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Here followeth the Life of S. Louis of Marseilles.
S. Louis of Marseilles was born of royal lineage, and had to his father Charles, King of Sicily, and to mother Marie, Queen of Sicily. And loving humility, he refused and forsook the highness of regality and his noble lineage, and howbeit that all the worthy faits of his holy life with few words may not be recounted, nevertheless some we shall rehearse, to the profit and teaching of them that shall read or hear them. This glorious saint then, as testified it is of many, digne of faith or worthy to be believed, being of young age, was with his brethren bolden and kept under the cure and religious diligence of his master, and howbeit that he was tender and young of age, yet seemed to be ancient in manners, conditions and courage, and when he was led into Catalonia, a province of the realm of Arragon with his two brethren in hostage or pledge for the deliverance of the said king their father, he gave himself so firmly to the study, that in seven years while he was pledge, he profited so much in the seven sciences and in holy scripture that the same God’s man, resplendishing in wit might not only dispute subtly in public, and a part of the said sciences, but also durst and could propose the word of God solemnly unto the people and before clerks, insomuch that men supposed and believed better that God had sent and inspired him with such science than it had been gotten by him humanly. He confessed him oft and diligently, and heard the divine service devoutly, and on the solemn and high holy days, with great preparation he received the body of our Lord, and when he was priest he celebrated as daily and hearkened much ententively the word of God, and for the nourishing of his soul he gladly and oft studied the holy and devout scriptures. From the time of his childhood he loved chastity, so that for the most sure keeping of himself he fled and eschewed the company of all women, insomuch that he spake to none save only to his mother and with his sisters and that seldom. He chastised his body by abstinence of meat and drink and made it lean and disciplined it, as another S. Paul, with chains of iron right oft with his own hands, and he putting his flesh under the servitude of the spirit, ware for a shirt a stamin or strainer’s cloth, and for girdle he girded him on his bare flesh with a cord. This holy man then remembering his vow to enter in to the order of the friars minor, by him made being in hostage as it is said in the province of Catalonia, purposed to accomplish it, but he seeing that, for fear of the said king his father, the friars durst not receive him, he solemnly renewed the said vow, and by no manner of persuasion and admonishing ne for any provision that pope Boniface had made and given to him, he would not assent to forsake it. Which devotion considered, by the assent of the said pope, this holy S. Louis took the habit of religion of the said friars minor, and kneeling, made express profession in the presence of John Bishop of Portuence which as then was minister general of the said order. Marvellous and much wonderful thing it is, and not accustomed to be seen, for the same holy saint, filled with virtues renounced to the right of the first-born, and despised the pomp and worship of the siege royal, and for the realm temporal and corruptible changed and gat the realm perdurable, and full of all manner delices.
He had marvellous compassion on the poor people, to whom largely he dealt his alms. This holy S. Louis, as God’s pleasure was, the pope Boniface promoted him to the dignity of bishop. And notwithstanding he never changed his habit, but diligenely exercised the office of a bishop. He celebrated devoutly, the orders examined diligently in life, in conditions, and in the articles of the faith, willing and ever ready to enhance it, persuaded and admonished ententively the Jews and paynims to baptism. And at the last, this glorious saint, tending to God, fountain quick and living, nigh the term of his days, lying on his bed, sick with his last sickness, took and devoutly received the precious body of our Lord, and howbeit that he was right feeble, he issued from his bed against his creator, and anon after he passed right gloriously out of this world to the glory of paradise. Wherefore it was well behoveful and reasonable thing that he, in whose life during God adorned with so many virtues and good conditions, should be ennobled and honoured of many miracles after his death. The which miracles are approved and testified by the worthy people of the faith, and are declared hereafter to the honour and glory of the said saint.
A maiden of two years of age, the which was aggrieved with a strong axes which she had suffered by the space of two years, died and passed from this world. Her father besought the saint for her life and anon by the merits of the saint she was raised and restored on life.
A child of five years of age by over great force of an axes died, but by a vow his father made for him to the saint was restored again unto life. A maiden of seven years of age, which had suffered an axes continual, died, and vow made unto the same saint by her parents, recovered the spirit of life and lived long after. A woman conceiving two daughters one of the which for cause of a fall that her mother received against her belly, died within the womb of her mother, time came that the mother should be delivered of her birth. This child dead, and as then all rotten, by help and mystery of midwifery was had out one piece after another, and, vow made by the father to the saint, the child so dismembered was restored to life and lived after seven months. Another child which under a bed was found dead, vow made to the same saint, was the child restored tolife. A woman which by great sickness was passed out of this world, vow made for her by her parents unto the saint, recovered the spirit of life and sithence lived long. With these miracles and many others would God his saint to be magnified and rendered honourable to all the world. Therefore let us pray the holy saint Louis of Marseilles that he will pray God for us. Amen.
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