Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Vocation, Psalms 45:11-17, Luke 6:20-26, Saint Ailbe (Elvis), Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly, Tipperary Ireland

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: 
Vocation, Psalms 45:11-17, Luke 6:20-26, Saint Ailbe (Elvis), Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly, Tipperary Ireland

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week! 

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Today's Word:  vocation   vo·ca·tion  [vo-cay-shun]

Origin:  1400–50; late Middle English vocacio ( u ) n  < Latin vocātiōn-  (stem of vocātiō ) a call, summons, equivalent to vocāt ( us ) past participle of vocāre  to call ( see -ate1 ) + -iōn- -ion

1. a particular occupation, business, or profession; calling.
2. a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.
3. a divine call to God's service or to the Christian life.
4. a function or station in life to which one is called by God: the religious vocation; the vocation of marriage.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 45:11-17

11 then the king will fall in love with your beauty; he is your lord, bow down before him.
12 The daughter of Tyre will court your favour with gifts, and the richest of peoples
14 in brocade, the king's daughter is led within to the king with the maidens of her retinue; her companions are brought to her,
15 they enter the king's palace with joy and rejoicing.
16 Instead of your ancestors you will have sons; you will make them rulers over the whole world.
17 I will make your name endure from generation to generation, so nations will sing your praise for ever and ever.


Today's Gospel Reading - Luke 6:20-26

Then fixing his eyes on his disciples Jesus said: How blessed are you who are poor: the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are hungry now: you shall have your fill. Blessed are you who are weeping now: you shall laugh. ‘Blessed are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, look!-your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets. But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now. Alas for you who have plenty to eat now: you shall go hungry. Alas for you who are laughing now: you shall mourn and weep. ‘Alas for you when everyone speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.

The Gospel today presents four blessings and four curses in Luke’s Gospel. There is a progressive revelation in the way in which Luke presents the teaching of Jesus. Up to 6, 16, he says many times, that Jesus taught the people, but he did not describe the content of the teaching (Lk 4, 15.31-32.44; 5,; 6, 6). Now, after having said that Jesus sees the crowd desirous to hear the Word of God, Luke presents the first great discourse which begins with the exclamation: “Blessed are you who are poor!” And “Alas for you, rich!” and then takes up all the rest of the chapter (Lk 6, 12-49). Some call this Discourse the “Discourse of the Plain” because, according to Luke, Jesus came down from the mountain and stopped in a place which was plain and there he pronounced his discourse. In Matthew’s Gospel, this same discourse is given on the mountain (Mt 5, 1) and is called “The Sermon on the Mountain”. In Matthew, in this discourse there are eight Beatitudes, which trace a program of life for the Christian communities of Jewish origin. In Luke, the sermon is shorter and more radical. It contains only four Beatitudes and four curses, directed to the Hellenistic communities, formed by rich and poor. This discourse of Jesus will be meditated on in the daily Gospel of the next days.

Luke 6, 20: Blessed are you, poor! Looking at the disciples, Jesus declares: “Blessed are you who are poor, the Kingdom of Heaven is yours!” This declaration identifies the social category of the disciples. They are poor! And Jesus promises to them: “The Kingdom is yours!” It is not a promise made for the future. The verb is in the present. The Kingdom belongs to them already. They are blessed now. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus makes explicit the sense of this and says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit!” (Mt 5, 3). They are the poor who have the Spirit of Jesus; because there are some poor who have the mentality of the rich. The disciples of Jesus are poor and have the mentality of the poor. Like Jesus, they do not want to accumulate, but they assume their poverty and with him, they struggle for a more just life together, where there will be fraternity and sharing of goods, without any discrimination.

Luke 6, 21-22: Blessed are you, who now hunger and weep. In the second and third Beatitude, Jesus says: “Blessed are who are hungry now, because you shall have your full! Blessed are you, who are weeping now, you shall laugh!” One part of the phrase is in the present and the other in the future. What we live and suffer now is not definitive; what is definitive is the Kingdom of God which we are constructing with the force of the Spirit of Jesus. To construct the Kingdom presupposes pain, suffering and persecution, but something is certain: the Kingdom will be attained, and you will have your fill and you will laugh!”

