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The French Childrenls crusade, year 1212:

“The preacher of the Children’s crusade was a child about twelve years of age, a French peasant lad, named Stephen of Cloyes, who became persuaded that Jesus Christ had commanded him to lead a crusade of children to the rescue of the Holy Sepulchre. The children became wild with excitement, and flocked in vast crowds to the places appointed for rendezvous.

“As they marched south through France, they clearly had no idea of what to expect. Adults cheered them along the route. It was as if their innocence shone through and made their success a certainty.”

"Many of the children had never walked such distances before and for many the effort proved too much. The journey from Vendome to Marseilles caused many children to drop out. Some even died of exhaustion. The sea did not part as Stephen had said and they had to cross the Mediterranean Sea by boat.

The children boarded seven boats in Marseilles and that was the last anything was heard of them.”

“A study published in 1977 cast doubt on the existence of these events, and many historians came to believe that they were not (or not primarily) children but multiple bands of “wandering poor” in Germany and France, some of whom tried to reach the Holy Land and others who never intended to do so.”



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