A significant part of Christian history deals with the Crusades, which saw brutal conflict develop as various religious groups fought to control some of the holiest of sites in the Middle East. Jerusalem played an important role in these battles and wars, where power and control shifted hands many different times over the centuries. In this article, you will learn more about the Crusades, Saladin, and the Franciscan order of monks.
1095 to 1272 , The bulk of the Crusades take place.
The Crusades are a series of wars that the Christians engage in to take holy sites in the Middle East from the control of Muslims. The religious wars were given the blessing of the Pope and the Christian Church. The main goal was to reclaim the holy locations in and near Jerusalem that the Christians no longer had access to. In order to fight the Muslims, military units from all over the western part of Europe joined forces, but they were not under a unified command. Early on in the fight, the Roman Catholics enjoyed a few victories, but later years proven unsuccessful. The crusaders were defeated and forced to return home.
More than 100,000 soldiers took vows to become Crusaders with many coming from France. They used the cross as their emblem. In their time, the Crusades affected the political, economic, and social structure of western Europe. The Byzantine Empire suffered greatly as a result.
1187 , Saladin captures Jerusalem.
Saladin was the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, who founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He is well known for fighting against the Crusaders , leading the Muslim and Arab opposition. When he was at the height of his power, he controlled Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Kurdistan, and Yemen. Saladin guided his forces to defeat the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin. This set the wheels in motion for him to recapture Palestine, which had been seized by the Crusaders 88 years before he took it back. Saladin was not a ruthless leader, he actually won the respect of many of his opponents, including Richard the Lionheart. He was chivalrous in his actions and described as a noble leader. Because of this, he was not an entirely hated figure in Europe , he eventually became a symbol of chivalry.
1209 , The Franciscan order of monks starts.
The majority of Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders that were founded by St. Francis of Assisi. Franciscan communities include Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and other example of belief systems. The most prominent group is called the Order of the Friars Minor (known as the ‘Franciscans’). They wished to lead the kind of life that Saint Francis led Three separate groups are associated with the Franciscans , Observants, Capuchins, and the Conventual Franciscans. It is the Rule of St. Francis that shapes their life.