King Louis IX of France – saint and hero

Representation of Saint Louis considered to be true to life, early 14th century

Representation of Saint Louis considered to be true to life, early 14th century

…but he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven…” (Matt 10:33)

King Saint Louis IX (25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270), commonly known as the “fleur de lys”, was King of France from 1226 until his death. Today we celebrate the 8ooth anniversary of his birth. Due to his profound love of the Catholic Church and his faithfulness to Christ above all things, King Louis IX is considered to be the ideal model of the holy Christian ruler and monarch according to the will of God. The aura of holiness attached to his memory was duly earned through Louis IX’s placing God’s commandments first and foremost in all his actions in the ruling of his kingdom, together with a deep personal piety and humility. (This latter was testified by all those who had known him closely at the intensive canonisation process by Pope Boniface VIII.) His mother, Blanche de Castille, who acted as regent when the twelve year old Louis came to the throne, would say to him: “Never forget that sin is the only great evil in the world. No mother could love her son more than I love you. But I would rather see you lying dead at my feet than know that you had offended God by one mortal sin”. These sentiments young Louis took very much to heart, and would later pass on to his own successor. [See below]

“The prestige and respect felt in Europe for King Louis IX were due more to the attraction that his benevolent personality created rather than to military domination. For his contemporaries, he was the quintessential example of the Christian prince, and embodied the whole of Christendom in his person. His reputation for saintliness and fairness was already well established while he was alive, and on many occasions he was chosen as an arbiter in quarrels among the rulers of Europe… Louis IX took very seriously his mission as “lieutenant of God on Earth”, with which he had been invested when he was crowned in Rheims.” [Wikipedia]

St louis IX attending his subjects

St louis IX attending his subjects

In Jean de Joinville’s “Histoire de Saint Louis”, 1309, he reproduces a very lengthy letter* of advice from King St. Louis IX to his eldest son, the future King Philippe III. St. Louis puts forth some real concepts of kingship with regard to justice and administration, but above all on how to be a faithful son of the Church at all times.

“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.

 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.

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.

 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.

 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.

 Dear son, I advise you that you accustom yourself to frequent confession… 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.

 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…

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 honoured 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, honour, and praise be to Him who is one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit; without beginning and without end. Amen.”

* This is only the first and final part of the whole letter, which can be read in its entirety here:

This letter should be seen as more than just a letter to Philip; it is a letter to all Christian leaders and rulers to follow. “Never give in to secular and evil values; never waiver in your loyalty to the One King above all earthly kings. Be loyal; be faithful; be brave; be holy! Fear not the scorn or anger of the men of this world, but fear only to displease your Lord and God.”

Saint Louis, Pray for our leaders today, that they may follow your wise and holy ways.

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52 Responses to King Louis IX of France – saint and hero

  1. Roger says:

    Yes!! Excellent thank you.


  2. Reblogged this on St. Catherine Catholic Culture Center and commented:
    Happy 800th Birthday to one of the Church’s holiest rulers during the glorious Age of Faith! St. Louis, ora pro nobis!


  3. kathleen says:

    Thank you Roger.
    And thank you too ideaharvester.

    Indeed St. Louis IX was “one of the Church’s holiest rulers”. Can you imagine what he would have to say today to so many of our cowardly leaders allowing any number of evil anti-Christian laws to be passed in our lands?


  4. Roger says:

    And this is the Truth cowardly leaders. The Exterior of Holiness but not the interior. The danger is this lack of understanding the need for Prayer and Penance! Reparation to counter the Sins of the world. If we love our neighbour we must make the Reparation that we see is necessary to save the souls of our neighbours.
    We cannot become pagans to save pagans! We must become Catholics to bring pagans to the Truth. Not the popular path but one that attracts criticism and censure but if we do not present the Crucified to the world in Our Day then we will be judged severely by God. You knew! You were favoured with the Truth! Yet you denied me before Men and souls were lost Eternally.
    Remember the Passion Of Our Lord! and live this in Our Lives.


  5. GC says:

    And his big sis was St Isabelle of France. A two-saint family.


  6. GC says:

    Make that St Louis’ little sis (she was younger by 10 years).


  7. kathleen says:

    Yes, thanks for reminding us of this GC. Two saints in one family – what a blessing! Their mother, Queen Blanche of Castille, must have been a saintly woman too, in her success at passing on the Faith to her offspring so successfully. And what enormous and beneficial consequences this had, especially in the case of St. Louis IX.

