25 August 2011

Feast of St. Louis IX and the Custom of Genuflecting during the Credo

Today is the feast of St. Louis IX. Among the more notable events of his life is something perhaps less known. In his private chapel, Saint Louis would genuflect during the Nicene Creed to show reverence to the incarnation of Christ at the words, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary; and was made man.

During the crusades, the king's practice became widespread and eventually was established as part of the rubrics of Holy Mass. In the Extradordinary Form of the Mass the custom is still to genuflect while in the Novus Ordo the practice is to bow and thankfully this practice is again being done more and more.

This painting of St. Louis and St. John the Baptist is from the Flemish school and was a detail for an altar of the Parliament of Paris. In the background is the Louvre palace from the 13th century.

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