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This week in Christian history: Peter the Hermit dies, American canonized, Quakers

Peter the Hermit dies – July 8, 1115

Peter the Hermit leading an army during the First Crusade (1096-1099).
Peter the Hermit leading an army during the First Crusade (1096-1099). | (Photo: Public Domain)

This week marks the anniversary of when Peter the Hermit, a monastic figure credited with beginning the Crusades, died at an Augustinian monastery he established in Flanders.

Although it was Pope Urban II that gave the speech that officially launched the First Crusade, Peter the Hermit championed the idea, with many Medieval writers deeming him the “true originator of the Crusade.”

“He was someone who seemed to be in direct touch with the divine and his sermons helped to keep up the crusaders' morale,” noted History Today in a 2015 article.

“When the crusading army came to Jerusalem and set siege to the city in June 1099, Peter led processions around the walls to summon divine aid … he led a procession from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to the Temple and again inspired the crusading warriors to force their way out and drive the Muslims away.”

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