    I’ve just put up a post on the importance of obeying God before Man (“Better to Obey God than Man“), and how well Louis not only knew this, but put it into practice!


  8. poloperlib says:

    Though history may state he was a very devoted catholic ruler but I severe reservations of his canonization by the likes of Boniface VIII who brought about the death of pope emeritus Celestine V. But most importantly, by the urging of Gregory IX, King Louis IX ordered the burning of 12,000 Jewish manuscripts(mainly religious).


  9. kathleen says:

    Hello poloperlib, thanks for your comment.

    A few observations: King Louis IX did indeed order the burning of thousands of Jewish manuscripts, and also ordered the expulsion of all Jews dealing in usury. In so doing he was obeying the Vicar of Christ, Gregory IX at that time; he would not have seen this as wrong. Legislation against the Talmud in European courts resulted from concerns that its circulation would weaken Christians’ faith and threaten the Christian basis of society, which as King, he saw was the monarch’s duty to preserve. Louis’ whole goal was to lead souls to God through the Holy Catholic Church, even if some of the measures, common to those times of the Middle Ages, might seem ruthless and quite unnecessarily harsh to us nowadays.

    Pope Boniface VIII is included in some lists as one of the “ten worse Popes” of the Catholic Church – but not in all of them. While definitely not being a man of impeccable virtue, some of the accusations against him might well be exaggerated, and are at best, rather hard to prove. (Most of his biographies were written by those who had been his ‘enemies’ in life.) The one really good thing coming out of his papacy was his Bull of 1302, Unam Sanctam, a brilliant document.
    The fact remains that however holy, or unholy, Boniface VIII might have been, he was the legitimate Pope, and canonising King Louis IX was his obligation as supreme pontiff once the Magisterium of the Church had declared him to be a true saint.


  10. johnhenrycn says:

    Excellent comment by Kathleen. Almost perfect punctuation. The historicity is not bad either. Better (on both counts) than I do most of the time.


  11. johnhenrycn says:

    …because it’s late: here’s something for our very strict Catholic contributor, Geoff Kiernan, from Walawalabingbang, Australia, who had the temerity, the appalling cheek actually, to criticize me for posting a YouTube on this blog celebrating my home country:


  12. johnhenrycn says:

    …which reminds me…that song above (^)? I sing hymns every day – not that one, but hymns. Every morning. I don’t care if people think I’m crazy. Part of my morning prayer tradition is to sing a song. A Christian hymn. Don’t care if it was composed by Bach, a Protestant, or Faber, a Catholic. People who sing live longer. I want to live a long life to make up for the sinner I am, and singing helps.


  13. johnhenrycn says:

    Lift High The Cross, for example. Protestant or Catholic? Words composed by Protestants, music too perhaps. Whatever, should we sing or remain silent when the choir sings it? Is it anti-Catholic to sing a hymn written/composed by a Protestant? Now, I hope people here accept my Catholicity, but do any here purse their lips when great Protestant hymns are sung?


  14. GC says:

    Not at all, JH, many protestant hymns are absolute rippers. And hymnody hardly began with Luther or Charles Wesley, now did it? They got the whole idea from us.

    Fr Edward Caswall of the Birmingham Oratory translated the hymns of the Roman Office and Missal, which particular opus is now presented to you herebelow:

    Besides, their hymn tunes are often good for stealing for Catholic texts. Like this one, sung to the hymn tune Why was he born so beautiful, why was he born at all:


  15. GC says:

    JH, did you see how Father Z thought he exploded the myth that St Augustine once said he (and she!) who sings prays twice?

    Apparently what he did say was . . .

    Qui enim cantat laudem, non solum laudat, sed etiam hilariter laudat; qui cantat laudem, non solum cantat, sed et amat eum quem cantat. In laude confitentis est praedicatio, in cantico amantis affectio …

    (For he who sings praise does not only praise, but also praises joyfully; he who sings praise not only sings, but also loves Him about whom he sings. In the praise of the believer there is an acclamation, in the song of the lover affection.)


