“The unlikely chain of circumstances that would make Braille possible began during the Crusades with King Louis the Ninth of France. Already a religious man, Louis met a crushing defeat in the Crusades, barely escaping death. He returned to Paris certain that God was trying to teach him humility. This belief intensified his interest in charity and, among other good works, he founded the first institution for the blind in the world, the ‘Quinze-Vingts’ hospice (in English, ‘fifteen score’). The name refers to the first inhabitants, 300 knights blinded during the Crusades… A successful and beloved king at home, Louis nonetheless could not resist another attempt at a Crusade, where he met his death in 1270 when a fever swept the French camp in Tunis. Because of his piety, the Church canonized him in 1297 as ‘St. Louis.’ In an odd coincidence, he would one day have a city named after him that would play an important role, 600 years later, in the acceptance of Braille in America.”