In the summer of 2020, when protestors called for removing statues of St. Louis IX, many Catholics found themselves asking “How dare they?”, followed by “Wait, who’s St. Louis again?”
In this episode, we get re-acquainted with one of the great monarchs and saints of medieval Christendom. Join us as we learn about Louis’ partnership with the Church in “the business of the peace and the faith,” his legacy of striving to build a flourishing Christian society, and his lessons on the ultimate purpose of politics. (By the end of the conversation, you’ll want his statues to keep standing tall!)
Our guest is Dr. Andrew Willard Jones, author of Before Church and State: A Study of Social Order in the Sacramental Kingdom of St. Louis IX. Dr. Jones serves as an Assistant Professor of Theology and Director of the Catholic Studies program at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
0:00 - Introduction
2:30 - St. Louis 101 - sanctity in the office of King
8:02 - How the medievals understood sacred and secular (hint - it was better than we do)
12:00 - St. Louis as passive observer or active architect of social order?
21:05 - All the King's helpers
24:55 - Medieval differentiation vs. modern equality
30:20 - To offend the peace is to offend the faith
34:15 - The common mission of the King and the Clergy
37:30 - King and Pope as best buds
41:35 - What about the average Joe in the Most Christian Kingdom?
44:25 - Priests and magistrates at the King's Court - teamwork makes the dream work
47:00 - From Louis IX to Louis XIV and beyond - where did things go wrong?
50:25 - The folly of viewing the Middle Ages through a modern lens
53:25 - St. Louis' lessons and legacy for our times
57:00 - Conclusion
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Dr. Andrew Willard Jones, Before Church and State: A Study of Social Order in the Sacramental Kingdom of St. Louis IX(2017)
Colleen Schrappen, “St. Louis Archdiocese responds to calls to remove statue of city’s namesake”, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (June 29, 2020)
Please note that this podcast has been edited for length and clarity.