Louis IX (1214 – 1270), commonly known as Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death.
Louis was born in 1214 at Poissy, near Paris, the son of King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castille. Louis was 12 years old when his father died in 1226. He was crowned king and his mother ruled as regent during his minority.
Louiss piety and kindness toward the poor was much celebrated. He went on two crusades, one in 1248 and another in 1270.
Louis was a devout Catholic; he built la Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel) on the Île de la Cité in the center of Paris, as a shrine for the Crown of Thorns and a fragment of the True Cross, relics he acquired during the Crusades.
Louis IX died of dysentery in Tunisia. His tomb at Saint-Denis in Paris is a magnificent gilt brass monument. It was melted down during the French Revolution, at which time his body disappeared. Only one finger was rescued and is kept at Saint-Denis.
The city of St. Louis, Missouri, was named after Louis IX. The city was founded in 1763 by French traders Pierre Laclede and René Auguste Chouteau.
The statue of Saint Louis on horseback at the St. Louis Art Museum is one of the few relics of the 1904 Worlds Fair.