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
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
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)
became the battle cry of the Crusaders.
To read Pope Urban II's full speech, as documented by Robert The Monk,
call to arms goes out -->