Why a Crusader knight sacrificed himself to liberate the Holy Sepulcher

October 15, 2015

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

knight in battle

What is the position of an advancing knight? He knows he is running a deadly risk. He understands he is running this risk for the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to liberate His Holy Sepulcher. He perceives he will have to eliminate an adversary that he hates for the very same reason that he loves the Holy Sepulcher. He loves the Holy Sepulcher with his whole soul, because Our Lord Jesus Christ lay there for three days when enveloped in the arms of death.

Main Entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Main Entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

He knows it was in that Holy Sepulcher, in that solitude of the grotto in which Our Lord was buried, that the Resurrection took place amid untold splendor, as myriads of angels sung, glorifying Our Lord and at the same time telling Our Lady about it at the Cenacle, in such a way that her soul, being worth more than all the choirs of angels, glorified God. So she watched from a distance as the magnificent legions of angels came down, chanting and acclaiming Our Lord until the moment when His most holy Soul, coming down from heaven, entered His Sacred Body. In It, Blood began to circulate once again, Life to manifest itself, and He rose in a single step, stood up straight and ordered the tombstone to open; and He left accompanied by all the angels.

Godfrey of Bouillon depicted with Bohemond, Raymond IV of Toulouse, and other Crusaders.

The sun shone brighter; flowers gave off a more intense perfume; brooks and waterfalls rumbled more impetuously; the sun became bluer and its waves, whiter; birds sang louder… All this is little or nothing next to the fact that the Immaculate Heart of Mary was filled with greater joy.

Bohemund of Taranto in the battleThis Sepulcher, in which these events took place, was conquered by Mohammed and his henchmen. It was in the hands of the enemies of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, it was necessary to liberate this Holy Sepulcher at all costs. The knight is aware of this and of the fact that a whole phalanx of brothers in the Faith accompanies him. He also knows he is facing a multitude of enemies of his Faith. He understands that he is nothing but one knight among others. However, being merely a knight is more or less like being merely a star in heaven: it is something extraordinary!

Teutonic KnightsHe understands that, sitting in His heavenly throne at the right hand of God the Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ expects each and every one of those knights to entirely apply their unyielding resolution to defeat the adversary.

godfrey-of-bouillon

This resolution is not just a veleity, a fantasy that any vulgar little man can have; it is a deliberation: I will liberate! (Excerpt from a Saint of the Day of Friday, Feb. 16, 1990.)

 

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