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  Home >> The Crusades >> The First Crusade >> Pope Urban II

 

Pope Urban II was a powerful, persuasive speaker. Sources indicate that the speech he delivered that day was moving and memorable. There are five separate accounts that differ in detail, but the following synopsis delivers the general sense of his message that day:

The noble race of Franks must come to the aid their fellow Christians in the East. The infidel Turks are advancing into the heart of Eastern Christendom; Christians are being oppressed and attacked; "Holy Christians are being slaughtered..." churches and holy places are being defiled. Jerusalem is groaning under the Saracen yoke. The Holy Sepulchre is in Moslem hands and has been turned into a mosque. Pilgrims are harassed and even prevented from access to the Holy Land

The West must march to the defense of the East. All should go, rich and poor alike. The Franks must stop their internal wars and squabbles. Let them go instead against the infidel and fight a righteous war.

God himself will lead you, for you will be doing His work. There will be absolution and remission of sins for all who die in the service of Christ. Here,  you are poor and miserable sinners; there, you will be rich and happy. Let none hesitate; you must march next summer. God wills it!

Deus vult! (God wills it) Christ leads the Crusaders into holy battle became the battle cry of the Crusaders.

To read Pope Urban II's full speech, as documented by Robert The Monk, click here.

 

The call to arms goes out -->

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