Luke 6, 23: Blessed are you when people hate you...! The 4th Beatitude refers to the future: “Blessed are you when people hate you, drive you out on account of the Son of Man!” Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, look, your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way your ancestors treated the prophets!” With these words of Jesus, Luke encourages the communities of his time, because they were persecuted. Suffering is not death rattle, but the pain of birth pangs. It is a source of hope! Persecution was a sign that the future that had been announced by Jesus was arriving, being reached. The communities were following the right path.

Luke 6, 24-25: Alas for you who are rich! Alas for you who now have your fill and who laugh! After the four Beatitudes in favour of the poor and of the excluded, follow four threats or curses against the rich and those for whom everything goes well and are praised by everybody. The four threats have the same identical literary form as the four Beatitudes. The first one is expressed in the present. The second and the third one have a part in the present and another part in the future. And the fourth one refers completely to the future. These threats are found only in Luke’s Gospel and not in that of Matthew. Luke is more radical in denouncing injustices.

Before Jesus, on the plains there are no rich people. There are only sick and poor people, who have come from all parts (Lk 6, 17-19). But Jesus says: “Alas for you the rich!” And this because Luke, in transmitting these words of Jesus, is thinking more of the communities of his time. In those communities there are rich and poor people, and there is discrimination of the poor on the part of the rich, the same discrimination which marked the structure of the Roman Empire (cf. Tg 5, 1-6; Rv 3, 17-19). Jesus criticizes the rich very hard and directly: You rich have already received consolation! You are already filled, but you are still hungry! Now you are laughing, but you will be afflicted and will weep! This is a sign that for Jesus poverty is not something fatal, nor the fruit of prejudices, but it is the fruit of unjust enrichment on the part of others.

Luke 6, 26: Alas for you when everyone speaks well of you, because this was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets! This fourth threat refers to the sons of those who in the past praised the false prophets; because some authority of the Jews used its prestige and authority to criticize Jesus.

Personal questions
Do we look at life and at persons with the same look of Jesus? What do you think in your heart: is a poor and hungry person truly happy? The stories which we see on Television and the propaganda of the market, what ideal of happiness do they present?
In saying: “Blessed are the poor”, did Jesus want to say that the poor have to continue to be poor?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Ailbe of  Emly (aka Albeus, Elvis)

Feast Day: September 12
Patron Saint: patron, first bishop of Emly, County of Tipperary

Saint Ailbe of Emly (Saint Elvis)
Saint Ailbe (Irish pronunciation: [ˈalʲvʲə]; also spelled Ailbhe, Elfeis, Ailfyw, Ailvyw, Elveis, Latinized as Albeus, sometimes anglicized as Elvis) was a sixth-century Irish bishop.

He is sometimes claimed as one of the pre-Patrician Saints, with Ciaran, Declan, and Ibar, but the annals note his death in 528 (i.e. after the death of Saint Patrick in 460). A tradition held that he went to Rome and was ordained bishop by the Pope. He founded the monastery and Diocese of Emly (in Irish: Imlech), which became very important in Munster. A ninth-century Rule bears his name.

Ailbe baptised St David, patron saint of Wales. There was a church dedicated to Saint Ailbe in the hamlet of Saint Elvis near Solva, Pembroke, Wales, UK, near St David's; it is long in ruins. There is still a shrine to St. Elvis which bears an inscription making the connection between the two variants of the name, and confirming that St. Elvis baptised St. David.


Ailbe was born to the king of Munster and a slave-woman. The king refused to acknowledge him and ordered him killed, but the man who was supposed to murder him instead gave him to a she-wolf to be raised. Not long after, Britons living in Ireland fostered him. When they wished to return to Britain, they refused to let Ailbe come with them. However, they were unable to make the crossing without him and he sailed with them the next day. He then crossed to Gaul, with difficulty, because he wished to go to Rome. He was educated and ordained in Rome by a Saint Hilary [male], then sent to the pope to be made a bishop. The hagiographer claims that he fed the populace of Rome for three days after his consecration and then went home to Ireland. There he became involved with local royal politics and founded the See of Emly. At the end of his life, a supernatural ship came and he boarded to learn the secret of his death. After returning from the other world, he went back to Emly (Imlech) to die and be buried.

