The World’s Famous Orations, Vol 7

Author: Saint Bernard  | Date: About 1145

St. Bernard

Why Another Crusade?*
(About 1145)

If it were announced to you that the enemy had invaded your cities, your castles, your lands; had ravished your wives and your daughters, and profaned your temples—which among you would not fly to arms? Well, then, all these calamities, and calamities still greater, have fallen upon your brethren, upon the family of Jesus Christ, which is yours. Why do you hesitate to repair so many evils—to revenge so many, outrages? Will you allow the infidels to contemplate in peace the ravages they have committed on Christian people? Remember that their triumph will be a subject for grief to all ages and an eternal opprobrium upon the generation that has endured it. Yes, the living God has charged me to announce to you that He will punish them who shall not have defended Him against His enemies.

Fly then to arms; let a holy rage animate you in the fight, and let the Christian world resound with these words of the prophet, "Cursed be he who does not stain his sword with blood !" If the Lord calls you to the defense of His heritage think not that His hand has lost its power. Could He not send twelve legions of angels or breathe one word and all His enemies would crumble away into dust? But God has considered the sons of men, to open for them the road to His mercy. His goodness has caused to dawn foryou a day of safety by calling on you to avenge His glory and His name.

Christian warriors, He who gave His life for you, to-day demands yours in return. These are combats worthy of you, combats in which it is glorious to conquer and advantageous to die. Illustrious knights, generous defenders of the Cross, remember the example of your fathers who conquered Jerusalem, and whose names are inscribed in Heaven; abandon then the things that perish, to gather unfading palms, and conquer a Kingdom which has no end.

Part II
The Reformation

* From a sermon given in part in the English edition of Michaud’s "History of the Crusades." Bernard had been delegated by the pope to preach the Second Crusade, which ended in complete disaster to the army sent out by Europe.

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Chicago: Bernard, The World’s Famous Orations, Vol 7 in The World’s Famous Orations, ed. William Jennings Bryan (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, December, 1906), 22–23. Original Sources, accessed October 13, 2019, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DGMJRW553MT45CQ.

MLA: Bernard. The World’s Famous Orations, Vol 7, in The World’s Famous Orations, edited by William Jennings Bryan, Vol. The World#8217;s Famous Orations, New York, Funk and Wagnalls, December, 1906, pp. 22–23. Original Sources. 13 Oct. 2019. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DGMJRW553MT45CQ.

Harvard: Bernard, The World’s Famous Orations, Vol 7. cited in December, 1906, The World’s Famous Orations, ed. , Funk and Wagnalls, New York, pp.22–23. Original Sources, retrieved 13 October 2019, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DGMJRW553MT45CQ.