From His Mother's Knee

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, ever reliant upon Mary our Immaculate Queen. Blanche's ambition 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-handedly 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? (Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year.)

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.

Mirroring the Catholic teaching found in Charlemagne’s speech to his nobles in 802 A.D., Saint Louis IX’s letter to his son, the future King Philip III, contains principles of right governance and conduct that should serve as the model for all civil rulers at all times, principles that will be used again once the new French monarch arises to fight Antichrist as the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is made manifest. Yes, you read this correctly. France, the elder daughter of the Catholic Church, will play a vital role in the resurrection of the Church Militant on earth just as surely as nefarious forces within her played a role in the Church’s Passion and Death in the years leading up to and then following the French Revolution, which began on July 14, 1789.

Here are some excerpts from Saint Louis IX’s letter to his son Philip:

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 in 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 immortal 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 becoming 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 things of Heaven, thus building up treasure there.

Saint Louis went on to explain to his son 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 to the services of Holy Church, and, when you are in church, avoid 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 Pope Leo XIII’s exhortation, 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 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 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 in order to seek God's will first and to help advance the cause of the common good of 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.

Saint Louis IX was a just judge who would spend 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. He outlined these principles in his letter to his son Philip:

9. Dear son, have a tender pitiful heart for the poor, and for all those whom you believe to be in misery of heart or body, and, according to your ability, comfort and aid them with some alms.

10. Maintain the good customs of your realm, and put down the bad ones. Do not oppress your people and do not burden them with tolls or tailles, except under very great necessity.

11. If you have any unrest of heart, of such a nature that it may be told, tell it to your confessor, or to some upright man who can keep your secret; you will be able to carry more easily the thought of your heart.

12. See to it that those of your household are upright and loyal, and remember the Scripture, which says: "Elige viros timentes Deum in quibus sit justicia et qui oderint avariciam"; that is to say, "Love those who serve God and who render strict justice and hate covetousness"; and you will profit, and will govern your kingdom well.

13. Dear son, see to it that all your associates are upright, whether clerics or laymen, and have frequent good converse with them; and flee the society of the bad. And listen willingly to the word of God, both in open and in secret; and purchase freely prayers and pardons.

14. Love all good, and hate all evil, in whomsoever it may be.

15. Let no one be so bold as to say, in your presence, words which attract and lead to sin, and do not permit words of detraction to be spoken of another behind his back.

16. Suffer it not that any ill be spoken of God or His saints in your presence, without taking prompt vengeance. But if the offender be a clerk or so great a person that you ought not to try him, report the matter to him who is entitled to judge it.

17. Dear son, give thanks to God often for all the good things He has done for you, so that you may be worthy to receive more, in such a manner that if it please the Lord that you come to the burden and honor of governing the kingdom, you may be worthy to receive the sacred unction wherewith the kings of France are consecrated.

18. Dear son, if you come to the throne, strive to have that which befits a king, that is to say, that in justice and rectitude you hold yourself steadfast and loyal toward your subjects and your vassals, without turning either to the right or to the left, but always straight, whatever may happen. And if a poor man have a quarrel with a rich man, sustain the poor rather than the rich, until the truth is made clear, and when you know the truth, do justice to them.

19. If any one have entered into a suit against you (for any injury or wrong which he may believe that you have done to him), be always for him and against yourself in the presence of your council, without showing that you think much of your case (until the truth be made known concerning it); for those of your council might be backward in speaking against you, and this you should not wish; and command your judges that you be not in any way upheld more than any others, for thus will your councillors judge more boldly according to right and truth.

20. If you have anything belonging to another, either of yourself or through your predecessors, if the matter is certain, give it up without delay, however great it may be, either in land or money or otherwise. If the matter is doubtful, have it inquired into by wise men, promptly and diligently. And if the affair is so obscure that you cannot know the truth, make such a settlement, by the counsels of of upright men, that your soul, and the souls of your predecessors, may be wholly freed from the affair. And even if you hear some one say that your predecessors made restitution, make diligent inquiry to learn if anything remains to be restored; and if you find that such is the case, cause it to be delivered over at once, for the liberation of your soul and the souls of your predecessors. 

21. You should seek earnestly how your vassals and your subjects may live in peace and rectitude beneath your sway; likewise, the good towns and the good cities of your kingdom. And preserve them in the estate and the liberty in which your predecessors kept them, redress it, and if there be anything to amend, amend and preserve their favor and their love. For it is by the strength and the riches of your good cities and your good towns that the native and the foreigner, especially your peers and your barons, are deterred from doing ill to you. I will remember that Paris and the good towns of my kingdom aided me against the barons, when I was newly crowned.