Manuscripts and dating

The vita, or "life," of Ailbe is included in the Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae (VSH), a collection of medieval Irish saints’ lives in Latin compiled in the fourteenth century. There are three major manuscript versions of the Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae (VSH): Dublin, Oxford, and Salamanca (Codex Salmanticensis), all compiled in the 14th century. Charles Plummer compiled an edition of the VSH based on the two surviving Dublin manuscripts in 1910. William Heist compiled an edition of the single Salamanca manuscript (Codex Salamanticensis) in 1965. Oxford professor Richard Sharpe suggests that the Salamanca manuscript is the closest to the original text from which all three versions derive. Sharpe analyzes the Irish-name forms in the Codex Salamanticensis and, based on the similarities between it and the Life of Saint Brigid (a verifiably seventh-century text), posits that nine, possibly ten, of the lives in the Salamanca Codex were written much earlier, circa 750 - 850.


  • Webb, Alfred (1878). " Ailbe, Saint". A Compendium of Irish Biography. Dublin: M. H. Gill & son. Wikisource
  • de Paor, Liam (trans.) (1993). Saint Patrick’s World: The Christian Culture of Ireland’s Apostolic Age. Dublin: Four Courts Press.
  • Gougaud, Louis (1932). Christianity in Celtic Lands.
  • Heist, W.W. (ed.) (1965). Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae, ex codice olim Salmanticensi nunc Bruxellensi. Lives of the Saints of Ireland, from the Salamanca manuscript now of Brussels. Subsidia Hagiographica 28. Brussels: Société des Bollandistes.
  • O'Neill, J. (1907). "The Rule in Ailbe of Emly". Ériu 3: 92–115.
  • Plummer, Charles (1968, 1910). Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae. Lives of the Saints of Ireland.. II (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon. pp. xxviii–xxxi, 46–64.
  • Sharpe, Richard (1991). Medieval Irish saints' lives: an introduction to Vitae sanctorum Hiberniae. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


Today's Snippet I:  Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly

The Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly (Irish: Ard-Deoise Chaisil agus Imligh) is a Roman Catholic archdiocese in mid-western Ireland. The archdiocese is in the secular province of Munster. The Diocese of Cashel was established in 1111 by the Synod of Rathbreasail and promoted to the status of a Metropolitan Province in 1152 by the Synod of Kells. The incumbent Ordinary is Dermot Clifford.

The Province of Cashel, is one of the four ecclesiastical provinces that together form the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland; the other provinces are Dublin, Tuam and Armagh. Its metropolitan bishop is the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly. The geographical remit of the province is confined to the Republic of Ireland. The suffragan dioceses of the province are:
  • Cloyne
  • Cork and Ross
  • Kerry
  • Killaloe
  • Limerick
  • Waterford and Lismore

Ecclesiastical history

The Archdiocese consists of two older entities: The "Diocese of Cashel" and the "Diocese of Emly". Since the Papal Legate, Cardinal Paparo, awarded the pallium to Donat O'Lonergan of Cashel at the Synod of Kells, his successors have ruled the ecclesiastical Province of Cashel (or Munster as it is sometimes known). The diocese of Emly took its name from the village of Emly in South Tipperary, which was the location of the principal church of the Eóghanacht dynasty. The original dioceses of Cashel and Emly have been united since 1718 (in the Roman Catholic Church).

Church of Ireland ecclesiastical history

In the Church of Ireland, the two dioceses had been united since 1569. This union lasted until 1976. Since that date, Cashel has been contained within the United dioceses of Cashel, Waterford, Lismore, Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin which is commonly referred to as the Diocese of Cashel and Ossory. Likewise, Emly is contained within the United dioceses of Limerick, Killaloe, Kilfenora, Clonfert, Kilmacduagh and Emly which is commonly referred to as the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe.


Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles
Despite the name, the archdiocese's episcopal seat (the cathedra) lies neither in the town of Cashel nor of Emly, but in nearby Thurles. This is due to the supplanting of the Roman Catholic archbishops from their see by the appointees of the crown on behalf of the established Church of Ireland. From the time of the English Reformation onwards, those archbishops appointed by Rome had to make their throne in whichever house in Tipperary would hide them from the forces of the crown. This state of affairs continued until the late 18th century when some of the harsher provisions of the Penal Laws were relaxed. James Butler 2nd (1774-91), on being appointed by Rome moved his residence and cathedra from Cashel, favouring Thurles instead, where his successors continue to reign today.


