Council of Clermont

Convoked and presided over by Pope Urban II, 28 November 1095, at Clermont-Ferrand, France, for the purpose of preaching the First Crusade. In an eloquent appeal, the pope described the sufferings endured by the Christians and the pilgrims in the Holy Land, and exhorted his immense audience to take up arms for the deliverance of Our Lord's Sepulcher. Thousands of knights answered his appeal, bound themselves by an oath, and as an outward sign of their resolve, had a red Cross sewed on the shoulder: hence the name Crusades. The pope granted the Crusaders a plenary indulgence and placed all their properties under the special protection of the Church, threatening with excommunication anyone who would interfere with their estates during their absence.

New Catholic Dictionary

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