22. Honor and love all the people of Holy Church, and be careful that no violence be done to them, and that their gifts and alms, which your predecessors have bestowed upon them, be not taken away or diminished. And I wish here to tell you what is related concerning King Philip, my ancestor, as one of his council, who said he heard it, told it to me. The king, one day, was with his privy council, and he was there who told me these words. And one of the king's councillors said to him how much wrong and loss he suffered from those of Holy Church, in that they took away his rights and lessened the jurisdiction of his court; and they marveled greatly how he endured it. And the good king answered: "I am quite certain that they do me much wrong, but when I consider the goodnesses and kindnesses which God has done me, I had rather that my rights should go, than have a contention or awaken a quarrel with Holy Church." And this I tell to you that you may not lightly believe anything against the people of Holy Church; so love them and honor them and watch over them that they may in peace do the service of our Lord.

23. Moreover, I advise you to love dearly the clergy, and, so far as you are able, do good to them in their necessities, and likewise love those by whom God is most honored and served, and by whom the Faith is preached and exalted.

24. Dear son, I advise that you love and reverence your father and your mother, willingly remember and keep their commandments, and be inclined to believe their good counsels.

25. Love your brothers, and always wish their well-being and their good advancement, and also be to them in the place of a father, to instruct them in all good. But be watchful lest, for the love which you bear to one, you turn aside from right doing, and do to the others that which is not meet.

26. Dear son, I advise you to bestow the benefices of Holy Church which you have to give, upon good persons, of good and clean life, and that you bestow them with the high counsel of upright men. And I am of the opinion that it is preferable to give them to those who hold nothing of Holy Church, rather than to others. For, if you inquire diligently, you will find enough of those who have nothing who will use wisely that entrusted to them. 

Saint Louis IX, quite unlike the war-happy leaders of the past century who have considered war to be a first resort to the resolution of international conflicts and disputes rather than a regrettable last resort after all peaceful means to avoid armed military conflict have been exhausted, adhered to the principles of the Just War Theory, outlined below, that would be defended by Saint Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica:

27. Dear son, I advise you that you try with all your strength to avoid warring against any Christian man, unless he have done you too much ill. And if wrong be done you, try several ways to see if you can find how you can secure your rights, before you make war; and act thus in order to avoid the sins which are committed in warfare. 

28. And if it fall out that it is needful that you should make war (either because some one of your vassals has failed to plead his case in your court, or because he has done wrong to some church or to some poor person, or to any other person whatsoever, and is unwilling to make amends out of regard for you, or for any other reasonable cause), whatever the reason for which it is necessary for you to make war, give diligent command that the poor folk who have done no wrong or crime be protected from damage to their vines, either through fire or otherwise, for it were more fitting that you should constrain the wrongdoer by taking his own property (either towns or castles, by force of siege), than that you should devastate the property of poor people. And be careful not to start the war before you have good counsel that the cause is most reasonable, and before you have summoned the offender to make amends, and have waited as long as you should. And if he ask mercy, you ought to pardon him, and accept his amends, so that God may be pleased with you.

29. Dear son, I advise you to appease wars and contentions, whether they be yours or those of your subjects, just as quickly as may be, for it is a thing most pleasing to our Lord. And Monsignore Martin gave us a very great example of this. For, one time, when our Lord made it known to him that he was about to die, he set out to make peace between certain clerks of his archbishopric, and he was of the opinion that in so doing he was giving a good end to life.

One can see that Saint Louis IX’s advice to his son was a cogent summary of the following principles of the Just War Theory that must, of course, be applied in the concrete circumstances by leaders, meaning that errors in judgment are bound to be made now and again given the nature of fallen creatures. It is nevertheless true that there must be a real consideration of these factors, something that Saint Louis IX, just man that he was, understood entirely.

1)   There must be a wound to justice that poses a real and imminent threat to the good order of nations and/or to the territorial integrity or well-being of innocents by an aggressor. The threat must be real, not imaginary, not concocted for political purposes. 

2)   All peaceful means to avoid armed hostilities must be exhausted. Diplomatic efforts to avert war must be genuine. It was the Holy Father himself who attempted to broker disputes in order to avoid war during the Middle Ages and at various times thereafter.

3)   A duly constituted authority must make the determinations concerning the waging of war. This means that a legitimate governing authority, one that has not usurped power or which seeks war unjustly to prosecute plans of territorial expansion and/or nationalistic or ideological ends, guided by right intentions and right principles must be in charge of the decision-making process.

4)   The goals of a war must be well-defined and have a reasonable chance of being realized. In other words, there must be a reasonable chance for success in the pursuit of narrowly defined goals. Goals are to be defined narrowly so as to limit the harm caused by a needlessly protracted war, yes, even when a nation is prosecuting a just cause.

