Baldwin wondered if he was ever going to get used to this, sitting
at his father's place at the high table. After nearly a month, he still sometimes
forgot and went to the wrong chair. But his attendants were always so patient,
reminding him where to go, and for that he was relieved. Still, Baldwin felt
as if he had taken something which shouldn't belong to him.
He had always known, of course, that he would someday be King,
but he had never dreamed it would be so soon. No, he had just assumed that he
would be a grown-up when his father died and left him with the weight of the
entire Kingdom upon his shoulders. He begged God every day - countless times
a day! - to make him a good and just ruler, to help him in all these immense
responsibilities which had so suddenly fallen into his lap. His father had tried
to prepare him for this during his whole life, but it was so different to actually
do it in reality. And he missed his father so much!
He finished his meal, and a page came to refill his cup. Baldwin shook his
head, unwilling to drink too much of the strong wine. Besides, it was the time
of evening when the gates of the city were always locked for the night, and
he liked to supervise this function whenever he could, as his father had done
He silently said his own after-meal grace and rose to leave. Instantly every
other person in the room stood up as well, and all conversation ceased. This,
too, he would have to get used to. His attendants draped his royal robe around
his shoulders and stepped forward to accompany him, but Baldwin motioned for
them to stay behind. He didn't need a flock of pages trailing after him every
single hour of the day! Instead his eyes traveled to the small group of squires
at the far end of the hall, and he indicated for Theo alone to follow.
As Baldwin crossed the floor of the great hall everyone bowed respectfully,
and it wasn't until he had stepped through the door and out of their presence
that they resumed their seats.
He waited for Theo to join him, then said, "I'm going up to the walls.
Want to come?"
Theo smiled. "You bet I do."
The garrison of Templars were the ones in charge of guarding the city, and
once those gates were locked each evening, no one could get in or out without
the consent of the Order's Military Marshal, Sir Gerard de Ridford. Together
the two boys made their way through the palace and into the open air. "You
know something?" Baldwin asked after a minute.
"I'm starting to wish you didn't want to become a Templar once you're
Theo looked at him, surprised. "Why?"
Baldwin sighed. "Because my father's arrangements for Sibyl's marriage
didn't work out, and now it's up to me to find a husband for her. You would
have been my first choice."
Theo stopped walking and stared at him, stunned. "Hey! And I thought I
was your friend!"
Baldwin nearly laughed at the look on his face. "You are my friend, dummy,"
he reassured with a grin. "Don't you realize I'm offering you the highest
honor in the Kingdom?"
"Really? You could've fooled me."
"Don't you get it? Think. When I die someday, Sibyl will become the Queen.
And that makes her husband the next King of Jerusalem."
Theo just stood there, dumbfounded, as the implication sank in. Baldwin, however,
started walking again and Theo hurried to catch up. "Wait a minute,"
he objected. "That's not how it works. Your oldest son inherits the Throne,
not your sister."
Baldwin felt that familiar sickening dread. "Not in my case," he
said quietly. "I'm never going to have a son. I can't make anyone marry
me." "What a crazy thing to say! You, of all people, can take your
pick. And it's not just because you're the King either. Believe me, Dwin. I
know about these things."
"But I'm sick, Theo. Remember? And it's only going to get worse. Sometimes
I wish you'd just stop pretending I'm normal because"
"You are normal, Dwin. You've caught some kind of infection, that's all.
Besides, I ask God every single day to make you better, and He always hears
Baldwin fell silent. There was no point arguing about God answering prayers
in His own way. He knew Theo was sincere. But it had been a long time since
Theo had seen the way his hands and arms actually looked.
He sighed and glanced at his friend. It was obvious that poor Theo was suddenly
depressed. Baldwin forced a smile and gave him a playful punch. "Come on,"
he teased, "what do you say? Want to be the next King or not?"
Theo couldn't help it. He had to laugh. "Believe me," he answered,
"I'd rather be the lowest serf who cleans the latrines than the mighty
nobleman who gets stuck with your sister! Even if she is gorgeous and comes
with a free Kingdom."
laughed as well. "All right," he conceded. "Point taken. I'll
let you off. Go ahead and be a monk."
"You know I'd make a rotten king anyhow."
Baldwin could have argued with that, but he didn't. He knew he would just have
to choose another virtuous nobleman. Possibly one of the Ibelin brothers. Or
better yet, that William de Montferrat, the one called Sir William Longsword.
