Proclamation of the Holy Crusades


Decree of Pope Lucius III

(April 28, 1183)


Proclaiming The Sacred Duty

of the

Knights of the Holy Crusades.


The Pope first offers congratulations for leaving behind the  "secular pomp and worldly possessions" and choosing the way  "to life,  having put upon the chests the sign of the living cross",  and adding  "greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for friends (other Christians)  and defend them from the incursions of the pagans".   The Pope continues that they will be under the leadership of the Holy See, the Blessed Peter and on behalf of the entire Church.  Their zeal and devotion is to be pursued  "with your whole heart and mind".   The document then deals with the conditions and rules that the knights must follow on their quest to Jerusalem and the Holy Land.


These instructions initiated history’s most famous religious war:

  The Holy Crusade of

The King of England:

Richard the Lion-Hearted

The King of France:

Philip Augustus

The Holy Roman Emperor and King of Germany:

Federick Barbarossa