5)   The good end being sought must not be outweighed by the foreseen evil to be done. This is known as the Catholic principle of proportionality, which states that a good end can be rendered unjust to pursue if a judgment is made that the amount of the foreseen evil to be done in the prosecution of a just war will cause greater evils than the one the war is being waged to eradicate. This is different than the heresy of proportionalism (heretics use Catholic sounding phrases so as to connect themselves in the minds of Catholics as understanding Catholic principles), which asserts that a preponderance of "good intentions" and of the "relative exigencies of the moment" can make a moral act that is naturally evil capable of being pursued justly on the part of one who believes the weight of the evidence in his case justifies a subjective violation of an objective moral law to do good. Thus, proportionalism, which has been propounded by the late Father Richard McCormick, S.J. (not to be confused with the priest from the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, who foments dissent at the Universityof Notre Dame and in his nationally syndicated columns, Father Richard McBrien), can be used by a woman to justify the killing of her preborn child. After all, more good will be done in her life by killing the child than if she permitted him to interfere unduly with her life's goals.

6)   As far as is possible, noncombatants must never be deliberately targeted in warfare. The United States has a mixed record when it comes to the realization of this part of the Just War Theory. Our military forces have tried to use remarkable restraint in many instances. Other times, however, they have not. William Tecumseh Sherman used raw terrorism against civilian population centers as he cut a swath of fiery destruction from the Atlantic Ocean to Atlanta during the War between the States. As noted earlier, we aided bloodthirsty revolutionaries in Mexico. Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki (the latter two of which were known to contain the highest concentrations of Catholics in Japan) were bombed during World War II. Something less than laser precision caused thousands of civilian casualties during the Gulf War and during our continued bombing in Afghanistan, which commenced on October 7, 2001, and during and after the American invasion and occupation of Iraq on March 20, 2003.

7)   A just cessation to hostilities must be realized as soon as possible. Once again, the record of the United States in this regard is very mixed. The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was done so as to force an unconditional surrender from Japan, something that the Soviets insisted on in the Potsdam Conference as their condition for entering the war against Japan (so that they could recover claims lost in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05.) Japan was willing to surrender conditionally. Those who are convinced of their absolute moral and racial superiority over others, though, cannot consider ending hostilities even if it is possible to conclude a peace that is just without having humiliated one's enemies.

The final part of Saint Louis IX’s letter to his son Philip deals with the care that a civil ruler must take to see to the good administration of his own government and that he is a good son of the Vicar of Christ:

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. Further the right with all your strength. Moreover I admonish you that you strive most earnestly to show your gratitude for the benefits which our Lord has bestowed upon you, and that you may know how to give Him thanks therefore.

33. Dear son, take care that the expenses of your household are reasonable and moderate, and that its moneys are justly obtained. And there is one opinion that I deeply wish you to entertain, that is to say, that you keep yourself free from foolish expenses and evil exactions, and that your money should be well expended and well acquired. And this opinion, together with other opinions which are suitable and profitable, I pray that our Lord may teach you.

34. Finally, most sweet son, I conjure and require you that, if it please our Lord that I should die before you, you have my soul succored with masses and orisons, and that you send through the congregations of the kingdom of France, and demand their prayers for my soul, and that you grant me a special and full part in all the good deeds which you perform.

35. In conclusion, dear son, I give you all the blessings which a good and tender father can give to a son, and I pray our Lord Jesus Christ, by His mercy, by the prayers and merits of His blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, and of angels and archangels and of all the saints, to guard and protect you from doing anything contrary to His will, and to give you grace to do it always, so that He may be honored and served by you. And this may He do to me as to you, by His great bounty, so that after this mortal life we may be able to be together with Him in the eternal life, and see Him, love Him, and praise Him without end. Amen. And glory, honor, and praise be to Him who is one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit; without beginning and without end. Amen. (From Saint Louis' Advice to His Son, in Medieval Civilization, trans. and eds. Dana Munro and George Clarke Sellerym New York: The Century Company, 1910, pp. 366-375.)

No, a confessional 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.

It is good to consider just the following passage, noting the great leader of France during most of the Thirteenth Century, Saint Louis IX, summarized the whole of the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ when he wrote:

31. 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 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, as noted just above, Saint Louis admonished his son as follows:

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, as he condemned the law of separation of Church and State that had been passed in Saint Louis IX’s beloved country of France by the successors of the French revolutionaries.

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. (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)

The Catholic spirit of the Middle Ages, that era in which men worked long and hard to build the great cathedrals and churches and shrines and in which men took great pains to provide us with beautiful works of art and composed music that lifted the human soul to Heaven, is far from the anti- Incarnational, naturalistic and semi-Pelagian spirit of Modernity that has been embraced by the lords of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. For far from upholding the immutable teaching of the Catholic Church that has condemned the separation of the Church and State, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has endorsed this thesis, which was termed absolutely false by Pope Saint Pius X. So has Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis. Something that is absolutely false and a most pernicious error in 1906 does not become true and good a century later. Truth is immutable because God Himself is immutable.

