Letter of King St Louis IX to his son Philip

St. Louis' letter of advice to advice his eldest son, the later Philip III provides us with some insight into the attitudes of one of the most Holy and important French kings. While there has been some questions about its authorship, even if not by the hand of Louis IX, it does reflect a mindset which, despite the pieties of the language, puts forth some real concept of kingship - with regard to justice, administration, the various classes, towns and the Church. I tis certain Louis XVI attempted to show the same holiness piety as did his ancestor St Louis. This letter is more than just a letter to Philip it is a letter to all leaders. Would that they follow this advise.

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 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.

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 everthing 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.

8. Dear son, I advise you that you listen willingly and devoutly the services of Holy Church, and, when you are in church, avoid to 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.

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.

!6. 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 counsel of s of upright men, that your soul, and the soul 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.

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 amende, 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.

30. Seek diligently, most sweet son, to have good baillis and good prevots in your land, and inquire frequently concerning their doings, and how they conduct themselves, and if they administer justice well, and do no wrong to any one, nor anything which they ought not do. Inquire more often concerning those of your household if they be too covetous or too arrogant; for it is natural that the members should seek to imitate their chief; that is, when the master is wise and well-behaved, all those of his household follow his example and prefer it. For however much you ought to hate evil in others, you shoud have more hatred for the evil which comes from those who derive their power from you, than you bear to the evil of others; and the more ought you to be on your guard and prevent this from happening.

3!. 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 the reverence and honor which you owe to your spiritual father.

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.

33. Further the right with all your strength. Moreover I admonish you 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

34. 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.

35. 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.

36. 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.

Baby pictures

..............Je M'appelle Eugenie du Carmel de Bourbon.............

Ségolène Royal maybe a Madame Royal but she is not the Madame Royale.

HRH Blog is here

Marie-Antoinette: a reputation in shreds

Elena Maria Vidal shares her views on the recent Coppola fim Marie-Antoinette. The calumnies continue in this film...

She is the queen who danced while the people starved; who spent extravagantly on clothes and jewels without a thought for her subjects’ plight. Such is the distorted but widespread view of Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France (1755-1793), wife of King Louis XVI. The recent Coppola film has further damaged the image of the much-maligned, beautiful and charming Austrian archduchess, sent to France at age fourteen to marry the fifteen-year-old Dauphin. Sadly, the picture many people now have of Marie-Antoinette is of her running through Versailles with a glass of champagne in her hand, eating bonbons all day long, and rolling in the bushes with a lover. more


Louis XX

Monseigneur le Prince Louis de Bourbon, Duc d’Anjou et Madame la Princesse Marie-Marguerite, Duchesse d’Anjou à la messe annuelle de fondation des Invalides.

Cliquez ici pour visionner l'album photo.

Vive le Roy!
de Brantigny

King George III

Today is the anniversary of the coronation of King George III in 1760.

God Save the King!


Today in French History

This date in AD 996, King Hugues Capet dies.

This date in AD 1260 - Cathedral of Chartres dedicated in the presence of King St. Louis IX
................................King St Louis IX ..............................

This date in AD 1360 - Hundred Years' War: Treaty of Brétigny ratified at Calais, marking the end of the first phase of the war

A royal conversion

In 1670 the wife of the then Duke of York and future James II converted to the Old Faith only months before her death. It was her conversion which acted so strongly upon the soul of the then anti-Catholic James, our last ruling Catholic monarch of Britain. His brother, Charles II, ironically enough had come to the conviction that the Catholic faith was the True Faith much earlier in 1651, but would not declare it publicly until just before his death for fear of losing his opportunity to restore fully the prerogatives of the British monarch after the Restoration. James, as Belloc relates, told Charles to go public with his convictions, to publicly enter the Church, but with tears in his eyes he told his younger brother he could not bring himself to do so.

Belloc tells us, in Charles II: The Last Rally, that when James was told "to be Catholic forbade concealment he accepted Authority at once and thenceforward never wavered."

Charles on the other hand asked James to hide his faith and to partake in the Anglican communion to which James, the Duke of York replied, "By the Grace of God I will never do so base a thing."

Belloc tells us that Charles "heard that iron phrase. Charles in his heart most vehemently agreed. But Charles did not follow. His business of this world was still the more important in his eyes."

There is two lines in which Belloc uses to describe the courageous movement of James forward and I found myself reading them several times over.

He writes, "Such was the process by which the Duke of York went through those gates which closed behind him, which shut him out of his own people. Such was the road down which he went to his passion of abandonment, dethronement and exile."

If there should be any doubt that James suffered for his faith, for the Faith, let us recall just one fact. His own daughter betrayed him and usurped the throne sending him into exile. James was want to say, "Could it be possible?" for it came as a grave shock that his child "had deserted him".

