St. Louis IX humbly accepts a woman’s upbraiding

August 7, 2014

Photo by Thesupermat

Photo by Thesupermat

Many were those who criticized St. Louis IX’s fervor for the faith, but they never succeeded in getting him to slacken in the fulfillment of his duties.  One day, a woman who had cause for complaint against Bishop Jean de Fouillense awaited for the king to come by, and as he came down the stairs, hurled at him a torrent of insults that would have filled the mouth of any anti-clerical.

“—You think you deserve to be King of France? Ah, it would be better if someone else were to replace you as king, since all you care for are religious friars, preaching friars, priests, and clerics. It’s a real shame that you’re king of France, and it’s astonishing that no one has yet expelled you from the realm.”


The king’s guards wanted to arrest and punish her, but the king stopped them and turned to the woman, saying: “You’re quite right. I’m not worthy to be king, and if it were pleasing to God, it would be better for me to hand over the throne to someone else who knew how to govern it better.”

He then ordered that money be given to the woman and thus he calmed her unjust wrath against him.


Marius Sepet, Saint Louis (Paris: Victor Lecoffre, 1913), 223. ( translation.)

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 409


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