  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.


Today's Snippet II :  Tipperary, Ireland

Tipperary, Ireland

Tipperary (Irish: Tiobraid Árann) is a town and a civil parish in South Tipperary, Ireland. Its population was 4,415 at the 2006 census. It is also an ecclesiastical parish in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly, and is in the historical barony of Clanwilliam. The town gave its name to County Tipperary.


The town is situated on the N24 route between Limerick City and Waterford City. A railway station follows a line of the same route and has three services a day to Waterford via Cahir, Clonmel and Carrick on Suir. Three trains a day also operate to Limerick Junction which has numerous services to Cork City, Dublin and Limerick. There is no train service to/from Tipperary on Sundays. Tipperary railway station opened 9 May 1848.


Ardfinnan Castle, Ardfinnan.
In Irish, 'Tiobraid Árann' means 'The Well of the Arra' - a reference to the river which flows through the town. The well itself is located in the townland of Glenbane which is in the parish of Lattin and Cullen. This is where the river "Arra" rises. Little is known of the historical significance of the well. The town is a medieval foundation and became a population center in the early 13th century. Its ancient fortifications have disappeared but its central area is characterized by a wide streets radiating from the principal thoroughfare of Main Street.

There are two historical monuments in the Main Street, namely the bronze statue of Charles Kickham (poet and patriot) and the Maid of Erin statue erected to commemorate the Irish patriots, Allen, Larkin and O'Brien, who are collectively known as the Manchester Martyrs. The Maid of Erin is a freestanding monument, erected in 1907 it was relocated to a corner site on the main street from the centre of the main street in 2003. It is composed of carved limestone and the female figure stands on a base depicting the portraits of the three executed men. The portraits carry the names in Irish of each man. She is now situated on stone flagged pavement behind wrought-iron railings, with an information board. This memorial to the Manchester Martyrs is a landmark piece of sculpture now located in a prominent corner site. The choice of a female figure as the personification of Ireland for such a memorial was common at the time. It is a naturalistic and evocative piece of work, made all the more striking by the life-like portraits of the executed men.

The first engagement of the Irish War of Independence took place at nearby Solloghead Beg quarry on 19 January 1919 when Dan Breen and Seán Treacy led a group of volunteers in an attack on members of the Royal Irish Constabulary who were transporting gelignite.

The town was the site of a large military barracks of the British Army in the 50 years before Irish Independence and served as a military hospital during World War I. During the War of Independence, it played a pivotal role as a base from which the Black and Tans went on local sorties in their campaign of terror against the people of the town and district. On 30 September 2005, Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, in a gesture of reconciliation, unveiled the newly refurbished Memorial Arch of the barracks in the presence of several ambassadors and foreign emissaries, military attachés and town dignitaries; a detachment of the Local Defence Force, the Number 1 Irish Army Band and various ex-service organisations paraded. In a rare appearance, the Royal Munster Fusiliers banner was carried to mark the occasion. However, given the notoriety of the place in the folk memory, there was only a small representation of townspeople in attendance. The Arch is the only remaining porch of what was the Officers mess and has panels mounted bearing the names of fallen members of the Irish Defence Forces (on United Nations service), and American, Australian and United Kingdom armed services. 

New Tipperary

In 1888-9, tenants of the local landlord, Arthur Smith Barry, withheld their rents in solidarity with his tenants in Co Cork. They were evicted and, under the direction of Fr. David Humphreys and William O'Brien, decided to build a new town on land outside his control. The area now known Dillon Street and Emmet Street in Tipperary town was the centre of this development and was built by local labour but with funds raised in Australia and the United States. The high point was 12 April 1890, when a row of shops called the William O'Brien Arcade was opened, providing shops for some of the business people who had been evicted from the centre of the town. Eventually, compromise was reached and the tenants returned to the 'Old Tipperary'.

Famous people from Tipperary

Australian bushranger Ned Kelly's father, John, was from Tipperary. In 1840, John 'Red' Kelly, then aged 21, stole two pigs ('value about six pounds') and was transported to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) for 7 years.The police superintendent in charge at Ned Kelly's arrest at Glenrowan in 1880 was John Sadleir. He had emigrated from Brookville House, just south of Tipperary town in 1852.