Ultimately we know that the Holy Ghost was behind his conversion but as I have aforementioned it was James' first wife, Anne Hyde who had been the human element in his conversion. It is fitting then to close with her letter publicly confessing the Old Faith.

The Letter of Her Highness the Duchess of York

It is so reasonable to expect, that a Person always Bred up in the Church of England, and as well instructed in the Doctrine of it, as the best Divines and her capacity could make her, should be liable to many Censures, for leaving That and making herself a Member of the Roman-Catholick Church to which I confess, I was one of the greatest Enemies it ever had. That I choose rather to endeavour to satisfie my Friends, by reading this Paper, than to have the trouble to answer all the Questions that may daily be asked me. And First, I do protest in the presence of Almighty God that no Person, Man or Woman Directly or Indirectly ever said anything to me (since I came into England) or us'd the least endeavour to make me change my Religion: it is a Blessing I owe wholly to Almighty God, and I hope the hearing of a Prayer I daily made him, ever since I was in France and Flanders; Where seeing much of the Devotion of the Catholicks (tho' I had very little my self) I made it my continual Request to Almighty God, That if I were not, I might before I died, be in the true Religion. I did not in the least doubt but that I was so, and never had any manner of Scruple till November last: When reading a Book call'd The History of the Reformation, by Doctor Heylyn, which I had heard very much commended, and had been told, if ever I had any Doubt in my Religion, that would settle me: instead of which I found it the Description of the horridest Sacriledges in the World, and could find no Reason why we left the Church, but for Three the most Abominable ones that were ever heard of amongst Christians: First, Henry the Eighth re-nounces the Pope's Authority, because he would not give him leave to part with his Wife, and marry another in her lifetime.

Secondly, Edward the Sixth was a Child, and governed by his Uncle, who made his Estate out of the Church Lands. And then Queen Elizabeth, who being no Lawful Heiress to the Crown, could have no way to keep it, but by renouncing a Church that could never suffer so Unlawful a thing to be done by one of her children. I confess, I cannot think the Holy Ghost could ever be in such Counsels. And it is very strange that if the Bishops had no Design, but (as they say) the restoring to us the Doctrine of the Primitive Church, they should never think upon it till Henry the Eighth made the Breach upon so unlawful a Pretence.

These Scruples being rais'd I begun to consider of the Difference between the Catholicks and Us, and Examin'd them as well as I could by the Holy Scripture: which I do not pretend to be able to understand, yet there are some things I found so easie, that I cannot but wonder I had been so long without finding them out:

As the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, the Infallibility of the Church, Confession and Praying for the Dead. After this, I spoke severally to Two of the best Bishops we have in England, who both told me, there were many things in the Roman Church, which (it were very much to be wish'd) we had kept; As Confession, which was, no doubt, Commanded by God: That Praying for the Dead was one of the Ancient things in Christianity:

That for their parts, they did it daily, tho' they would not own it. And afterwards, pressing one of them very much upon the other Points, he told me. That if he had been bred a Catholick, he would not change his Religion, but that being of another Church, wherein, he was sure, were all things necessary to Salvation, he thought it very ill to give that Scandal, as to leave that Church, wherein he had receiv'd his Baptism.

All these Discourses did but add more to the Desire I had to be a Catholick, and gave me the most terrible Agonies in the world, within my self. For all this, fearing to be rash in a Matter of that Weight, I did all I could to satisfie my self: made it my daily Prayer to God to settle me in the Right, and so went on Christmas-day to receive in the King's Chappel: after which, I was more troubled than ever, and could never be in quiet till I had told my Desire to a Catholick; who brought a Priest to me, and that was the First I ever did Converse with, upon my Word. The more I spoke to him, the more I was Confirm'd in my Design; and as it is impossible for me to doubt of the words of our Blessed Saviour, who says the Holy Sacrament is His Body and Blood; so I cannot believe, that He who is the Author of all Truth, and who had promis'd to be with his Church to the End of the World, would permit them to give that Holy Mystery to the Laity but in one Kind, if it were not Lawful so to do.

I am not able, or if I were, would I enter into Disputes with any Body: I only in short say this for the changing of my Religion, which I take God to Witness I would never have done, if I had thought it possible to Save my Soul otherwise. I think I need not say it is any interest in this World, leads me to it. It will be plain enough to everybody, that I must lose all the Friends and Credit I have here, by it, and have very well weighed which I could best part with, my share in this World, or the next: I thank God, I found no difficulty in the Choice. My only Prayer, is That the poor Catholicks of this Nation may not suffer for my being of their Religion; that God would but give me Patience to bear them, and then send me my Afflictions in this World, so I may enjoy a Blessed Eternity hereafter.

