The Children's Crusade A Tale of Children's Misfortune

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One key event was Steven's vision of Jesus. Steve was given a letter to the French king and some bread by Jesus. This event led to thousands of kids joining the crusade. Another key event was when God didn't part the sea in Genoa. When this happened, the crusade fell apart. People lost faith in the crusade, and wanted to go home. I think that Steve and should not have counted so heavily on God parting the sea. It ruined his plan, and ultimately caused the deaths of a lot of kids. Pretty bad. I also think the parents of the kids on the crusade should not have let their kids go. Some of the parents went with the kids, but I the ones who didn't? I bet they felt pretty bad when their beloved children didn't come home. I also think the king of France and the pope should feel pretty terrible. They are the ones with power and authority, so shouldn't they be leading a crusade? I also think the bishops should have let everyone on a boat. They couldn't just let some people on and, I don't know, saved their lives? Even the people who got on boats died because the ships sunk. This just didn't work out. Nice job, guys. I mean, good job for supporting your religion, but you watched God NOT part the sea, and then died. That was just bad planning. Get a boat, maybe? Or go around? Well, I'll cut them some slack, they were pretty focused on religion, and getting the holy land back. But next time, leave it to someone who has a boat, okay? It's not entirely your fault, since the adults with the resources couldn't do the job. You sure taught them a lesson though. If a bunch of highly respected adults with money and power can't do it, an untrained group of religious kids can, right? Clearly not this time. Honestly though, at a time when children were under appreciated and felt powerless, it is understandable why they would want to go fight for their religion. Vision or not, these people decided to join in on this doomed crusade because it was a symbol of hope for them. It was a way for them to make a difference in their religion and fight for what they believed in. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out. Maybe if they had some amount of training, they would have made it farther, but they probably wouldn't have actually been able to take back the Holy Land from the Muslims. They were overconfident and didn't understand the level of difficulty of what they were trying to do. In the end, a lot of innocent children died, the political figures in the area played it off as a malevolent plan created by the devil to kill a bunch of Christians and make others lose faith completely. Nobody really gave them a lot of credit for their bravery and the Children’s Crusade will forever be remembered as a bunch of dumb kids who thought they could make it to the Holy Land. That's why we need to spread the truth behind his infamous crusade and give these grave kids the credit they deserve.- IGN

The results of the Crusade were not pretty. Kids were killed, raped, and enslaved. No one even reached the Holy Land. Some people returning home weren't allowed on boats, and most of the ones who were sunk and drowned. The lucky few that got home made everyone feel ashamed for letting kids go on such a mission. Overall, the result was shame, suffering, and death. I don't think it was worth it from a religious standpoint. Christianity suffered an immense blow when 30,000 kids saw the sea not part for them. All they wanted was to take back the holy land, but it backfired. The entire population of Germany and France lost a massive spiritual war within themselves. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit. But really, it was bad. I also think that people took the whole Jesus bread thing too far. Alright, a kid had a vision of Jesus with an important letter for the French king. But does that mean 30,000 kids should follow you to certain death and suffering and rape? I think not. In the end, Nicholas, along with those who didn't freeze to death, barely made it to the Mediterranean Sea. When the sea didn't part like they had been told, the crusade quickly deteriorated. Everyone lost complete faith in their religion. Those who still believed then had to either go home or board merchants ships. Many of the merchants only gave them ships in order to get the kids and sell them to slave traders. Others trapped them on the boats and raped them. A few of the boats had leaks and sunk in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, killing dozens children and adults. Meanwhile, Steven and his “army” marched all the way to Rome, where to Pope released them of their crusade vows and told them all to go home. The children who didn't die were completely lost, cold, starving, sick, and had completely lost faith in Christianity. They thought that because God didn't allow them to reach the Holy Land, he didn't exist. That all by itself is incredibly tragic, but what’s worse it's the treatment of the children by the leaders of the church. They said that the children dishonored them and must have been tricked by the devil. The Pope at Brindisi did not allow children to board the boats and because of that, they had nobody to travel with and died on the way back home. I think that even though the children didn't have any chance at making it to the Holy Land, the church should have helped them get home, or at least given them some food and supplies so they could survive. Instead of helping them, they belittled them and made them feel terrible about their actions to preserve their religion and take back their Holy Land. These kids were incredibly brave and noble to stand up for what they believed in, but they were just a little bit overconfident. Still, they should get some credit for their perseverance and determination. A participation trophy?- IGN