  16. johnhenrycn says:

    GC @ 19:48 –
    One of the absolute treasures in my small (<4000 hardback) book collection is this one, which was made known to me by Teresa on the very last comment she ever posted on this blog about two years ago, which just goes to show that singing is indeed a defence against dementia – so I hear you and agree with you. North Americans interested in Catholic Hymnody, should look at The St Michael Hymnal, published by St Boniface (not the Boniface consigned to hell by Dante – another one) Roman (forgive the redundancy, but that’s what they call it) Catholic Church in Lafayette, Indiana. If you telephone 765-742-5063 and a man answers the phone, that’s the husband of the woman at St Boniface who takes their book orders. Nice guy.


  17. poloperlib says:

    Hello Kathleen, if a certain Angelo Roncalli read my remarks about the canonization of King Louis IX(granted he was the lesser of evils in those days) he probably would be leaning towards my point of view. Let me cite a moving example: leaving a cinema to see the Belsen camp survivors he emerged in tears, saying “This is the Mystical Body of Christ”. Let me add what the great Saint John XXIII composed as a prayer of repentance and atonement to the Almighty: “The mark of Cain is stamped upon our foreheads. Across the centuries, our brother Abel has lain in blood which we drew, and shed tears we caused by forgetting Thy love. Forgive us, Lord, for the curse we falsely attributed to their name as Jews. Forgive us for crucifying Thee a second time in their flesh. For we knew not what we did”. Going back to Louis IX, he took orders because plain and simple he saw the Jews of Europe damnable unlike that of St. John Paul II who called those poor wretched people our Elder Brethren. Nevertheless, Louis IX’s 12,000 book burning was certainly an inspiration for the likes of the nazis. And don’t think me as an ultra-liberal, I still think that Eugenio Pacelli or Pius XII should’ve been beatified almost immediately because unlike many he did indeed had a great role in saving the Jews of Europe. But that rubbish of a play, The Deputy, tarnished his reputation. Bottom line, anti-semitism is a great sin to me and to the great and late Cardinal of New York O’Connor who saw it as anti-God. One more thing, God Bless Michelangelo for painting in his monumental fresco of the Last Judgement some prominent Jews of his time in absolute Glory with Christ!!! Pray For The Peace Of Jerusalem!!!!


  18. poloperlib says:

    PS- I just want to add something of St. Celestine V who I previously mentioned as the very humble pontiff before Boniface VIII. Celestine V was clearly the inspiration for our beloved Benedict XVI to step down from his monumental duties of the papacy. At least two times he visited the tomb of the saint to come to this historic decision. Too bad Dante didn’t accept Celestine’s resignation very lightly. If you want to know more about that pick up a copy of La Divina Commedia.


  19. johnhenrycn says:

    “Bottom line, anti-semitism is a great sin to me…”

    Poloperlib, you seem like a fairly smart person; but let me ask you this: which race, or ethnic group if you prefer, demanded that Pilate “CRUCIFY HIM!”? Was it those damnable Welsh? Was it the Jamaicans? I have gone and will go again to synagogue because the Jews are our elder brothers and I respect them; but they demanded and exulted (at the time and for centuries after) in Jesus’ crucifixion. The modern Catholic protocol of skipping over that unpleasant truth about the the Jews (c. 25-35 AD) and the role they played in our salvation is a great sin to me, and I resent how the Good Friday readings have been censored to passover their shame. I would feel the same way if I was a Jew.


  20. johnhenrycn says:

    And another thing:
    “Louis IX’s 12,000 book burning was certainly an inspiration for the likes of the nazis.”

    Do grow up..


  21. poloperlib says:

    Even in the silent motion picture, The King of Kings(1927) directed by Cecil B. DeMille got it right about who was to blamed for the crucifixion of Christ and that is us. If you saw that scene of the film we see the religious leader clearly putting the blame on himself and no one else. But you know something Johnhenrycn WE crucified Jesus in our sinfulness. Doesn’t matter who we are either Welsh, Jamaican, American, Jewish, etc. And btw, I am already grown up… and I know my history and I know that Hitler and his blood thirsty criminals could NEVER had done those horrific anti-semitic acts without historical precedence occurring throughout the centuries in Christendom. The only thing original the nazis did was the death camp system.


  22. johnhenrycn says:

    I just KNEW your comeback would be to say that all of us are blameworthy. You’re equating eschatology with history. The Jews (via the agency of the Romans) killed Jesus. The Welsh and the Jamaicans did not. Eschatologically speaking, yes, we have all participated in His death and must answer for it; but historically speaking, no, the Welsh and Jamaicans did not crucify Our Lord.

