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A Hermit’s Advice - 1099

Siege of Jerusalem in the first crusade.


On this day, Sunday, June 12, 1099, the leaders of crusading armies that had surrounded Jerusalem a few days earlier made a pilgrimage to the Mount of Olives. There an old hermit met them and urged them to attack the city, promising them victory. The crusaders were skeptical. Jerusalem had formidable defenses and they had few siege engines. As it proved, the hermit was right. Jerusalem fell after a three-day siege. The hermit said:


“If you will attack the city tomorrow, the Lord will deliver it into your hands.” [When the princes replied that they didn’t have siege machines the hermit answered:]  “God is all powerful. If he wills, he will storm the walls even with one ladder. The Lord aids those who labor for the truth!”


Galli, Mark. “Bloody Pilgrimage.” Christian History 40 (1993).

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