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By Raymond de Souza, KHS, KofC, Church Militant, August 26, 2022

The second commandment of chivalry

Crusader sword

Our Lord Jesus Christ, God incarnate, the King of Kings, made the ultimate sacrifice and gave His life for mankind. He died for His spouse, the Church. In this way, He was the model of all knights. And the knights, as vassals of God, must also give their lives for Him, if necessary.

The swords of the crusaders were shaped like a cross, sometimes having a saint’s relic at the cross-guard of the hilt and blade. Often, when a crusader was in prayer, he would unsheathe the sword and stick it into the ground, forming a sort of makeshift cross where he could pray. In this way, the crusaders united their sacrifice to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land with the sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross.

Many bishops understood the mission of the knights and encouraged them. For instance, in the famous medieval poem of Garran, the archbishop of Reims said, “Ye knights, never forget that God made you to become the walls of the Church!”

Hence the second commandment of chivalry: Thou shalt defend the Church. …