    As for C. B. DeMille…puhleeze! He also produced and directed the The Squaw Man…

    …both the silent and talkie versions, which hardly makes him a poster boy for interracial harmony.


  23. poloperlib says:

    Hey Johnhenrycn, you mean ALL the Jews, like the ones who tilled the land, or things such as carpentry, etc. or just maybe self-righteous religious leaders??? Please be specific. But why do we always hear the expression Christ killers applied even to Jewish people in our own time??? And why do Christ has to be crucified again in their flesh as John XXIII put so well in his prayer of atonement??? I writing this because I abhor anti-semitism because it is anti-God!!! I want to point out that Louis IX even though he was truly devoted and pious failed to see the mystical body of Christ in the suffering of the Jewish people.


  24. kathleen says:

    poloperlib, you are a newcomer here and will be unaware that the last thing you could accuse me of being is “anti-Semitic”! (I have plenty of other faults though. 😉 )

    In arguments on our blog over the years on this topic you bring up – as to who is to blame for the Crucifixion of Our Lord – I have defended tooth and nail that the Jews as a race are NOT THE CULPRITS, but that Mankind’s original fall from grace that brought sin into the world was the catalyst. In other words, the whole human race (including you and me; let that sink in) is the guilty party, followers on from the “felix culpa” the “necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!” The promise of a Saviour from man’s rebellion is something we see consistently throughout Holy Scripture from its origin in Genesis, accomplished through the atonement of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross… all the way through to Christ’s ultimate victory in Revelation.

    Another thing that has been emphasised here over and again is that Our Saviour Himself, Our Blessed Mother Mary, and all the Apostles on whose witness we base the whole of our Faith, were of the Jewish race – so to be anti-Jewish (anti-semitic), and call oneself a Christian, is quite frankly ridiculous. The Jews were the Chosen Race for the coming of the Messiah.

    True (as some point out) there are Jewish people out there who hate and work against the Catholic Church hoping for her downfall, but there are many of other races and creeds doing exactly the same thing. Nearly all the Jews that I have come into contact with have been wonderful people: intelligent, interesting, good-humoured hospitable… and possessors of amazing initiative.

    Another point you raise – that of Venerable Pope Pius XII – he is truly a Pope I have always admired, loved and defended. He reigned before I knew anything about Popes, but his personal holiness and heroic protection of thousands of trapped Jews in Italy during WWII is something that has always captivated my imagination. I have written or re-blogged many articles about this saintly Pope, and yesterday’s post (about the opening of the archives in the Vatican to further his cause) was put up by me.

    One final detail: I disagree with your analysis of “defender of the Faith”, St. Louis IX. He did not expel Jews from his kingdom who were leading honest lives, but only those who continued to commit usury. This act, and the burning of the Jewish manuscripts to protect the people from their influence, most certainly appears to have been rather an extreme measure to us nowadays, but the fear of these temptations encouraging people to fall into mortal sin (and perhaps eternal damnation thereafter) was to Louis a greater evil than the path he chose.
    We have to place things in their place and time, and this is the way things were done in the Middle Ages.


  25. toadspittle says:

    “We have to place things in their place and time, and this is the way things were done in the Middle Ages.”
    Relativism, it’s commonly known as.
    …It’s the reason why we don’t mind what the Protestants did to Catholics during the “Reformation” in England. Not even a teeny bit. Forgive and forget, is our motter.

    In fact, we seldom mention such sordid topics. Only about eight times a year.
    It would be in poor taste to do so. Bygones be bygones, etc.

    “This act, and the burning of the Jewish manuscripts to protect the people from their influence,”
    …Which cannot possibly be likened to the actions of the Nazis during the 30’s – not one teeny bit, either.
    Wonderful comments like that that ensure CP&S is perennially entertaining, and keep us coming back for more!


  26. kathleen says:

    Toad, I shall repeat what has been said to you hundreds of times before by practically all the long-suffering Team plus commenters on CP&S….

    Truth is truth and the holy truths contained in the Doctrines and Dogmas of the Catholic Church never change, EVER, neither now or at any time in the future. If they ever did, as in the example of the changes wrought by the Church’s protestors (a.k.a. Protestants) then it would no longer be the Catholic Church. Full stop. Sorry, but there is no room for any type of your Relativism in the fundamental teachings of our Glorious Faith.

