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He had such a strong impact on the following kings.

The article this month is about a King or a Queen of my country. France with a long, and complicated history had a lot of kings, some of them are more famous than the others, such as Louis XIV for example. But today I’m not going to speak to you about the “Roi-Soleil”. Let me introduce one of the most important kings, but also a quite unknown King of France: Louis IX aka Saint-Louis.

Saint-Louis is the 44th King of France, from the Capétien family, his father is Louis VIII The Lion and his mother Blanche of Castille. He became king at the age of 12, but too young to reign, his mother was the regent and ruled the country for him. Louis IX received a strong education from his mother and was known as a fair king. He has an important role because he put an end to the War between his family the Capétiens and the Plantagenêt which was an English family, ruling a part of the actual West French coast, England, and Scotland. Also, he was really concerned by the extension of his royal domain, that meant the extension of the country.

He was really attracted to the idea of justice, and he modernized the monarchy of France, from a feudal monarchy to a modern one. He created the idea of the “common good”, and improved the royal justice system and became the supreme judge of the laws and the country. He was really respected. In a way, he created the notion of France, based on the subject and the people and no longer on the relationship between the nobles and the King.

He created a lot of institutions of justice in the kingdom, his reputation of being fair and right was spreading throughout Europe, and some kings would ask for his advice. He was also a really religious king, he created a lot of churches and participated in three crusades. One was in France against the heretic « Cathares » in the south of France, he was at the head of the army who destroyed and killed the “cathares”. But also two in the Holy Land. He was involved in the 7th crusade from 1248 to 1254 against the sultan of Egypt. He was attacking the sultan to obtain the freedom of Jerusalem. But it was not a success, he was captured, and had to pay a ransom.

Then he was also in the 8th crusade in 1270, because of the failure of the previous crusade affected him a lot. But it was not the crusading time anymore in Europe, so he desperately tried to take Tunis, but he was old and died from dysentery.

The legend around Saint-Louis is huge in France, especially in the time of his successor, he was always shown as an example of how to be a good king, how to rule the state, how the be a good Christian, even in the 15th Century. The legend says that the king was often eating with poor people, give them the food himself. During his reign, France became bigger and richer, got a better justice and financial institution, and that why he had such a strong impact on the following kings.

Short bio of the volunteer:

Léo Cherel, a volunteer from France.

Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.