Monday, 25 August 2008

Memorial of Saint Louis IX of France and Saint Joseph Calasanctius

So who are these saints? Let's look to Wikipedia:

- Saint Louis IX is the only canonized King of France - often considered the model of the ideal Christian monarch
- born on 25 April 1214 at Poissy (near Paris)
- crowned king at age of 12 when his father died on November 8 1226 - his mother ruled France as regent during his minority
- died at Tunis on August 25 1270, canonized by Pope Boniface VIII in 1297
- exemplary religious deeds:
  • built the Sainte-Chapelle ("Holy Chapel") as a shrine for the Crown of Thorns and a fragment of the True Cross, precious relics of the Passion of Jesus
  • conducted two crusades, in 1248 (Seventh Crusade) and then again in 1270 (Eighth Crusade), both were complete disasters
  • expanded the scope of the Inquisition in France, especially against the Cathar heresy

- Saint Joseph Calasanctius, a.k.a Joseph Calasanz, José de Calasanz, and Josephus a Matre Dei, was the founder of the Pious Schools and the Order of the Piarists
- born in Peralta de la Sal, Aragon, on September 11, 1557
- ordained priest on 17 December 1583 after recovering from a serious sickness
- began his ministry in the Diocese of AlbarracĂ­n, where Bishop dela Figuera appointed him his theologian and confessor, synodal examiner and procurator
- joined the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in Rome - gathered the boys from the streets and brought them to school- in November 1597, opened the first free public school in Europe (a radical break from the class privileges involving education that kept the masses marginalized and in poverty) - opened “Pious Schools” in the center of Rome in 1600
- rented a house at Sant'Andrea della Valle in 1602, commenced a community life with his assistants, and laid the foundation of the Order of the Pious Schools or Piarists
- in 1610 wrote the Document Princeps in which the fundamental principles of his educational philosophy were set out - the text was accompanied by regulations for teachers and for students
- the Congregation of the Pious Schools (the first religious institute dedicated essentially to teaching) was made a religious order with all the privileges of the mendicant orders on 18 November 1621 by a Brief of Gregory XV under the name of Ordo Clericorum regularium pauperum Matris Dei Scholarum Piarum
- was a friend of Galileo Galilei- shared and defended Galileo's controversial view of the cosmos
- factors including opposition to the Piarist education of the poor by many among the governing classes in society and in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, internal struggles within the order, and the Piarists' espousal of Galileo's heliocentrism, led to Calasanctius' removal from office
- died on August 25 1648 and buried in the church of San Pantaleo- 8 years later Pope Alexander VII cleared the name of the Pious Schools
- beatified in 1748, canonized on 16 July 1767, and declared Universal Patron of all Christian popular schools in the world on August 13th 1948


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