SAINT LOUIS—CONFESSOR, KING
To further complicate a personality Velma Louise Pensoneau Jones’s
genealogy goes back through St. Louis, Missouri where her grandfather,
Paschal Pensoneau, worked for John Jacob Astor. Paschal’s father was over
one outfit in the American Fur Trading business around the Kansas City
territory. Paschal’s father was successful in St. Louis, Missouri and his
uncle Louison was an attorney. Paschal left his family in St. Louis and
married a Kickapoo woman, Shikina, daughter of the chief. The original
Pensoneaus in France were Francis dit LaFleur and Ann Leber. Their crest
was the Fleur De Lis.
Turning from Stoicism of Greece to the Kings
of France, as a way of enjoying the history of our ancestors and their
peers, I include these beautiful, touching instructions left by King Louis
of France to his son. They were Catholic and the instructions follow that
vein. However, the basic goodness can be respected by those of any faith.
To follow the divine instructions during these days and times would be an
advantage to anyone.
Last Instructions to his Eldest Son.
Then he [Louis] called my Lord Philip, his
son, and commanded him, as if by testament, to observe all the teachings
he had left him, which are hereinafter set down in French, and were, so it
is said, written with the king's own saintly hand:
"Fair son, the first thing I would teach thee
is to set thine heart to love God; for unless he love God none can be
saved. Keep thyself from doing aught that is displeasing to God, that is
to say, from mortal sin. Contrariwise thou shouldst suffer every manner of
torment rather than commit a mortal sin.
"If God send thee adversity, receive it in
patience and give thanks to our Saviour and bethink thee that thou hast
deserved it, and that He will make it turn to thine advantage. If He send
thee prosperity, then thank Him humbly, so that thou becomest not worse
from pride or any other cause, when thou oughtest to be better. For we
should not fight against God with his own gifts.
"Confess thyself often and choose for thy
confessor a right worthy man who knows how to teach thee what to do, and
what not to do; and bear thyself in such sort that thy confessor and thy
friends shall dare to reprove thee for thy misdoings. Listen to the
services of Holy Church devoutly, and without chattering; and pray to God
with thy heart and with thy lips, and especially at Mass when the
consecration takes place. Let thy heart be tender and full of pity toward
those who are poor, miserable, and afflicted, and comfort and help them to
the utmost of thy power.
"Maintain the good customs of thy realm and
abolish the bad. Be not covetous against thy people and do not burden them
with taxes and imposts save when thou art in great need.
"If thou hast any great burden weighing upon
thy heart, tell it to thy confessor or to some right worthy man who is not
full of vain words. Thou shalt be able to bear it more easily.
"See that thou hast in thy company men,
whether religious or lay, who are right worthy and loyal and not full of
covetousness, and confer with them oft; and fly and eschew the company of
the wicked. Hearken willingly to the Word of God and keep it in thine
heart, and seek diligently after prayers and indulgences. Love all that is
good and profitable and hate all that is evil, wheresoever it may be.
"Let none be so bold as to say before thee any
word that would draw or move to sin, or so bold as to speak evil behind
another's back for pleasure's sake; nor do thou suffer any word in
disparagement of God and of His saints to be spoken in thy presence. Give
often thanks to God for all the good things he has bestowed on thee, so
that thou be accounted worthy to receive more.
"In order to do justice and right to thy
subjects, be upright and firm, turning neither to the right hand nor to
the left, but always to what is just; and do thou maintain the cause of
the poor until such a time as the truth is made clear. And if anyone has
an action against thee, make full inquiry until thou knowest the truth;
for thus shall thy counsellors judge the more boldly according to the
truth, whether for thee or against.
"If thou holdest aught that belongeth to
another, whether by thine own act or the act of thy predecessors, and the
matter be certain, make restitution without delay. If the matter be
doubtful, cause inquiry to be made by wise men diligently and promptly.
"Give heed that thy servants and thy subjects
live under thee in peace and uprightness. Especially maintain the good
cities and commons of thy realm in the same estate and with the same
franchises as they enjoyed under thy predecessors; and if there be aught
to amend, amend and set it right, and keep them in thy favor and love. For
because of the power and wealth of the great cities, thine own subjects,
and especially thy peers and thy barons and foreigners also will fear to
undertake aught against thee.
"Love and honor all persons belonging to Holy
Church, and see that no one take away or diminish the gifts and alms paid
to them by thy predecessors. It is related of King Philip, my grandfather,
that one of his counsellors once told him that those of Holy Church did
him much harm and damage in that they deprived him of his rights, and
diminished his jurisdiction, and that it was a great marvel that he
suffered it; and the good king replied that he believed this might well be
so, but he had regard to the benefits and courtesies that God had bestowed
on him, and so thought it better to abandon some of his rights than to
have any contention with the people of Holy Church.
"To thy father and mother thou shalt give
honor and reverence, and thou shalt obey their commandments. Bestow the
benefices of Holy Church on persons who are righteous and of a clean life,
and do it on the advice of men of worth and uprightness.
"Beware of undertaking a war against any
Christian prince without great deliberation; and if it has to be
undertaken, see that thou do no hurt to Holy Church and to those that have
done thee no injury. If wars and dissensions arise among thy subjects, see
that thou appease them as soon as thou art able. "Use diligence to have
good provosts and bailiffs, and inquire often of them and of those of thy
household how they conduct themselves, and if there be found in them any
vice of inordinate covetousness or falsehood or trickery. Labor to free
thy land from all vile iniquity, and especially strike down with all thy
power evil swearing and heresy. See to it that the expense of thy
household be reasonable.
"Finally, my very dear son, cause Masses to be
sung for my soul, and prayers to be said throughout thy realm; and give to
me a special share and full part in all the good thou doest. Fair, dear
son, I give thee all the blessings that a good father can give to his son.
And may the blessed Trinity and all the saints keep and defend thee from
all evils; and God give thee grace to do His will always, so that He be
honored in thee, and that thou and I may both, after this mortal life is
ended, be with Him together and praise Him everlastingly. Amen.
Taken from "Lives of Saints", Published by
John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.