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The Children's Crusade: Thousands of Children March to Holy Land but Never Return (Read the article on one page)

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The Return of Baal to the Holy Land: Canaanite Reconstructionism among Contemporary Israeli Pagans
The Muslim Mamluks (slave soldiers) of Egypt ended the Mongol scourge at Ain-Jalut on September 3, 1260. The Mamluks then captured the Christian towns of Caesarea and Jaffa; the fall of Antioch and the ruthless slaughter of thousands of inhabitants in 1268 led to the Eighth Crusade.

After an agreement with his nephew Prince Edward of England, King Louis IX of France began the Eighth Crusade in July of 1270, but died of infectious disease in Tunis on August 25, 1270. Prince Edward then proceeded to Acre with Visconti of Liege in May, 1271. Visconti of Liege soon left Acre, chosen to become Pope Gregory X. The chivalrous Prince, offended by the infighting and corruption in Outremer, and without the military help of Louis IX, decided on diplomatic efforts and arranged a ten-year truce with the Mamluks in the spring of 1272, which also allowed pilgrimage access to Nazareth. Edward stayed until his wife Eleanor of Castile delivered their daughter and then left Acre on September 22. Upon the death of his father Henry III on November 16, 1272, he became King Edward I of England (1272-1307). It was the last of the Crusades to the Holy Land.82

Unchecked, the Mamluks of Egypt easily conquered the rest of Outremer. The fall of the city of Acre to the Mamluk Sultan al-Ashraf Khalil on May 18, 1291 effectively ended 192 years of Crusader territory in the Holy Land.83

afterwards all the Jews will return to the Holy Land


King Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily, had vowed to crusade upon his succession to the throne in 1215, but his responsibilities over such a large empire delayed his trip to the Holy Land, much to the detriment of the Fifth Crusade. When he failed to keep his pledge to Honorius III, the new Pope Gregory IX excommunicated Frederick because of his many delays and initial failure to keep his vow. Frederick finally arrived in Acre September 7, 1228. Appreciated by Muslim writers such as Ibn Wasil and Ibn al-Furat for his culture and sensitivity towards the Arabic people, he chose diplomacy over warfare and negotiated the Treaty of Jaffa, a ten-year agreement in 1229 with al-Kamil, the Sultan of Egypt, for the return of Jerusalem with access to Bethlehem and Nazareth. The Holy City fell when the treaty expired in 1239, but negotiations by Thibaut IV of Champagne and Richard of Cornwall preserved Christian presence in Jerusalem until 1244.79

 

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The spiritual zeal engendered by Pope Urban II helped to inspire the remarkable outcome of the First Crusade. The goal to recapture Jerusalem, to defend the Christian East, and to unite Europe in a common cause was a noble effort. Pilgrimages to the restored Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem resumed and have lasted to the present day. The early Crusades did unite Western Europe in a common purpose, provided an influx of Eastern thought into Western culture, and opened new avenues of trade between Europe and the Levant.

Ambroise, the Norman troubadour who was present at the Siege of Acre, evaluated the Third Crusade in spiritual terms: for all those Crusaders who "suffered and died for the love of God, they will be at the right hand of God in the Heavenly Jerusalem." 84

But the Crusades also proved to be an example of a high-minded ideal betrayed by human nature. The unsanctioned Peasants' Crusade of 1096 led to massacre of Jews in Mainz and other German towns, but also provoked its self-destruction. Subsequent crusades, in the hands of warring noblemen, knights, and clerics who struggled for power, land, and riches, proved disastrous, particularly with the Fourth Crusade.

One interesting observation is that, while the record of events for the first three Crusades was relatively consistent throughout the literature, many conflicting reports exist for the Fourth and following Crusades. Did historians lose interest or had the Crusades become an embarrassment by the miserable turn of events?

The crusading effort brought only temporary success, as the Crusader states lasted from 1099 to 1291. And Jerusalem itself was in Christian hands for only 88 years.

Christianity and Islam were thrown into opposition by both the Crusades and the aggressive Turkish Ottoman Empire, which at one point extended from the Balkans throughout the Middle East. The Turks were stopped from further European expansion at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. The first wave of immigration of Middle East Christians to America began when Maronite Catholics of fled from persecution by Muslim Druze following the Syrian Civil War of 1860. The major outcome of World War I was the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, which exposed the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Turks. Sheikh Faisal ibn Hussein of Mecca and Lawrence of Arabia led a pan-Arab revolt for independence during the War. Jerusalem itself was controlled by the Ottomans for four hundred years, from 1516 until 1917. British General Edmund Allenby liberated the city on December 11, 1917 near the end of World War I. Often called the , the expedition coincided with the on a homeland for Israel and the Jewish liberation song . 85

The polarity between Christianity and Islam has lasted to this very day. The Crusades have become quite relevant to current events and may well be prophetic for the future. Today a fragile peace grips , with the presence of the world’s three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) who worship and trust in God. Both Israel and the Palestinians are locked in a bitter and endless struggle in their efforts to establish their respective homelands. Middle East Christians in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Libya have suffered terribly at the hands of Muslim extremists such as the terrorist Islamic State.

