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Catholic Dictionary




The march of thousands of children gathered from many parts of Europe to form the Fourth Crusade and capture the Holy Land. It was current belief that the sacred places of Palestine could be secured only by the pure of heart, hence the children. some accounts speak of three contingents: one under a shepherd boy of Vendôme, another led by a youth from Cologne, and a third got to Brindisi and met various fates. Most of the children died of hunger and exhaustion, some perished at sea, and some through the shipowners' treachery were sold as slaves to the Moors. The whole action was an example of scandalous misconception and direction.