They reached the city walls in silence and stopped to watch the locking of
the gates below. Baldwin understood why his father had gone nearly every evening
to see this. It was a sobering reminder that they were living in a state of
constant warfare. They were never safe, never able to just go to bed without
wondering if the city might be attacked as they slept. Saladin was always out
"Hey, Dwin," Theo spoke up, pointing into the distance. "Someone
got locked out."
Baldwin had already spotted the lone knight galloping across the bleak desert
sands. "I see him," he said. "The Templars will take care of
it." They always did. It was their job to find out who the man might be
and why he desired to enter the city after hours.
Sure enough, by the time he arrived, a pair of the warrior monks were waiting
for him on the wall just above. The knight reined in, and even from where they
stood the two boys could see how desperate and exhausted he looked. He had obviously
ridden at great speed for a long time.
"Let me in!" he gasped, addressing the Templars.
"The gates are already locked," one of them called down. "First
state your business, and we'll speak to our Marshal."
"I bear a message of utmost urgency for His Majesty the King. Please,
I must see him!"
Before the Templars could reply, Baldwin moved closer and called down to the
man himself. "I am the King, Sir Knight. What have you to say?"
The messenger looked up, confused for an instant, and Baldwin realized that
the man had forgotten it was no longer Amalric who was king, but his son. The
knight, however, recovered quickly and wasted no time. "My liege, the city
of Aleppo is under attack. The Christian population there is large. They entreat
you to send reinforcements."
Before Baldwin had time to say anything, Theo unintentionally blurted out,
"Aleppo! That¹s hundreds of miles north! We could never get an army
there in time!"
The knight was waiting for the King to answer.
Baldwin whispered a silent prayer for help, then turned to the Templars. "Open
the gates," he ordered, "and let this man in."
Taken from Crusader
King by TAN Books & Publishers,
On November 27, 1095, in a town called Clermont, France, Pope Urban II addressed
the clergy, princes and knights of Christendom in a sermon which, unknown to
himself, was about to change the entire course of medieval history. During the
last several centuries, the places sanctified by the earthly life, death and
glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, namely the Holy Land, had been
under the control of Muslims, followers of the religion of Islam, which had
been founded by Mohammed in the 7th century. The Holy Land had more recently
fallen into the hands of the fiercest and most fanatical of these Islamic sects,
a race called the Seljuk Turks. As a result, those places held so dear to Catholics
were desecrated, churches having been turned into mosques, and Christian pilgrims
being robbed and often slain. The Holy Land had become a breeding ground for
error and spiritual corruption. Furthermore, the insidious and false religion
was threatening to spread westward.
Realizing the enormity of this danger to Holy Mother Church, the Pope made
an urgent appeal to the whole of Catholic Europe, exhorting his faithful flock
to lay aside all fighting between themselves and instead combine their forces
in an attempt to vanquish the enemies of God and thus rescue the Holy Land from
their grasp. To all those who were willing to leave behind their homes and families
for the cause of this holy endeavor, the Pope offered the richest indulgences.
His proposal was received with overwhelming enthusiasm. Soon not only Clermont,
but every town in Europe was resounding with the words that were to become a
battle cry: "God wills it!"
Thousands upon thousands, knights and peasants alike, vowed to "take the
cross" to Jerusalem. From this term came the word Crusade, the name by
which we call this holy war and those that would eventually follow.
Within a year, four enormous armies had gathered from all parts of Europe.
Like a tidal wave of humanity, these first brave Crusaders surged toward Palestine
and, in 1099, reached Jerusalem itself. In a vicious and bloody battle they
managed to capture this most revered city and reclaim it for Christ.
One of the armies' great leaders, Godfrey de Bouillon, was chosen to be the
new ruler of Jerusalem, but he died shortly thereafter, leaving his brother
to ascend the Throne as King Baldwin the First.
Victory after victory followed until the Catholics eventually gained possession
of a large region of Palestine, which came to be known as Outremer, meaning
"the land beyond the sea."
This newly restored Kingdom of Jerusalem, however, remained under constant
threat from the Infidel - "the unbelievers," meaning the Muslims -
so much so that in 1147 a second Crusade was launched to bolster the Christian
position. Indeed, it would require such strengthening. For in 1137, a Muslim
of Kurdish descent had been born who was to become the single most formidable
enemy the Crusaders would ever have to reckon with, a man by the name of Salah-el-Din
Yousouf, more commonly known as Saladin. By 1170 this military genius had made
himself master of most of the ever-increasing Muslim territory surrounding Crusader
lands. He would soon attain absolute power as the Turkish Sultan.