The of the Crusades provided us with some wonderful examples of individual heroism. Two figures that received lasting respect by both Christian and Muslim historians alike were and . In fact, both were immortalized in a favorable light by Dante 86 in the . Saladin recaptured Jerusalem through negotiations with Balian of Ibelin. St. Francis of Assisi risked his life in the Fifth Crusade by calling directly upon the Sultan of Egypt in an effort to bring peace. The piety of was recognized by his canonization in 1297. One cannot help but admire the fortitude and military prowess exhibited by the Crusaders, such as and .

Recent efforts have been made to bridge the gap created by the Crusades. The Second Vatican Council did much to open a dialogue with the Byzantine Orthodox East, and during that time the mutual excommunications of 1054 were lifted. 87 The Papacy of John Paul II has been one of rapprochement. His 1995 encyclical, , 88 called for . In the Jubilee year of 2000 he prayed the traditional Nicene Creed (without filioque) with Orthodox leaders. His visit to Egypt in March 2000 did much to encourage interfaith harmony. And shortly afterwards, in Jerusalem, he asked God forgiveness for the sins of the Catholic Church. 89 Concerned for peace and interfaith harmony, the Pope opposed the pre-emptive Iraq War in 2003. 90

The Crusades leave one wondering is there really such an entity as a just war? The Ten direct us not to kill. And Jesus himself instructed us:


The office can provide invaluable information regarding events, contacts, and issues related to ecumenical and interfaith relationships in the Holy Land.


Holy Land Pilgrimage Guidelines - United States …

Custos of the Holy Land
P.O. Box 186
Jerusalem 9100101
Tel: 011-972-2-626-6561
Email:
Website:

The Custos, Franciscan friars designated by the Holy See to have "custody" of the holy places, promote pilgrimages and offer itineraries and proposals and practical information useful in planning journeys of faith. They can help coordinate and direct the reception of pilgrims at the Holy Shrines, offering spaces of prayer and making available Franciscan centers of hospitality (hostels) for those on pilgrimages organized by them.

Mark Twain in the Holy Land | Zionism and the State of Israel

Fulcher of Chartres wrote in his third book prior to his death in 1127, "Consider, I pray, and reflect how in our time God has transferred the West into the East. For we who were Occidentals now have been made Orientals. He who was a Roman or a Frank is now a Galilaean, or an inhabitant of Palestine...Some have taken wives not merely of their own people, but Syrians, or Armenians, or even Saracens who have received the grace of baptism...There are here too grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One cultivates vines, the other the fields. The one and the other use mutually the speech and idioms of the different languages...Those who were strangers are now natives; and he who was a sojourner now has become a resident...Therefore why should one who has found the East so favorable return to the West?...Therefore God wishes to enrich us all and draw us to Himself as his most dear friends. And because He wishes it, we also freely desire the same; and what is pleasing to Him we do with a loving and submissive heart, that with Him we may reign happily throughout eternity." 50

In time, there developed a fusion of cultures in the Crusader states, where Armenian, Byzantine, Eastern Christian, European, and Islamic influences were evident in the arts, commercial trade, intellectual exchange, and daily life. 51 Queen Melisende being of European and Armenian heritage was the living personification of this cultural synthesis. William of Tyre made the point that occurred during her reign. 52 She busied herself as a patroness of the arts, such as renovating the convent of St. Anne Church in Jerusalem when her youngest sister Yvette lived there, and building the Church and convent of St. Lazarus at Bethany where Yvette eventually served as abbess. She was naturally supportive of the construction of the Armenian Cathedral of St. James in the southwest quarter during the 1140s. Both the Armenian Cathedral and the Holy Sepulchre were restored about the same time. 53 She supported the Syrian Orthodox in the recovery of their Jacobite churches and villages that had been lost in the Frankish conquest. There is registered in her name an endowment to the Orthodox monastery of St. Sabas in Jerusalem. 54 The Psalter of Melisende, a gift from her husband King Fulk, survives as a treasure of Crusader art reflecting this integration of cultures.

The building and renovation of Churches throughout the Holy Land served as a priority for the Latin States. More than 400 churches were either built, restored, or in use during the Latin Crusader period. 55 It was during the reign of Queen Melisende that the restoration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre took place. Fifty years after the capture of Jerusalem, the Crusaders dedicated the church in Romanesque architecture on 15 July 1149. The Church one visits today is the one built by the Crusaders!

Fulk and Melisende's second son King Amaury (1163-1174) of Jerusalem was also artistically inclined and joined the Byzantine Emperor Manuel Comnenus and Bishop Ralph of Bethlehem in sponsoring a complete redecoration of the Church of the Nativity. Other Churches renovated during his reign included the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist at Sebastiya, the Church of St. Anne at Sephoris, and the Church of the Resurrection at Nablus. He also recognized the artistic ability of William of Tyre and, in addition to appointing him tutor to his son Baldwin, urged him to write his famous . He appointed him Chancellor of Jerusalem in 1174.56