    Minor disciplines, rules, vestments, liturgical language etc. and such things that are not dependent on the fundamental truths of Catholicism can be modified and slightly changed over time (depending on many factors, both internal and external) by those guardians of the Faith under the supreme Pontiff together with the Bishops, i.e., the Magisterium of the Church.

    In any case, all this has little bearing with the sentence you quote from my comment: “We have to place things in their place and time, and this is the way things were done in the Middle Ages.”
    This was referring to laws of the land, not of the Church.
    In the same way as we no longer hang people for crimes, nor send them off to Australia! 😉
    (Although some of the terrible things we do nowadays, e.g. surgically abort innocent babies from the womb, are cetainly no better than the methods used by our mediaeval ancestors!)


  27. toadspittle says:

    “Sorry, but there is no room for any type of your Relativism in the fundamental teachings of our Glorious Faith.” Why do you say you are sorry, when you plainly aren’t, Kathleen?
    What do you mean “your” relativism? Relativism is relativism. That’s it.
    Relativism is what’s happened to Limbo recently – a relative U-turn.
    Relativism is not burning heretics (or books) like in the Good Old Days.
    “Minor disciplines, rules, vestments, liturgical language etc. and such things that are not dependent on the fundamental truths of Catholicism can be modified and slightly changed over time…”
    But that’s not relativism? Minor changes and modifications soon add up to major ones. That’s why computers are they way they are today, rather than twenty years ago.
    …And isn’t the devil in the details, anyway? (No.)
    Would Christ recognise his Church today? Doubtful. What would He think of it?

    “This act, and the burning of the Jewish manuscripts to protect the people from their influence,”
    So this was also an act of the law, rather than of the Church, Kathleen?
    Anyway, it was clearly an act of mercy to stop good Catholics polluting their minds with Jewish poison, though it might have been Liberal poison, Protestant poison, or Humanist poison.
    (Maybe we should burn all documents relating to Vatican Two, pronto!) Sounds familiar, these orgies of knowledge-burning? Hmmm. What would Adolf think?

    If we took the above seriously, it would be a comment of hair-raising scandalousness.
    Lucky, none of us will.


  28. mkenny114 says:

    Any chance you might be confusing different things here Toad? That many things (practices, punishments for transgression of the civic law, what clothes we wear) are seen differently from a changed cultural perspective is not the same thing as moral or ontological relativism (or indeed epistemological relativism, which is closely related to the other two, but not identical with them).

    For example, that the influence of non-Catholic teaching could lead the faithful away from magisterial teaching is not something that has changed. That people do not burn non-Catholic books anymore has. The difference here seems fairly straightforward I would have thought.


  29. kathleen says:

    I am indeed sorry for you Toad. Very sorry.
    Sorry that you seem hell-bent to continually turn your back on the grace you received at Baptism into the Catholic Church; sorry that you attack and attempt to destroy the Faith of others, and the ramifications this will bring you when you finally appear before God; sorry that you are stone deaf to the constant ‘knocking at the door of your heart’ of the Beloved….

    “Would Christ recognise his Church today?”
    He most certainly would – she will never die – the same Bride of Christ now reaching the four corners of the Earth. Maligned by many, wounded by sin, persecuted by her enemies, infiltrated by apostates, She is nevertheless as alive in the world and as beautiful as ever, whilst her millions of faithful members struggle to carry their daily crosses in the ‘footsteps’ of the Bridegroom.


  30. toadspittle says:

    What is your opinion on book-burning, Michael? Same as Kathleen’s – it’s just fine as long as they are not Catholic books?
    “This act, and the burning of the Jewish manuscripts to protect the people from their influence,”
    I suppose I should feel sorry for anyone who is capable of writing that.
    …But I don’t believe she really meant it, the way it came out.


  31. mkenny114 says:

    I’m not too keen on book-burning as it happens Toad, and I don’t think Kathleen is either. The plain sense of what she wrote above was that the book-burning ordered by Louis IX is explicable given the context of the times he was living in, when the state of one’s soul was given a much higher priority than it is now (I am speaking of the culture at large – the state of one’s soul has always been and still is the priority for the Church, regardless of the impression some prelates may give from time to time) and it was recognised with greater clarity than today that what can lead a soul astray is less often the blindingly obvious things (murder is bad, stealing is wrong, etc) than subtle differences in ideas.