At this point in time, King Amalric the First was the Sovereign upon the Catholic
Throne of Jerusalem, his heir being the young Prince Baldwin...
Other pages discussing Catholic
doctrine and history:
- Our Lord Jesus Christ
- The Sacred Heart
of Jesus - Learn all about this beautiful devotion to Our Lord.
- The Shroud of Our Lord -
Discusses the convroversy over the Shroud of Turin - is it real or a forgery? Evidence points to its authenticity.
- Infinite Mercy of Jesus - Learn how
the Heart of Jesus has a strong desire to love and pardon sinners who sincerely return to Him.
- The Blessed Virgin Mary
- The Blessed Virgin Mary
- Immaculate, pure, and our most powerful intercessor after Our Lord
- The Holy Slavery
- To Jesus, through Mary -- the same way Jesus came to us (through His Mother)
- Edifying and Beautiful -
Learn about God's Providence in regard to the Blessed Virgin Mary, her graces and merits, the details of her life!
- Our Lady of Fatima - Her predictions and warning for the future.
- Saints who Saw Mary
- Tells the story of 17 great Saints who saw and heard the Blessed Mother, whom they were so devoted to!
- History and Culture
- Wearing Pants Incites Men to Lust
- Learn how women's fashions have corrupted, how evil forces are behind most modern fashions, and much more! Includes practical advice.
- How to Run a Catholic Family
- Discusses how to bring the Catholic Faith into family life! How the family can best celebrate feast days, and make use of good Catholic customs.
- A TRUE History Book -
This premise of this history book: The coming of Jesus Christ was the most important event in history.
- Catholic History Workbook -
Fascinating; hard to put down! It makes more sense of History than secular books which explain things in a disjointed manner.
- Homeschooling Workbook -
With questions for every chapter of Christ in the Americas - multiple choice, fill in the blank, true/false, and more!
- Crisis in the Church
- Read about St. Athanasius - faithful and courageous, known as the "champion of orthodoxy". One of the 33 Doctors of the Church!
- St. Athanasius - The great defender of the Catholic Faith against Arianism
- Crisis in the Church - How the enemies of God plot to overthrow the Church from within.
- Revolution in the Church - How Vatican II and its aftermath caused a crisis in the Catholic Church.
- Freemasonry - Pope Leo XIII unmasks this evil society, and forbids all Catholics to join.
- Combination of ALL Heresies - Pope St. Pius X unmasks the Modernists, giving us their doctrine and methods!
- Vatican II - Impartially discusses what happened at Vatican II -- mostly quotes from the men that were there!
- Fascinating if true - A man's deathbed confession.
- St. Therese, the Little Flower
- St. Therese the Little Flower - Under obedience, she tells the story of her childhood, religious life, etc.
- Mother of St. Therese - Learn about the woman who raised 5 saintly daughters, all of which entered the religious life!
- Father of St. Therese - Learn about the man who let the holy family of Lisieux so well, that his 5 daughters entered a convent!
- From the Sister of St. Therese - In her biography, she writes many things not found in
Story of a Soul.
- Lives of the Saints
- Learned Mystic and Theologian -
St. John of the Cross suffered greatly, even prison, for the Carmelite Reform. Father of the Discalced Carmelites.
- Beautiful story of a young girl -
Anne de Guigne was clever and passionate, yet practiced humility and all the other virtues -- and she died at the age of 10.
- Refuge for Billions of Catholics -
Catholics have always prayed to these saints in their necessities. St. Blaise, St. Christopher, etc. Includes countless novenas!
- St. Anne - Grandmother of Our Lord -
According to Ven. Mary of Agreda, she possessed all the virtues, especially purity. Learn more about her!
- Young Italian Maiden -
Who suffered the Stigmata every Friday, and was pious from her youth. St. Gemma Galgani, called the "Gem of Christ"
- Heroic Chastity -
Read how St. Maria Goretti had to give up her life to preserve her purity! She is called the patroness of youth.
- All Glory to Almighty God -
Well documented cases of the miraculous taken from the lives of the Saints. Fascinating!
- Defeated Persian Sorcerers -
The glorious life of St. Jude Thaddeus, Apostle and cousin of Our Lord, as taken from ancient Catholic traditions.
