From the dawn of Christianity, faithful believers have traveled from the length and breadth of Europe to the Holy City of Jerusalem, to renew and affirm a lifelong faith in scripture.
The Rashidun Caliphate captured the Holy City in 637, following a long siege. Except for one 88-year period following the first crusade in 1099, the Temple Mount in the old city remains under Islamic administration, from that day to this.
Regardless, the number of pilgrims increased over time. Many suffered robbery and even murder at the hands of Muslim fanatics, who considered it their Islamic duty to kill the “Infidel”.
The French knight Hugues de Payens approached King Baldwin II of Jerusalem and Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1119, with a proposal. He would create a monastic order of warrior knights to protect these pilgrims, to be headquartered in a wing of the recaptured Al Aqsa Mosque, built on…
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