Peter Campbell (naval officer), founder of the Uruguayan navy.

Seán Treacy died in a shoot-out with British soldiers in Talbot Street, Dublin in October 1920.

Alan Quinlan the Munster Rugby player was born in Tipperary in 1974. (Limerick Leader, 2010). 

Dr. Liam Hennessy, renowned exercise physiologist, strength & conditioning coach, and former international athlete, is from Tipperary.


  • Denis G. Marnane (1985) A History of West Tipperary from 1660 - Land and Violence.
  • Martin O'Dwyer (2001) Tipperary's Sons & Daughters - Biographies of Tipperary persons involved in the National struggle.
  • William Nolan & Thomas G. McGrath (1985) Tipperary History & Society
  • David J. Butler (2006) South Tipperary 1570-1841, Religion, Land and Rivalry.
  • Walter S. O'Shea (1998) A Short History of Tipperary Military Barracks (Infantry) 1874-1922


The Fifth Crusade

Frisian crusaders confront the Tower of Damietta, Egypt.
The Fifth Crusade (1213–1221) was an attempt to reacquire Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land by first conquering the powerful Ayyubid state in Egypt.

Pope Innocent III and his successor Pope Honorius III organized crusading armies led by King Andrew II of Hungary and Duke Leopold VI of Austria, and a foray against Jerusalem ultimately left the city in Muslim hands. Later in 1218, a German army led by Oliver of Cologne, and a mixed army of Dutch, Flemish and Frisian soldiers led by William I, Count of Holland joined the crusade. In order to attack Damietta in Egypt, they allied in Anatolia with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm which attacked the Ayyubids in Syria in an attempt to free the Crusaders from fighting on two fronts.

After occupying the port of Damietta, the Crusaders marched south towards Cairo in July 1221, but were turned back after their dwindling supplies led to a forced retreat. A nighttime attack by Sultan Al-Kamil resulted in a great number of crusader losses, and eventually in the surrender of the army. Al-Kamil agreed to an eight-year peace agreement with Europe.


Innocent III had already planned since 1208 a crusade in order to destroy the Ayyubid Empire and to recapture Jerusalem. On April, 1213, Pope Innocent III issued the papal bull Quia maior, calling all of Christendom to join a new crusade. This was followed by another papal bull, the Ad Liberandam in 1215.


The message of the crusade was preached in France by Robert of Courçon; however, unlike other Crusades, not many French knights joined, as they were already fighting the Albigensian Crusade against the heretical Cathar sect in southern France. In 1215 Pope Innocent III summoned the Fourth Lateran Council, where, along with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Raoul of Merencourt, he discussed the recovery of the Holy Land, among other church business. Pope Innocent wanted it to be led by the papacy, as the First Crusade should have been, in order to avoid the mistakes of the Fourth Crusade, which had been taken over by the Venetians. Pope Innocent planned for the crusaders to meet at Brindisi in 1216, and prohibited trade with the Muslims, to ensure that the crusaders would have ships and weapons. Every crusader would receive an indulgence, including those who simply helped pay the expenses of a crusader, but did not go on crusade themselves.

Hungary and Germany

Oliver of Cologne had preached the crusade in Germany, and Emperor Frederick II attempted to join in 1215. Frederick was the last monarch Innocent wanted to join, as he had challenged the Papacy (and would do so in the years to come). Innocent, however, died in 1216. He was succeeded by Pope Honorius III, who barred Frederick from participating, but organized crusading armies led by king Andrew II of Hungary and duke Leopold VI of Austria. Andrew had the largest royal army in the history of the crusades (20,000 knights and 12,000 castle-garrisons).



Andrew and his troops embarked on 23 August 1217, in Spalato. They were transported by the Venetian fleet, which was the largest European fleet in the era. They landed on 9 October on Cyprus from where they sailed to Acre and joined John of Brienne, ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Hugh I of Cyprus, and Prince Bohemund IV of Antioch to fight against the Ayyubids in Syria.

In Jerusalem, the walls and fortifications were demolished to prevent the Christians from being able to defend the city, if they did manage reach it and take it. Muslims fled the city, afraid that there would be a repeat of the bloodbath of the First Crusade in 1099.

