

The Franciscan spirit pervaded Louis. “Jesus Christ is all my riches; he alone is sufficient for me,” Louis kept repeating. Even as a bishop he wore the Franciscan habit and sometimes begged. He assigned a friar to offer him correction — in public if necessary — and the friar did his job.

Louis’s service to the Diocese of Toulouse was richly blessed. In no time he was considered a saint. Louis set aside 75 percent of his income as bishop to feed the poor and maintain churches. Each day he fed 25 poor people at his table.

Louis was canonized in 1317 by Pope John XXII, one of his former teachers.


When Cardinal Hugolino, the future Pope Gregory IX, suggested to Francis that some of the friars would make fine bishops, Francis protested that they might lose some of their humility and simplicity if appointed to those positions. Those two virtues are needed everywhere in the Church, and Louis shows us how they can be lived out by bishops.


“All the faithful were edified by the fervor of his devout celebration of Mass, the efficacy of his deep humility, his tender compassion, his upright life, the harmonious congruity in all his actions, words and bearing. Who without wonderment could look upon a most charming young man, the son of so mighty a king, outstanding for his generosity, raised to such dignity, renowned for his influence, preeminent for humility, living a life of such mortification, endowed with such wisdom, clothed in so poor a habit yet renowned for the charm of his discourse and a shining example of upright life?” (contemporary biography).

Read the source:

Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
426px-San Luigi di Toulouse PieroDellaFrancesca.jpg

Saint Louis of Toulouse, by Piero della Francesca
BORN February 9, 1274
Brignoles, France
DIED August 19, 1297 (aged 23)
Brignoles, France
VENERATED IN Roman Catholic Church
CANONIZED April 7, 1317 by John XXII
FEAST 19 August
ATTRIBUTES boy bishop, often with a discarded crown by his feet; represented vested in pontifical garments and holding a book and a crosier
PATRONAGE ValenciaMission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Saint Louis of Toulouse (9 February 1274 – 19 August 1297) was a cadet of the royal French house of Anjou who was made a Catholic bishop.


He was born in BrignolesProvence, (or in Italy, at Nocera, where he spent a part of his early life), the second son ofCharles of Anjou “the Lame” and Maria Arpad of Hungary,[1] daughter of the King Stephen V of Hungary. His father was appointed King of Naples by Pope Clement IV, the former secretary to Louis IX of France. The boy was himself a nephew of Saint Louis (Louis IX) and of Mary of Hungary(her great-aunt being Saint Elizabeth of Hungary), and also the aunt of Saint Louis’ mother was Saint Margaret of Hungary.

When Charles II of Naples was taken prisoner in Italy, during the war with King Peter III of Aragon that followed theSicilian Vespers, he obtained his own freedom by giving over his three sons as hostages. The boys were taken toCatalonia;where they were placed under the care of Franciscan friars for their education and held for seven years.[2]Though still held in captivity, Louis was made archbishop of Lyon as soon as he reached his majority. When his older brother died in 1295, Louis also became heir to his father’s secular titles; however, when he was freed that same year, Louis went to Rome and gave up all claims to his royal inheritance in favor of his brother Robert of Anjou and announced that instead he would take the Franciscan vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

On 5 February 1297, Louis was also consecrated Bishop of Toulouse, where his uncle, Alphonse of Toulouse had until recently been Count, but had died in 1271 leaving no heir. In this ambivalently dynastic and ecclesiastical position, in a territory between Provence and Aquitaine that was essential to Angevin interests, despite the princely standing that had won him this important appointment at the age of about 22, Louis rapidly gained a reputation for serving the poor, feeding the hungry, and ignoring his own needs. After just six months, however, apparently exhausted by his labors, he abandoned the position of Bishop. Shortly thereafter, at age 23, he died of a fever, possibly typhoid, at Brignoles.

Two music theory treatises, De musicae commendacione and Sentencia in musica sonora subiecti, are sometimes attributed to him, but are now thought to be the work of Lodewijk Heyligen (1304-1361).[3]


Silver reliquary of Saint Louis of Toulouse (Musée de Cluny)

Saint Louis de Toulouse with the Hungarian-Anjou coat of arms on his chest. Image from theHungarian Illuminated Chronicle.

Saint Louis de Toulouse, 1450, byAntonio VivariniLouvre Museum.

Procedures for his canonization were quickly urged. His case was promoted by Pope Clement V in 1307, and he was canonized by John XXII on 7 April 1317.[4] His brother Robert at Naples who owed his crown to Louis commissioned a great altarpiece fromSimone Martini, depicting Louis with that other saint in the family, Louis IX of France.

The cult of Saint Louis of Toulouse became relevant in the Medieval Hungary. His nephew the King Charles I of Hungary (1307–1342) exalted his image and veneration, consecrating churches and a monastery in the settlement of Lippa in his honor, and giving the name of the Saint to his eldest son, which later succeeded him in the throne as Louis I of Hungary (1342–1382).

St Louis of Toulouse was not otherwise widely venerated in the rest of Europe, but the Franciscans embraced him, keeping his day in their calendar and removing his relics in 1423 to Valencia, where he was made patron saint.

He can be recognized in iconography as a boy bishop, often with a discarded crown by his feet.

polyphonic motetFlos/Celsa/Quam magnus pontifex, was written in honor of Louis’s canonization in 1317. The piece appears anonymously in the Ivrea Codex and has been attributed by modern scholars to Philippe de Vitry.


Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, a Franciscan mission in California founded in 1772, is named for him as are the surrounding city and county of San Luis Obispo, California.

Kolleg St Ludwig in Vlodrop, the Netherlands, was dedicated to him (not to be confused with Saint Louis of France, who was king of France and undertook many crusades). The college was founded by Franciscan monks in 1905. It had more than 3000 students until the college was closed and sold in 1984. The building had a large statue of Saint Ludwig of Toulouse on the front of the building. The statue has recently been removed from the building and placed beside the road side on the road from Vlodrop to the college (as a road altar) with a short inscription. The building is preserved as a national monument, even though the present owners (Transcendental Meditation movement) have torn parts of it down.[5] A Vlodrop hotel is also named for Saint Ludwig.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. Jump up^ Ronald G. Musto, Apocalypse in Rome: Cola di Rienzo and the Politics of the New Age, (University of California, 2003), 78.
  2. Jump up^ In Some Way Even More than Before: Approaches to Understanding St. Louis of Anjou, Franciscan Bishop of Toulouse, Holli J. Grieco, Center and Periphery: Studies on Power in the Medieval World in Honor of William Chester Jordan, ed. Katherine L. Jansen, G. Geltner and Anne E. Lester, (Brill, 2013), 137.
  3. Jump up^ Andreas Giger. “Ludovicus Sanctus”. In Macy, Laura. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  4. Jump up^ Poverty and Charity: Pope John XXII and the canonization of Louis of Anjou, Melanie Brunner, Franciscan Studies