The Priory of the St Louis the Crusader membership comes primarily from the State of Missouri. The Priory currently has three Preceptories. The Preceptory of St Paul is located in St Louis, Missouri, the Preceptory of St. Mary the Virgin located in Kansas City, Missouri, and Preceptory of Antioch which is located in Springfield, Missouri.
Since becoming a Priory, various events have been planned each year, including two convents occurring in the spring and fall. Throughout the year the Priory also has various smaller meetings and get-togethers to foster a sense of community and renew our Vows.
The Priory has supported scholarships for students in the Holy Land through the charitable arm of SMOTJ, the Raymond Davis Foundation. It also supports several charities through its Preceptories each month, and throughout the year. We are always on the lookout to find new opportunities to serve in our community.
- Seeking God in our lives and promoting love and respect for our community.
- Increasing understanding between religions, helping pilgrims visit holy places, and maintaining a Christian presence in the Holy Land.
- Supporting the poor, sick, and unjustly accused; standing against oppression, and protecting freedom of speech.
- Encouraging the noble ideas of Chivalry; maintaining the monuments, archives, and history of the Knights Templar.
The Priory of St. Louis the Crusader is named for the canonized French King who went on two Holy Crusades. King Louis IX, was a devout Christian, and was the only French Monarch to be declared a Saint. King Louis IX went on two Crusades, the 7th and the 8th. While neither one of them were considered to be successful, it was while he was on his last Crusade in Tunis, August 25th, 1270 where Louis IX died from dysentery as many people did in Tunis during this time. There have been movies, and many works or literature that showcase “St. Louis and the Last Crusade”. Louis IX was crowned king in 1226 at the age of 12. His mother, Blanche of Castile was the Regent until Louis could become of age. She raised Louis and the rest of her children, to follow her strong Christian, and Catholic beliefs, and to always take care of God’s children. Louis spent six years on his first crusade while in his 30’s in 1248 (7th Crusade). He felt very strongly that his obligations as a son of the Church outweighed the responsibilities as a Monarch. Often times he would refer to himself as a Lieutenant of God on Earth. King Louis IX often stated, that everything that he did was for the Glory of God and for the good of his people. He is renowned for his charity, and his protection of the poor. It was because of these and many other actions that Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed the canonization of Louis IX as a Saint, July 11, 1297 – 27 years after his death.
As you can see it is very befitting that the namesake of St. Louis the Crusader fits our Priory. The King that our Priory City Center is named after - the same King known for leading the same Crusades that the Knight Templars fought in – the same King who’s own personal Christian beliefs that ‘everything he did was for the Glory of God” and for taking care of those around him would be the same beliefs and vows of our Order.
Saint Louis the Crusader (the French King)- might not have much success while leading the 7th and 8th Crusades, but his beliefs, and mission to serve God’s children, and to do everything for the Glory of God lives in all modern day Templars. It is with great honor that our own Priory carry’s the name of this amazing leader who was revered for his charity. It is our turn, Saint Louis the Crusader (the Priory) to pick up his torch, and carry his name, and his mission forward on our own battlegrounds. Our Crusade is now –and we need to remember not only as Knights who and what we represent, but to also remember what Louis IX represented. We need to make sure that we continue to serve God’s children as he did and live up to the namesake from which we come from.