- Angels and Devils -
Learn all that Scripture and Tradition teaches us about the pure spirits God created. Fascinating and enlightening!
- Life of Mary Magdalen - Learn fascinating details of her life that you didn't know before! From the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich.
- The Angel of the Judgment
- At a critical point in Church history, his preaching and miracles served as a warning of impending chastisement.
- Miracles All His Life -
The miraculous was very common in the life of St Gerard Majella, great saint and Patron of Expectant Mothers.
- Eyewitness to Gospel events -
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich saw so many biblical events in her visions. Be inspired and edified by her virtuous life!
- United with Jesus Christ -
She suffered for souls and for the Church, and received countless visions all her life. One man wrote down her visions for YOUR sake!
- Never a Moment Wasted
- this zealous missionary and client of Our Lady is a model for all Catholics. Read about his saintly life.
- She saw her Guardian Angel
- this innocent girl tells us the story of her saintly life -- beautiful, inspiring!
- Servants of Satan
Establish Paganism - Astrology, witchcraft, and countless systems of idolatry
set up after the Confusion of Tongues.
- Fervent Catholic Indians - Father De Smet was like an Apostle, suffering greatly to bring the True Religion to the Native American peoples.
- Classic Sermons for Lent - On the Last Things, aimed at moving you to serve God even more
faithfully. By St. Francis de Sales.
- Those Who Met St. Padre
Pio - Stories of conversions, miracles, etc. from those who met this living Crucifix. Recently canonized.
- Beat Up by the Devil
- This great Saint had prophetic visions in the form of dreams, and often physically struggled with the devil.
- Life of St Gertrude
- Our Lord appeared to her many times, and she was much loved by Him because of her purity.
- Jesus Dearly Loved Her
- Because of her love and confidence in him, her heart was His favorite place to dwell, after the Blessed Sacrament.
- The Dolorous Passion - Giving never before seen details of Our Lord's Passion! From
the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich.
- Braving the English
Torture - St. Margaret Clitherow was a wife and mother - and she kept the Faith even to martyrdom!
- Details of The Good Thief - Learn about his life with a gang of brigands, how he helped the
Holy Family, and much more.
- Classic Catholic Sermons - You won't fall asleep here! Sermons by a Doctor of the Church, filled with energy and the spirit of Faith.
- Miracles Taking Place Today - St. Philomena is famous for the number of miracles surrounding her shrine - here are some of them.
- Isabella of Spain - A holy Catholic queen, and a valiant defender of Christ's kingdom.
- St Anthony - the Wonder Worker - His life was filled with proofs that God was with him.
- St Vincent de Paul - famous for his charities, this great Saint was canonized only 77 years after his death!
- The Cure of Ars - Three of him could destroy the devil's kingdom! Read about his physical struggles with Satan.
- St. Rita - Nothing is impossible with God! Her life is an example for us all, especially to mothers.
- Sermons of St. Francis de Sales - Here he speaks all about the kinds of prayer.
Learn what (and what not) to do!
- St. Teresa of Avila - She founded many convents, which were to adhere to the strict observance of the Carmelite Rule.
- St. Elizabeth of Hungary - Known for her generosity to the poor
- Alexandrina - A victim soul who suffered the Passion on Fridays
- The Spiritual Life
- Jesus, Prisoner of Love
- Meditations on the most beautiful doctrine of the Catholic Faith - the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist
- Spiritual Exercises
- Written by a great saint, these meditations have converted millions of souls.
- Manual of the Spiritual Life - Your duties as a penitent toward your confessor/spiritual director.
- Lessons from Calvary - 31 meditations on Our Lord's Passion that will help you to easily avoid sin.
- Finding Peace of Heart
- Only by knowing how to follow God's will, can a person be truly happy.
- Strategy for Getting to Heaven - We must learn how the devil works on us, how to avoid his snares, to win the "War for our Souls".
- How to Fight the Deadly Sins - Timeless advice on how to combat each of the Capital sins.
- A Manual for Confession -
How to benefit from the Sacrament of Penance: common pitfalls, scruples, how to make a good exam of conscience, and much more.
- Seven Deadly Sins -
Learn about the different forms of pride, avarice, lust, anger, envy, gluttony and sloth.
- How to Pray Well -
How we should pray to God - with confidence, perseverance, simplicity. Advice from St. Alphonsus Liguori!