    This (and the elimination of usury from France) is very different from what Hitler was trying to do by the burning of any literature which disagreed with him. With Hitler, he was trying to eliiminate competition and impose uniformity in order to consolidate political power, whilst the decision of Louis was to save people from being led astray by ideas which could well have endangered their souls (we also must bear in mind that some of the books burned would most likely have included Kabbalistic literature – very popular at the time – thus promoting a a form of mysticism which shared many of the assumptions of Gnosticism, a philosophy which has always been one of the main ‘seducers’ of people away from the Faith, and continues to do so today, in various forms).

    You might well see the distinction here as being too fine a one as to make any difference, but I would suggest that it is precisely in the subtle distinctions that we make (whether between ideas or in assessments of people’s motivations) that the truth lies. Such is life – what makes it interesting is also what makes much of it resist easy classification.


  32. JabbaPapa says:

    Book-burning is simply one kind of censorship, which exists in many different forms — so I think censorship is the question here, rather than just the burning of printed works, and it is something that the relativists, and the “liberals”, and all the other modern thought police have great skill with.

    The most bothersome kind of censorship I’ve been subjected to recently was my one month long absence from the wonders of the WWW after my phone was stolen, as virtually all of the old free internet consoles on the Camino de Santiago have been removed.

    May I take this opportunity to thank the Toad and Bekah once more for their hospitality, and reassure them and others both of my safe (and joyful) arrival in Santiago, and my safe (though lengthy) journey home, where I am now recuperating ?


  33. Tom Fisher says:


    I’ve been reading your comments on this thread with some consternation, and a growing sense of disgust.

    The first and most obvious point is that neither “the Jews” nor “the Romans” killed Jesus. Most of the widely dispersed Jewish people, and most of the Roman people, were not even in Jerusalem during that fateful Passover. Jesus was killed by particular Romans at the instigation of a particular crowd, and particular Jewish leaders.Your suggestion that it is a historic fact that “the Jews” in some corporate sense killed Jesus is historically meaningless.


  34. johnhenrycn says:

    “I’ve been reading your comments… with some consternation, and…disgust.”

    I don’t know why you’re getting all stroppy with me, Tom Fisher. Your consternation and disgust are misplaced. Where did I say that “the Jews” in some “corporate sense” killed Jesus?’ ‘Poloperlib’ at 03:48 on 27 Oct 14 attempts to put similar words – “ALL of the Jews” – in my mouth, but that’s not what I said. What I said (at 03:08) was: “The Jews (via the agency of the Romans) killed Jesus.” You can try putting a gloss on my words if you wish, but the fair thing would have been to afford me the benefit of the doubt and interpret my statement as meaning some of the Jews, instead of jumping to the unwarranted conclusion that I meant all of the Jews. When I use the words “the Jews”, I’m following the repeated references to “the Jews” in the Holy Bible Passion narrative, which I shouldn’t have to justify or explain.

    Mr/Ms ‘Poloperlib’ at 02:19 cites the great biblical scholar and silent movie director, Cecil B. DeMille has having got it right about who was to blame for the crucifixion of Christ “and that is us” he says. I guess Cecil’s screenwriter must have skipped over Matthew 27:25:
    “And ALL the people [the Jews] answered: His blood be on us and on our children!”

    Now, I don’t think ALL the Jews before or after c. 33 AD are anymore responsible for His crucifixion than the rest of us are, and I made that quite clear at 03:08 when I spoke of eschatology; but the plain fact is that on Good Friday, the Jewish mob, not just their priests and elders, wanted Him dead. It’s an offence against truth to airbrush that fact out of the historical record:

    “Matthew 26 and 27 informs [us] that one individual and three distinct groups were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. They are (1) Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus …(2) the Jewish leaders…Caiphas the High Priest, the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes…(3) the Romans, comprised of the Procurator Pontius Pilate and the Roman soldiers who actually nailed Jesus to the cross [and] (4) the Jewish mob of Jerusalem. Though their role in Matthew 27 seems passive and subordinated under the control and influence of the chief priests and elders, their guilt in the death of Christ cannot be overlooked. They had the opportunity afforded them by Pilate to have Jesus released, but they chose instead …Barabbas

    The above is taken from the Zola Levitt Ministries website, which describes itself as seeing “Christianity Through Jewish Eyes”

    I guess I shouldn’t mention the traditional Catholic prayer from the Good Friday liturgy for fear of arousing more consternation and disgust, but here it is:
    Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts.”
    If that was good enough for Venerable Pius XII, it’s good enough for me, even though it’s verboten nowadays, thanks to people like ‘Poloperlib’ who seem to view it as an invitation to anti-semitism.


