Louis, Saint

Louis, Saint bishop of Toulouse, was born in February 1274, at the castle of Brignoles, in Provence. He was the second son of Charles II, the hunchbacked king of Naples, and of Mary, the daughter of Stephen V, king of Hungary; was educated by the disciples of St. Francis, took the habit of their order, and was ordained priest in 1296 at Naples, notwithstanding the solicitations of his family, who wished to have him married to the sister of the king of Aragon. From his fourteenth to his twentieth year he served as hostage to his father, and was imprisoned at Barcelona, where he was treated very cruelly. Pope Boniface VIII appointed him to the see of Toulouse, December 27, 1295, although he was not yet of the required age, and charged him with administering the diocese of Parniers. Louis divided his time between the study, works of piety, and the pastoral duties, also making great efforts to destroy the Albigenses. In 1297 he went to Paris with his father. "A princess," says one of his biographers, "sought to test his virtue; in fact, she omitted nothing to seduce him, but the holy prelate disregarded her caresses and her threatenings." He went away from the court as soon as possible, and was invited to visit Aragon and Catalonia. He resolved, however, to go to Rome, in order to surrender into the hands of the pope the burden of the episcopacy; but on arriving at Brignoles he was attacked with fever, and died August 19, 1297. His body was at first taken to Marseilles, and afterwards to Aragon. Pope John XXII, who had been the preceptor of Louis, canonized him, April 7, 1317. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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