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St LoiusAs a Catholic Grammar School we have as our patron St. Louis IX, King of France, known also as the "Most Christian King". He was born to wealth and power in 1214. When he was only 12 his father, King Louis VIII died, and Louis IX was crowned King. At that time, his mother Queen Blanche of Castile, was declared regent and remained an important influence in his life.

Fleur de lisYet, despite his wealth and affluence, St. Louis led an exemplary life, spending long hours in prayer, fasting and penance. Louis was a great lover of justice and he was renowned for his charity. He was very generous to the poor and underprivileged, and regularly brought the poor to his palace where he served them himself. “The peace and blessings of the realm come to us through the poor,” he
would say.

Louis is often described as "one of the greatest of all French Kings" and was considered by his family, friends, French nobles, and religious men and women to be a deeply pious and honourable man. He took a special interest in charitable institutions, regarding his kingly duties  as part of his Christian vocation. St. Louis died near Tunis, 25 August 1270. His canonisation to the sainthood was proclaimed in 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII.

St Louis in the 1920sIn 1842 the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Louis was founded in France by Abbé Louis Bautain. He was a philosopher, teacher and Priest. His great concern was to provide a Christian education for the young, and for this purpose he founded a society of priests, and later a society of sisters, all of whom became involved in some aspect of education. Bautain’s vision was of ‘a world healed and transformed by the saving wisdom of Christianity’. His constant theme was unity and the search for truth, and his guiding words were of the prayer of Jesus to his Father: ‘that they all may be one’ - the St. Louis motto ‘Ut Sint Unum’. The first St. Louis Sisters came to Ireland in 1859 and set up a school in Monaghan town. Other schools were opened in Middletown (1875), Carrickmacross (1888), Kilkeel (1921) and Ballymena (1924). The St. Louis sisters also set up schools in Belfast, Dundalk and Dublin.