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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311

XI: The Fifth Crusade,   pp. 376-428 PDF (13.1 MB)

Page 379

hoped to inspire all spiritual and temporal leaders with the urgency of the
task confronting the church.2 
 He called for energetic action, reminding the faithful of the thousands
of Christians languishing in Saracen prisons and of the Moslem fortress recently
erected on Mt. Tabor, thought to be the place of Christ's transfiguration
— a fortress dominating the city of Acre, through which the Saracens
hoped "to invade, unopposed, the remnants of the kingdom of Jerusalem." He
summoned bishops, abbots, cathedral chapters, all members of the clergy,
the cities and villages in most regions of Europe to furnish armed troops
in proportion to their capabilities, together with the necessary arms and
supplies for three years' service. He urged maritime cities to provide transportation
and naval supplies. 
 So that the more urgent mission in the orient might not suffer, Innocent
suspended the privileges granted to other crusaders, such as those who had
elected to fight against the Albigensians and the the Muwahhids, a change
in policy which must greatly have dis turbed those who in good faith had
accepted the pope's own earlier assurances that the heretics were no less
dangerous than the "in fidels". Kings, princes, counts, barons, and other
magnates, unable to take the cross in person, should equip and maintain combatants.
Corsairs, pirates, and others guilty of molesting and despoiling pilgrims
en route to the Holy Land were to be excommunicated, together with all their
 In order that the enterprise might be supported by spiritual as well as
by physical weapons, the pope ordered the institution of monthly processionals,
men and women marching separately. Public prayers were to be offered beseeching
God to restore to the Christians the Holy Sepulcher. During the daily celebration
of mass, immediately after communion, men and women were to prostrate themselves
humbly while the clergy chanted the 67th (68th) and 78th (79th) Psalms: Exsurgat
Deus, et dissipentur inimici eius, and Deus, venerunt gentes in haereditatem
tuam. At the conclusion of the ceremony a special prayer, provided by the
pope, was to be offered for the freeing of the land consecrated by the blood
of Christ. 
 To France Innocent sent his former schoolmate Robert of "Courcon" (Curzon)
as legate and crusading preacher,3 and appealed 
 2 The following account of the preparations for the crusade is based, in
large part, on the letters of Innocent III in PL, CCXVI, cols. 8 17—832,
  For the following, and many other details, see F. J. G. la Porte du Theil,
". . . Mémoire biographique sur Robert de Courcon, avec l'analyse
et l'extrait de dix lettres anecdotes du pape Innocent III," Notices et extraits
des manuscrits de la Bibliotheque Nationale, VI (Paris, 1800-1801), 130 ff.

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