  35. Tom Fisher says:


    I have gone and will go again to synagogue because the Jews are our elder brothers and I respect them; but they demanded and exulted (at the time and for centuries after) in Jesus’ crucifixion.

    The referent in the quote above is perfectly clear, — it includes the Jews ‘for centuries after’ and the Jews at a Synagogue you may visit — You are quite obviously referring to “the Jews” in the corporate sense in this sentence when you say they demanded.


  36. Tom Fisher says:

    P.S. The Jews alive at the time couldn’t have exulted for centuries after ! Your reference is quite clearly to the Jews as a whole.


  37. johnhenrycn says:

    You are quite obviously referring to “the Jews” in the corporate sense in this sentence…”

    Nothing quite obvious about it, except to someone who chooses to cherry-pick “this sentence” out of the dozens I’ve written above, instead of reading and understanding them as a whole. Maybe you don’t understand that “they” can mean some or all?

    That aside, the fact is that “the Jews” (some of them, or many of them, or most of them, or all of them, depending on what historical records you choose to accept as most credible – I lean toward many of them) exulted in Jesus’ crucifixion and persecuted and harrassed Christians for centuries after. Some of them, quite a few I believe, still do, but maybe you know more about Jewry than I do.


  38. Tom Fisher says:

    My response to your comments wasn’t simply based on cherry picking. I recognise the thinking behind your remarks, and have no appetite to pursue this further with you. Good luck to ya.


  39. johnhenrycn says:

    “P.S. The Jews alive at the time couldn’t have exulted for centuries after ! Your reference is quite clearly to the Jews as a whole.”

    My goodness! One might mistake you for a lawyer writing a legal brief. This is a blog, not an appellate factum. To the extent that I’ve confused you by my combined reference to “the Jews” who demanded and the Jews who exulted in Jesus’ death, my apologies for thinking you’d be able to distinguish between 33 AD and post-33 AD. Again, my references are to “the Jews”, not to “the Jews as a whole”, which is a phrase I’ve never used.

    Not to worry, Mr Fisher. I too engage in pettifoggery from time to time


  40. johnhenrycn says:

    “My response to your comments wasn’t simply based on cherry picking. I recognise the thinking behind your remarks, and have no appetite to pursue this further with you. Good luck to ya.”

    Tom Fisher, the thinking behind my remarks is known only to God. You presume too much. Anyway, I’m thinking – if you’re an American – that you’re about to hunker down for Game 7 of the World Series, starting about an hour from now, and that’s why you can’t be bothered pursuing more important matters any further tonight. Okay by me. Are you rooting for the Royals or for the Giants? Whichever, “good luck to ya”.


  41. toadspittle says:

    “With Hitler, he was trying to eliminate competition and impose uniformity in order to consolidate political power,”
    Which – I take to mean that it’s bad to try to eliminate political power – but OK to try to eliminate alternative religious competition, – right Michael?
    Either way the burning of any books is revolting and obscene- even if it’s “Mien Kampf,” and it’s what has been suggested as acceptable behaviour on here, incredibly enough..
    Kathleen’s comment put me in mind of the Muslim Sheik ( or, Calif or whatever) who ordered all books, (in the library at Alexandria?) except the Koran, be burned.
    …On the grounds that, if they agreed with the Koran, they were superfluous and so could be safely destroyed – if they disagreed, they were poison, and should be swiftly destroyed.
    Naturally, I don’t care much for this approach. Which appears to be the same one cited on here.
    Neither do you, I suspect.
    its the inherent, monomaniac, madness that bothers me.

    “Not to worry, Mr Fisher. I too engage in pettifoggery from time to time..”
    …And JH makes a handsome living out of it, Tom. At least, we must hope he does. Do you?
    Or what’s the point?

