Children’s Crusade: A Medieval Tragedy

By | November 12, 2018

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The Crusader boys, on their march to rescue the Holy Sepulchre. (Getty Images)

During the medieval era, Christians from Europe, sanctioned by the Church, were encouraged to embark on religious invasions, disguised as pilgrimages, to the Holy Lands in the Middle East. The goal was to reclaim the Holy Land, and secure important religious artifacts, from the Muslim’s who controlled the region, but the Crusades also had political goals as well. Over the span of about two centuries, beginning in 1095, there were eight unsuccessful Crusades to the Middle East. The failings of these Crusades, however, didn’t dissuade the Church and the adults of Europe from stopping their children from joining the Children’s Crusade of 1212, which turned out to be a tragically disastrous event. 

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Innocents Will Win The Day

The Children’s Crusade of 1212 was said to have been inspired by the holy visions received by two young boys, Stephen of Cloyes of France and Nicholas of Germany. Both boys stated that they were visited by Jesus who explained to them that the Muslims could be converted to Christianity by innocence and peace…the kind that only young children could offer.