Andrew's well-mounted army defeated sultan Al-Adil I at Bethsaida on the Jordan River on November 10. Muslim forces retreated in their fortresses and towns. The catapults and trebuchets did not arrive in time, so he had fruitless assaults on the fortresses of the Lebanon and on Mount Tabor. Afterwards, Andrew spent his time collecting alleged relics. At the beginning of 1218 King Andrew II, who was very sick, decided to return to Hungary.

Andrew and his army departed to Hungary in February 1218, and Bohemund and Hugh also returned home.

Alliance with the Sultanate of Rum

Later in 1218 Oliver of Cologne arrived with a new German army and the count of Holland William I arrived with a mixed army consisting of Dutch, Flemish and Frisian soldiers. With Leopold and John they discussed attacking Damietta in Egypt. To accomplish this, they allied with Keykavus I, the leader in Anatolia, who attacked the Ayyubids in Syria in an attempt to free the Crusaders from fighting on two fronts.


In June 1218 the crusaders began their siege of Damietta, and despite resistance from the unprepared sultan Al-Adil, the tower outside the city was taken on August 25. They could not gain Damietta itself, and in the ensuing months diseases killed many of the crusaders, including Robert of Courcon. Al-Adil also died and was succeeded by Al-Kamil. Meanwhile, Honorius III sent Pelagius of Albano to lead the crusade in 1219 .

Al-Kamil tried to negotiate peace with the crusaders. He offered to trade Damietta for Jerusalem, but Pelagius would not accept these offers. After hearing this Count William I of Holland left the crusade and sailed home. In August or September, Francis of Assisi arrived in the crusader camp and crossed over to preach to Al-Kamil. By November, the crusaders had worn out the sultan's forces, and were finally able to occupy the port.

Immediately the papal and secular powers fought for control of the town, with John of Brienne claiming it for himself in 1220 . Pelagius would not accept this, and John returned to Acre later that year. Pelagius hoped Frederick II would arrive with a fresh army, but he never did; instead, after a year of inactivity in both Syria and Egypt, John of Brienne returned, and the crusaders marched south towards Cairo in July 1221 . This march was observed by the forces of Al-Kamil, and frequent raids along the flanks of the army led to the withdrawal of some 2000 German troops who refused to continue the advance and returned to Damietta.

By now Al-Kamil was able to ally with the other Ayyubids in Syria, who had defeated Keykavus I. The crusader march to Cairo was disastrous; the river Nile flooded ahead of them, stopping the crusader advance. A dry canal that was previously crossed by the crusaders flooded, thus blocking the crusader army's retreat. With supplies dwindling, a forced retreat began, culminating in a night time attack by Al-Kamil which resulted in a great number of crusader losses and eventually in the surrender of the army under Pelagius.


The terms of this surrender meant the relinquishing of Damietta to Al-Kamil in exchange for the release of the crusaders. Al-Kamil agreed to an eight year peace agreement with Europe and to return a piece of the true cross. However, the cross was never returned as Al-Kamil did not, in fact, have it.

The failure of the Crusade caused an outpouring of anti-papal sentiment from the Occitan poet Guilhem Figueira. The more orthodox Gormonda de Monpeslier responded to Figueira's D'un sirventes far with a song of her own, Greu m'es a durar. Instead of blaming the Pelagius or the Papacy, she laid the blame on the "foolishness" of the wicked.


  • ^ Christopher Tyerman (2006), God's war: a new history of the Crusades, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-02387-0
  • R. L. Wolff/H. W. Hazard (Hrsg.): The later Crusades, 1189–1311 (A History of the Crusades, volume II). University of Wisconsin Press, Madison/Wisconsin 1969, S. 377ff., Here online.
  • Jonathan Riley-Smith (Hrsg.): Illustrierte Geschichte der Kreuzzüge. Frankfurt/New York 1999, S. 478 (Index, s.v. Damiette).
  • Barbara Watterson. The Egyptians. Blackwell Publishing, 1998, S. 260.
  • Heinrich von Zeißberg. Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Einzelband Nr. 18: Lassus – Litschower. 1. Auflage. Leipzig, Verlag von Dunder & Humblot, 1883, S. 389.
  • J. Tolan, St. Francis and the Sultan: The Curious History of a Christian-Muslim Encounter. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. [book about Francis of Assisi's mission to the Egyptian Sultan Al-Kamil at Damietta in 1219