    “The plain sense of what (Kathleen) wrote above was that the book-burning ordered by Louis IX is explicable given the context of the times he was living in, when the state of one’s soul was given a much higher priority than it is now ..”
    Relatively speaking, eh MIchael? AKA Relativism.

    “Toad, I shall repeat what has been said to you hundreds of times before by practically all the long-suffering Team plus commenters on CP&S….”
    No matter how many times non-sense is repeated, Kathleen – it never eventually becomes sense simply as a result of repetition, Kathleen. It has to somehow make logical sense.
    Which is why I must trudge wearily, but stoically, on.


  42. mkenny114 says:

    Good grief. I’m sorry Toad, I can understand someone forgetting a prior point made, but what I wrote about the different types of relativism is perfectly accessible by scrolling up the page on this very thread. Similarly, I outlined the distinction between what Hitler did and what Louis IX did already, which is available for perusal above with even less scrolling required. Your disagreeing with me is not the point here, it is the fact that you have just glided over what I wrote earlier and simply repeated your earlier points as if no response had been made to them. Accusing others of making no sense would be a lot more credible if you actually responded to what people wrote instead of just glibly repeating yourself and then patting yourself on the head for it.


  43. mkenny114 says:

    And no, quoting extracts from what someone has written and then using them to make exactly the same point you made before does not count as a proper engagement with what has been written. Quoting parts of a text is of little use if your commentary on them fails to comprehend (or perhaps just ignores) the argument as a whole.


  44. toadspittle says:

    “Quoting parts of a text is of little use if your commentary on them fails to comprehend (or perhaps just ignores) the argument as a whole.”
    So, I should, in the cause of fairness, Michael – re-run the entire comment? Unwieldy and unnecessary.
    As to whether or not the other person appears to fail to comprehend, or to ignore, an argument – is surely largely a matter of opinion, like almost everything.
    It generally means they see it differently to us. No more than that.

    ” … but what I wrote about the different types of relativism…”
    Ah! Now, we’re getting somewhere.
    We clearly agree that relativism is relatively relative. That’s a start.


  45. mkenny114 says:

    Another excellent example of what I was talking about – much obliged Toad!


  46. toadspittle says:

    I’m glad you see my point of view, Michael. As I do yours.


  47. JabbaPapa says:

    the thinking behind my remarks is known only to God

    Sounds like the ultimate magic bullet to avoid having to explain it yourself …


  48. toadspittle says:

    Welcome back from the dead, Jab. You had us worried there.

    Talking of magic bullets (I quite agree, by the way ) how about: “God works in mysterious ways.” ?
    Leaps over everything uncomfortable and inexplicable – in a single bound!


  49. johnhenrycn says:

    JabbaPapa @ 15:54:
    Yes, I did say: “…the thinking behind my remarks is known only to God.”
    … to which you replied two days later, after prayerfully ruminating for a period of time:
    “Sounds like [JH is using] the ultimate magic bullet to avoid having to explain…”

    When you thus questioned my bona fides, my first thought was to thank God for answering all of our prayers for your safe and successful return from your pilgrimage from Spain. I do read and respect the Prayer Intentions section of this blog, and I did indeed think of you and pray for you at Mass the day after Toad mentioned his worries for you (“not strictly a prayer – at least I hope not” were the exact words of your concierge), and was relieved when you returned to say the only reason for your non-contact was the theft of your mobile.

    …where was I? Right…

    JabbaPapa – fellow 2005 Catholic convert – do you know the full thinking behind your remarks on this blog or anywhere else? One of my daily prayers is this: “Dear Jesus, help me see the truth about myself”. Only God knows the panorama of our thoughts. That’s standard R.C.I.A. Catechism 101.

    But let me also say this: You have, I think, done the Way of St James twice, no? Whether it be once or twice, you’re an exemplar which I seek to someday emulate. The distance from Roncevalles to Santiago de Compostela is about the same as the pilgrimage I’m planning in 2018. There are many more ursine predators along my route than yours, but they won’t steal my mobile.


  50. JabbaPapa says:

    jh, there’s a difference between the contents of one’s thoughts and the Gifts and Graces in one’s soul — but I’ll accept what you are intending as a clarification rather than nitpick your choice of words.

    And that was my fourth Camino, and my fifth foot pilgrimage.

    Good luck and good Blessings for your own !!!


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