During sleep, the motivation of the children's crusade became clear to twelve year old Steven. It says “ in France, a shepherd boy named Stephen cloyes claimed to have seen a vision”. During Stevens memorable dream he was visited by the son of god himself. Jesus was portrayed as a poor stricken man with nothing. Jesus proceeded to give Steven both a piece of bread as well as a letter from the king of France. It also says “ who said in June that he bore a letter for the king of France from Jesus. in the letter, it stated that Steven need to take back the holy lands in which the Muslims unlawfully stole from them. The entire way down they chanted “Lord God, exalt Christianity”. In my analysis I have come to a lot of conclusions. One being the fact that Jesus was poor. When I think of poverty I think of loss of hope. So when I read that Jesus was poor I thought that he had lost all hope in the fact that he couldn't achieve the holy land. So I think that Jesus turned to Steven to help him out. My next part of my analysis has to do with Jesus giving Steven bread. When I first read this I wondered “why in the world would Jesus give Steven bread?”. I then came to the conclusion that Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem. Bethlehem has a meaning to it. It's also called the “House of Bread”. So when Jesus gave Steven bread it symbolized the beginning or the birth of Stevens quest to achieving the holy land. It also could mean the beginning of the end. If you think about the fact that Jesus was poor and that he gave Steven bread, you could see how Jesus was foreshadowing the end result of the quest. Poor symbolizes a lost hope and bread symbolizes the beginning of something or the birth of something, if you put two and two together you get the fact that Jesus was giving us the end of the quest. In my opinion I think that Jesus picked the wrong person for the job. Steven was a twelve year old kid. And he decided that he would go on a crusade. He had no plan, he just started walking to the Mediterranean Sea like it was nothing. Steven gathered many people, young and old. But I think that the old people where being just as stupid as Steven was being. Because how sain does it sound to follow a kid to the Mediterranean Sea because Jesus told him to in a dream. if they had the least bit of common sense many of them would of survived. Many of them wouldn't have been sold to slavery. And many of them wouldn't have been raped. In my opinion I think that Steven was a bad person because he lead almost 30,000 people to their graves. He went in there saying he would take back the holy lands, but the only thing that he took where the lives of the people who followed him. These weren't just the lives of men and women these were the innocent lives of children- Cam

Pope Innocent III

Lothar of Segni was born into a noble family in the year 1160 or 1161 in the Gavignano castle to his father, Trasimund, and his mother, Claricia. He went to school in Rome as well as Paris and while in Paris, he discovered the Bible, which he used as a guideline to help him through problems in his life. While still in France in the year 1187, he became a subdeacon for Pope Gregory VIII. Roughly 2 years later, he was made cardinal deacon of SS by Pope Clement III. Following his time spent in Paris, he moved to Bologna to continue his studies. In the 1190’s, Lothar worked in the papal curia but wasn't very fond of it. During this same time period, Lothar wrote three books which showed his ways of thinking about the Bible. His books were called De miseria condicionis humane, De missarum mysteriis, and lastly De quadripartita specie nuptiarum. The date, January 8, 1198, was a big day for Lothar. The former Pope had passed away due to his old age. This led to Lothar being turned into the next Pope and him adopting his new name, Pope Innocent III. It became official that Lothar was a priest on February 21, 1198 and the next day was sworn in as bishop of Rome. Innocent’s goal was to have papal temporal authority over all Papal States. In an attempt to do this he created a military base in Rome. He also sent papal legates to other cities to convince the cities to be loyal to the Pope. Towards the start of his pontificate, he was getting overwhelmed with issues such as Emperor Henry VI dying, which caused Philip of Swabia’s and Otto of Brunswick to fight for the throne, and the Christian states in the Holy Land being held under the control of Muslims. However, Lothar overcame those issues and proceeded to create a larger papal territory than anyone before him. Pope Innocent III wanted to reclaim the holy land and Jerusalem which had been taken from them by the Muslims. He decided to support a crusade in which all participants would be under papal protection. To get the money needed to pay for everything, he taxed the clergy, but in the end, the fourth crusade was ultimately a failure due to a lack of money and leadership. After that, there was yet another catastrophe. Venetians built a giant ship for an army, however, the French and Germans contingents were only ⅓ the size of what they were supposed to be and they didn't have the money to pay the Venetians back for building the ship. The Venetians were excommunicated for urging the army to travel to Constantinople so that they could get rid of an emperor and use a new one. Innocent agreed to let them go to the city because he thought that taking over Constantinople would reunite both the Latin and Greek churches. Later on in his time as Pope, he started to think that heresy was a treason against God. In 1208, Lothar came to the conclusion that he would launch another crusade against the heretics. This came after the news that the papal legate was murdered and would continue to go on for a very long time, even after his death. The Pope would go on to be enemies with King John after he said that John was violating canon law which was a sin. This provided Innocent an opportunity for the Pope to interfere in the situation. This clearly caused quite a bit of tension between the two, which would carry on forever. Lastly, he created the fourth Lateran Council in 1215 where 412 bishops met up at St John Lateran’s church to create 72 new canons. He passed away July 16, 1216 in Perugia after about a 44 year life.- Benny

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Pennington, Kenneth J. "Innocent III, Pope." Religion Past and Present (2015): n. pag. Web. 15 Mar. 2017. <>.

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