- Marriage & Family
- How to Raise Good Catholic Children - With examples from the saints and wise and thoughtful commentary - a must-read for every parent!
- Haunted by Children She Aborted - Testimony from her own mouth: how she had 7 abortions, and how her life changed afterward.
- Catholic Doctrine on Marriage - Common sources of marital strife and how to avoid them, the differences between the sexes, periodic abstinence, and more.
- Your Labor of Love - The author talks about isolation, sufferings, the modern culture, and more.
- Spiritual Growth during Pregnancy - How expecting a child can bring a woman closer to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Includes much practical advice.
- St. Joseph
- St. Joseph - After Our Lady, the holiest mere man who ever lived
- Privileges of St. Joseph - Why St. Joseph receives so much honor in the Church
- Novenas to St. Joseph -
Universal Patron - Pray to St. Joseph for all of your needs - Jesus, now in Heaven, still listens to him as a father!
- The Last Things/Afterlife
- Death, Judgment, Hell, Heaven - The Saints always thought about their last end, and so should we. Brings the reality of eternity before your eyes!
- Life Everlasting - Discusses death, judgment, heaven and hell; also the vices and virtues
- Beyond the Grave -
What we know about Purgatory from sacred history and the lives of the saints.
- Peaceful Rest or Almost Like Hell? - Discusses the two opposing Catholic viewpoints on the subject of Purgatory.
- Purgatory - Learn what the Catholic Church has always taught on this subject.
- What Will Hell be Like? - Discusses the sufferings of Hell in detail.
- Eternity of Hell - Including a story from a soul who was sent there!
- Catholic Doctrine and Dogma
- What is Sanctifying Grace? -
Learn all about the nature of Grace, what it does for us, how to increase it in our souls, and its importance.
- Catholic Dogma of Grace - God's grace vs. man's ability to merit for his actions.
- Sin and Forgiveness - True Catholic doctrine with quotes from Scripture and the Fathers.
- The Intellect of the Angels - What Catholic theology says about the angels.
- Simple Easy-to-Understand Catechism - For Catholics to better learn their faith, or to give to possible converts.
- Sodomy Condemned -
The Catholic Church has always condemned this unnatural vice - see proofs from the Magisterium, Church laws, Scripture, canons, and more!
- The Mass Keeps the World in Existence - and other lofty considerations; helps Catholics
appreciate the real value of the Mass.
- The Catholic Mass - Why it is so priceless; relates actual events which prove it!
- The Catholic Faith - Easy to read and follow, using the most solid Catholic doctrine. Very thorough.
- What Does The Bible Say About Marriage? - Find all Bible quotes about "Anger", for example, gathered into one page.
- Defending the Faith/Apologetics
- The REAL Luther - From the pens of Protestant historians, and Luther's own (foul) mouth -
learn about the real man.
- The Faith of our Fathers - A topic-by-topic explanation of what the Catholic Faith teaches. Great for apologetics!
- The Bible Explained - Why were all those various stories placed in the Bible for us to read? Here is why!
- How Christ Changed Society - Compare the ancient world with the world influenced by Christ.
- Scripture Alone for Salvation? - Even the Bible itself denies this! Read 21 compelling
reasons why Tradition is also necessary.
- The Bible is a Catholic book - Convincing arguments show clearly that criticism of the Catholic Church has no truthful basis! Excellent apologetics based on history.
- Defend Catholic Dogmas - Find rational arguments for what Catholics believe.
- Theory of Evolution
- Evolution Hoax Debunked -
A learned scientist discovers that there is no evidence FOR Evolution, but plenty AGAINST it!
- Proofs against Evolution -
Plenty of evidence against Evolution is out there, but it is often ignored by the media. Fascinating!
- Evolution is a
Fraud - So say countless biologists and scientists! Read more...
- King of Jerusalem
- Balwin IV of Jerusalem leads the Crusaders in this exciting novel.
- Exciting Adventures
- Tom Playfair and his friends at a Jesuit boarding school. Exciting, Catholic, fun!
- More Catholic Adventures
- written by Fr. Finn - Percy Wynn meets Tom Playfair and friends, and enters the boarding school (St. Maure's).
- Perpetual Motion Boy
- The Fr. Finn boarding school universe expands with Claude Lightfoot and other interesting characters.
- That Football Game
- written by Fr. Finn - Which is more important? English class, a math competition, or an upcoming football game?
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