St. Louis, King and Confessor
"Despising the pleasures of the world, he only strove to please Jesus Christ, the true King" (Collect), "and was," says Bossuet, "the holiest and most just king who has ever worn the crown."
Assiduous in attending the offices of the Church, he ordered them to be solemnly celebrated in his palace where every day he heard two masses. At midnight he rose for Matins and began his royal day with the office of Prime. He introduced into his chapel the custom of genuflecting at the words in the Creed: Et homo factus est, and of bowing down humbly at the passage in the Passion when Jesus expires. Both these pious practices were adopted by the Church. "They impute to me as a crime my assiduity at prayer," he would say, "but not a word would be said if I gave to play or to the hunt the hours I give to prayer." But never did his piety hinder him from devoting to the affairs of the kingdom the greater part of his time.
Having recovered from a serious illness he made a vow to undertake a crusade to reconquer Jerusalem. At first victorious, he fell at last into the hands of the Saracens. Restored to freedom, he remained five years in the East helping the Christians. On his return to France, he made many pious foundations and built the Sainte Chapelle, as a precious reliquary for the holy crown of thorns and the important particle of the true Cross which Baldwin II, Emperor of Constantinople, had presented to him. Most austere himself, he was most charitable to others, and used to say: "It is more meet for a king to ruin himself in alms for God's sake than in pomp and vain glory." "Often," says Joinville, "I have seen the good king, after Mass, go to the wood at Vincennes, sit down at the foot of an oak-tree and there listen to all who had to speak to him."
A servant of Christ, he continually wore the cross to show that his vow remained unaccomplished. He undertook in 1270 another crusade, but an epidemic decimated his army near Tunis and struck him down. With his arms crossed and lying on a bed of ashes, he gave up his soul to God in 1270, at the same hour that Christ died on the cross. He was heard to repeat the day before his death: "We shall go to Jerusalem." It was in reality to heavenly Jerusalem, conquered by his patience in the midst of his adversities, where he was to reign with the King of kings (Collect).
Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquetur judicium; lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart. * Be not emulous of evildoers: nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:30-31,1 from the Introit of Mass)
Deus, qui beatum Ludovi cum Confessorem tuum de terreno regno ad caelestis regni gloriam transtulisti: ejus, quaesumus, meritis et intercessione, Regis regum Jesu Christi Filii tui facias nos esse consortes.
O God, who didst remove blessed Louis, Thy confessor, from an earthly throne to the glory of Thy heavenly kingdom; grant, we beseech Thee, through his merits and prayers, that we may be permitted to share in the kingdom of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, the King of kings.
From the Catholic Encylopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09368a.htm