St. James's Aug. 20. 1670.

This article is taken, with thanks, from the "Catholic Monarcist Group" With permission from the author, Mark Amesse

Quotations are taken from Belloc's Charles II: The Last Rally.
They are found in the chapter entitled "The Sunken Reef".


Redux: Harry Potter

Yesterday must have been a slow news day.

When I was young I remember the disk jockeys breaking Beatles records because John said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Oh how times have changed...

The last time I wrote about Harry Potter I was roundly abused. I remember statements to me like, "No! It's the story about good versus evil." I replied then and I reiterate, the Harry Potter books are intrinsically evil as are the Harry Potter movies. They portray life through the eyes of witches and wizards. They say everything will be fine as long as we can use magic. In a word the God factor is factored out... And so today, I add the following to my blog;

NEW YORK (AP) -- Harry Potter fans, the rumors are true: Albus Dumbledore, master wizard and Headmaster of Hogwarts, is gay.

Dumbledore, played by Michael Gambon, was in love with his male rival, the author of Harry Potter books says.

J.K. Rowling, author of the mega-selling fantasy series that ended last summer, outed the beloved character Friday night while appearing before a full house at Carnegie Hall. After reading briefly from the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she took questions from audience members.

She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds "true love."

"Dumbledore is gay," the author responded to gasps and applause. (What!,?)

Questions to ask yourself when purchasing a Harry Potter book..

If Dumbledore is a homosexual and is a good guy then, there must be nothing abnormal about it is there, right?

If a headmaster or school principle is homosexual should I be worried about what my kids are taught in that school?

What is the author's motive for portraying a homosexual in books, which on the 1st day of each day of publication sale cause people, many of which are young children, to line up for days for a copy?

Is this what I want my children and granchildren to read?

Is it only a book, with a good story line?

The Summa defines scandal

Charles of Austria

His feast being yesterday, however I usually do not blog on Sundays as it is my day of rest, I was remiss in not placing an article in my blog. I beg pardon.

Charles of Austria was born August 17, 1887, in the Castle of Persenbeug in the region of Lower Austria. His parents were the Archduke Otto and Princess Maria Josephine of Saxony, daughter of the last King of Saxony. Emperor Francis Joseph I was Charles' Great Uncle.

Charles was given an expressly Catholic education and the prayers of a group of persons accompanied him from childhood, since a stigmatic nun prophesied that he would undergo great suffering and attacks would be made against him. That is how the “League of prayer of the Emperor Charles for the peace of the peoples” originated after his death. In 1963 it became a prayer community ecclesiastically recognized.

A deep devotion to the Holy Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus began to grow in Charles. He turned to prayer before making any important decisions.

On the 21st of October, 1911, he married Princess Zita* of Bourbon and Parma. The couple was blessed with eight children during the ten years of their happy and exemplary married life. Charles still declared to Zita on his deathbed: “I'll love you forever.”

Charles became heir to the throne of the Austro‑Hungarian Empire on June 28, 1914, following the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand.

World War I was underway and with the death of the Emperor Francis Joseph, on November 21, 1916 Charles became Emperor of Austria. On December 30th he was crowned apostolic King of Hungary.

Charles envisaged this office also as a way to follow Christ: in the love and care of the peoples entrusted to him, and in dedicating his life to them.

He placed the most sacred duty of a king - a commitment to peace - at the center of his preoccupations during the course of the terrible war. He was the only one among political leaders to support Benedict XV's peace efforts.

As far as domestic politics are concerned, despite the extremely difficult times he initiated wide and exemplary social legislation, inspired by social Christian teaching.

Thanks to his conduct, the transition to a new order at the end of the conflict was made possible without a civil war. He was however banished from his country.

The Pope feared the rise of communist power in central Europe, and expressed the wish that Charles re‑establish the authority of his government in Hungary. But two attempts failed, since above all Charles wished to avoid the outbreak of a civil war.

Charles was exiled to the island of Madeira. Since he considered his duty as a mandate from God, he could not abdicate his office.

Reduced to poverty, he lived with his family in a very humid house. He then fell fatally ill and accepted this as a sacrifice for the peace and unity of his peoples.

Charles endured his suffering without complaining. He forgave all those who conspired against him and died April 1st 1922 with his eyes turned toward the Holy Sacrament. On his deathbed he repeated the motto of his life: “I strive always in all things to understand as clearly as possible and follow the will of God, and this in the most perfect way”.

Pope John Paul's Homily is found here

Fisheaters has a very good apologetics article on St Charles here...

NOTE: HI and RH the Empress Zita was a descendant of King Charles X, nephew of Louis XVI.