“Callings”, part 2 (Middle Ages)

“Chronicle of the Crusade of St. Louis” by John de Joinville depicted the life of King Louis IX of France. As King of France, Louis IX did not live luxuriously, for he strived to live as the monks did by praying and attending church regularly, eating bland food, drinking mostly water, and dressed modestly. He was a fair king and was well respected by his subjects, for he worked very hard to maintain peace in his land, especially among the nobles. It was clear that King Louis viewed vocation as something only held by monks and nuns, but he did his best to live as the monks did. He must have done something right because shortly after his death, King Louis IX was recognized as a saint.

The sainthood of King Louis IX demonstrates the notion that one does not need to be a monk to have a vocation, for even though he strived to live as the monks did, he was recognized as a saint and he was never a monk. During this time it was believed that only Monks and Nuns had a vocation, so he had to work harder and accomplished saint status all while being King of France. When King Louis IX of France was recognized a saint an exception was made to the philosophy of the middle ages. Because he wanted to be a monk, he strived to live, dress, eat, sleep, and pray as the monks did because he saw it as the only way to have a vocation.

This illustrates the lengths humans are willing to go in order to answer their call from God. Reading and discussing King Louis IX humbled me, because it exposed me to a new way of thinking, and that is just because one is successful does not mean they are any better than everyone else. For as a king, Louis did not think he was better than everyone else. He humbled himself, which I have trouble doing. I struggle with admitting my faults, because I am ashamed of them. I know I do not have to be, for God has created me the way I am for a reason. As a Christian I must embrace my God-given gifts and once I do so they will be used to serve God.



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