"Tomb of Patron Saint ~ Part II" Top 5 Page for this destination Sidi Bou Said Things to Do Tip by starship
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It is known that the man known as St. Louis, was also the same person who was crowned in Rheims in 1226 at the age of 11 as King Louis IX of France and the House of Capet. During his reign, Louis was known as a benevolent and devout Christian and Catholic. It is said he took his coronation investature as "lieutenant of God on Earth" and Protector of the Church seriously and to that end, embarked on two crusades.
It was during his second crusade when trying to spread Christianity and fighting Islam that Louis died in the town now known as Sidi Bou Said. Some sources say that he died in this Tunisian village of disease in 1270. However, Tunisians believe he did not die, but converted to Islam becoming known as Sidi Bou Said, and died as an Islamic saint buried in Djebel-Marsa. Because of Louis' documented, life long Christian devotion and his crusade against Islam, the Berber legend is not considered credible to many scholars.
What is more, apparently the partial remains of this saint have been buried in several places in addition to Sidi Bou Said: the Basilica of Monreale in Palermo, Sicily; Basicilica of St. Dominic in Bologna, Italy was his resting place for a brief time; and the French Royal Necropolis in St. Denis, France. It is said his body disappeared from St. Denis during the French Wars of Religion (a subject for further study).
St. Louis/Sidi Bou Said was canonized as a Catholic saint by Pope Boniface VIII in 1297; Louis IX was the only crowned monarch of France ever to become a saint. His memory is honored throughout the world in many places and in many ways. The Cathedral of St. Louis in Carthage was one, but now is no longer a relgious place of worship, but is used as a cultural center. The pictures here show the building which unfortunately we were not given access to. It remains a beautiful testament to the man known as St. Louis and also Sidi Bou Said.
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