Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Crusader States

Episode Two of EWTN’s The Crusades
Filmed on location across Europe and the Holy Land the second part of the new EWTN Crusades docudrama is broadcast on the 9th October at 10pm in the USA. It will be broadcast in the UK and Ireland on Saturday 11 in the evening when all four episodes will run consecutively from 7pm until 9pm.
After the miraculous success of the First Crusade, the Crusader hierarchy set up the Crusader States. One of the major achievements of the crusaders was that they successfully administered to an amazingly polyglot society containing Sunni Muslims, Shi’a Muslims, Jews, all sorts of Eastern Christians and Latins.
Professor Phillips says that there is no sense of ethnic cleansing here as the Crusaders treated all the peoples of their lands well.

Templars filmed at Kenilworth Castle
Local bandits and Muslim raiders crossing into Christians lands continued to attack and rob pilgrims. This led to the formation of the Military Orders the most famous of which were the Knights Templars. These were fighting monks who took the usual vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. They were dedicated to protecting the Holy Land and pilgrims.

Catholic Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith of Cambridge University,
the father of modern Crusader scholarship
and a specialist on the Military Orders

Also in this episode we have several mini-dramatised sequences such as Queen Melisende of Jerusalem and how she managed to rule alone after her husband was killed until her son became old enough to rule.

Queen Melisende of Jerusalem - a still from the series
We follow the second Crusade from Europe to the Holy Land, and we look at often neglected aspect of crusading the Reconquista of Iberian peninsula. 

Fr Thomas Crean gives the theological background to the Crusades
filmed here at the Dominican priory in Vienna.
Fr Crean’s book God is no Delusion is a must for anyone who
what’s to oppose Prof Dawkins nonsense

There were many providential experiences and happenings we experienced while filming the Crusades one was the meeting at Santiago de Compostela with a hermit friend of the cameraman Michal Benko so after filming around the Cathedral we jumped in the car and went to the Finisterre Coast to film him playing St James the Great, Apostle. Who appeared many times during the Reconquista to help the Crusades drive the Muslims out of Spain.

The help of the Spanish Crusaders, the Apostle St James the Great,
filmed here at Cape Finisterre

We finish episode two with the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin, but that was not all there was to it.

Saladin - a still from episode two

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