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 have been so corrupt and incompetent as to help create the conditions for the rise of faithful band of Mohammedan murders, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? 

No, the spirit of Saint Louis IX, King of France, is not the spirit of Christ the King that motivated George W. Bush and his Skull and Bones/Judeo-Masonic/Americanist beliefs that impelled him to attempt 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.)

This is the precise point that is made in Conversion in Reverse: How the Ethos of Americanism Converted Catholics (which now has the added bonus of page numbers). This is the point that I have tried to make repeatedly throughout the course of the past twenty-five years or so, and this is the point that was made by Father Edward Leen in The Holy Ghost:

A shudder of apprehension is traversing the world which still retains its loyalty to Jesus expressing Himself through the authority of His Church. That apprehension has not its sole cause the sight of the horrors that the world has witnessed in recent years in both hemispheres. Many Christians are beginning to feel that perhaps all may not be right with themselves. There is solid reason for this fear. The contemplation of the complete and reasoned abandonment of all hitherto accepted human values that has taken place in Russia and is taking place elsewhere, causes a good deal of anxious soul-searching. It is beginning to be dimly perceived that in social life, as it is lived, even in countries that have not as yet definitely broken with Christianity, there lie all the possibilities of what has become actual in Bolshevism. A considerable body of Christians, untrained in the Christian philosophy of life, are allowing themselves to absorb principles which undermine the constructions of Christian thought. They do not realise how much dangerous it is for Christianity to exist in an atmosphere of Naturalism than to be exposed to positive persecution. In the old days of the Roman Empire those who enrolled themselves under the standard of Christ saw, with logical clearness, that they had perforce to cut themselves adrift from the social life of the world in which they lived--from its tastes, practices and amusements. The line of demarcation between pagan and Christian life was sharp, clearly defined and obvious. Modern Christians have not been so favorably situated. As has been stated already, the framework of the Christian social organisation has as yet survived. This organisation is, to outward appearances, so solid and imposing that it is easy to be blind to the truth that the soul had gradually gone out of it. Under the shelter and utilising the resources of the organisation of life created by Christianity, customs, ways of conduct, habits of thought, have crept in, more completely perhaps, at variance with the spirit of Christianity than even the ways and manners of pagan Rome.

This infiltration of post-Christian paganism has been steady but slow, and at each stage is imperceptible. The Christian of to-day thinks that he is living in what is to all intents and purposes a Christian civilisation. Without misgivings he follows the current of social life around him. His amusements, his pleasures, his pursuits, his games, his books, his papers, his social and political ideas are of much the same kind as are those of the people with whom he mingles, and who may not have a vestige of a Christian principle left in their minds. He differs merely from them in that he holds to certain definite religious truths and clings to certain definite religious practices. But apart from this there is not any striking contrast in the outward conduct of life between Christian and non-Christian in what is called the civilised world. Catholics are amused by, and interested in, the very same things that appeal to those who have abandoned all belief in God. The result is a growing divorce between religion and life in the soul of the individual Christian. Little by little his faith ceases to be a determining effect on the bulk of his ideas, judgments and decisions that have relation to what he regards as his purely "secular" life. His physiognomy as a social being no longer bears trace of any formative effect of the beliefs he professes. And his faith rapidly becomes a thing of tradition and routine and not something which is looked to as a source of a life that is real.

The Bolshevist Revolution has had one good effect. It has awakened the averagely good Christian to the danger runs in allowing himself to drift with the current of social life about him. It has revealed to him the precipice towards which he has was heading by shaping his worldly career after principles the context of which the revolution has mercilessly exposed and revealed to be at variance with real Christianity. The sincerely religious--and there are many such still--are beginning to realise that if they are to live as Christians they must react violently against the milieu in which they live. It is beginning to be felt that one cannot be a true Christian and live as the bulk of men in civilised society are living. It is clearly seen that "life" is not to be found along those ways by which the vast majority of men are hurrying to disillusionment and despair. Up to the time of the recent cataclysm the average unreflecting Christian dwelt in the comfortable illusion that he could fall in with the ways of the world about him here, and, by holding on to the practices of religion, arrange matters satisfactorily for the hereafter. That illusion is dispelled. It is coming home to the discerning Christian that their religion is not a mere provision for the future. There is a growing conviction that it is only through Christianity lived integrally that the evils of the present time can be remedied and disaster in the time to come averted. (Father Edward Leen, The Holy Ghost, published in 1953 by Sheed and Ward, pp. 6-9.)

No, it's just crazy old Droleskey who writes these things. This much hated and reviled writer is only attempting to give voice, however poorly, to the simple Catholic truth summarized so clearly by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique on August 15, 1910:

Here we have, founded by Catholics, an inter-denominational association that is to work for the reform of civilization, an undertaking which is above all religious in character; for there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact. (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)

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.” (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year.)

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.