Category Archives: catholic

Louis IX – King of France and the crusades

Saint Louis departing d'Aigues Mortes

Saint Louis departing d’Aigues Mortes

Every year at the end of August, the city of Aigues-Mortes in southern France celebrates the departure of Saint Louis for the Crusades.

This good-hearted and generous king never hesitated to invite the poors to his table. He vowed to cross himself after a long illness that many thought fatal.

While a relative peace and economic prosperity reigned in the Middle East, and diplomatic and trade relations were constantly increasing, an unwelcome alliance was made with the Prince of Damascus against the Sultan of Egypt. In 1244 the sultan took Jerusalem and destroyed the Christian army.

Pope Innocent IV then called for a new crusade and Saint Louis hasted to organise it.

The seventh crusade was to be the first one of the two crusades undertaken under the direction of Saint Louis – King of France.

In this southern city of France, construction work would be carried out, such as a port, a church called the ”Sablon”, and a tower to protect the port called ”Constance”, of which remains exist in the old town of Aigues-Mortes to this day.

This expedition regrouped 36,000 men committed to a new conquest of the holy places and the Holy Sepulchre, but also in order to found a colony in Africa. Therefore it was necessary to bring not only arms, ammunition and food, but tools as well.

A crusade in which no foreign sovereign was involved … strictly French !!

After receiving the papal blessing in Lyon, Saint Louis reached Aigues-Mortes the 25th of August 1248.

The cry of ” God willing”  accompanied the departure of these Fancs to the Holy Land.

Saint Louis remained in the Holy Land for four years in order to build the Kingdom of Jerusalem and to allow it to be capable of defending itself against a new threat: the Mameluks. The crusade ended in 1254 by the sudden return of the king to France after the death of Blanche of Castile, his mother who ensured the regency during his absence. Although this crusade did not reach the desired results, it was important for the survival of the Kingdom in the Holy Land.

Following the conquest by the Mamluks of the port City of Jaffa, Caesarea and Arsuf, Saint Louis decided to return for a new crusade.

While reaching the port of Tunis a plague broke out, and a large part of his troops became ill, as well as the king himself, who died in August 25th, 1270 however it seems that the scorbut desease sould be the reason of his death.

 

 

Saint Louis

Saint Louis

DOMUS GALILAEAE – The Galilee’s Home

Domus Galilaeae The garden

Domus Galilaeae The garden

This magnificent building of Domus Galilaeae is in the lower galilee dominating the Sea of Galilee and the Mont of Beatitudes.

Domus Galilaeae first stone was laid in  January 1999, the building was built in a short period of time with traditional Tuscan stone.

The opening of the site was held in 2000.

Managed by the Catholic organization Neocatechumenal Way, Domus Galilaeae employs about 150 full-time people, including workers, technicians and volunteers. There are 37 Christian Arab workers, 32 Arab Muslims, 21 technicians, 20 Jews, Druze and 10 Maronites.

It was inaugurated by Pope John Paul II during his visit for the Holy Land Millennium .

In the center of the library is an ancient Torah.

Francisco José Argüello Gómez y Wirtz more fluently called Kiko Arguello Wirtz was born in Spain January 9, 1939. A Spanish artist who studied fine art at the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid and received in 1959 the Special National Award for painting.

He is not only the architect but also the innovator of what became in 1964 the Neocatechumenal Way in the slums of Palomeras Altas in Madrid.

On May 13, 2009, he received an honorary doctorate by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

The center is designed as a place where Christians would learn about the living tradition of Israel following the footsteps of early Christian saints “who have returned to their Hebrew roots by studying the meaning of prayer, celebrations and Hebrew liturgies” .

John Paul II, who illustrated a new era affinity between Catholics and Jews, stressed the need to appreciate the Jewish roots in order to live an authentic Christianity.

Domus Galilaeae entrance hall

Domus Galilaeae entrance hall

Domus Galilaeae roof and terrasse overlooking the Sea of Galilee

Domus Galilaeae roof and terrasse overlooking the Sea of Galilee

Domus Galilaeae magnificent library

Domus Galilaeae magnificent library

Domus Galilaeae - the chapel

Domus Galilaeae – the chapel