How The Vatican Crown Jewel, St Peter’s Was Desecrated!

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How The Vatican Crown Jewel, St Peter’s Was Desecrated!

There was a time long, long ago, in the mid-9th-century, when the heart of the western church was on the verge of collapse. Not by foundations or building faults, or an act of nature, but by religious fervour. A religion which was to take on Catholicism in centuries to come and show western Christianity—who was the Master of the Levant! Ousting, the Christians back into western Europe, to lick their so-call righteous wounds after the failed crusades. But, the Crusades were 250 years in the future. The same as the fall of Constantinople even further in the future! Which, was the paramount jewel of the Eastern Orthodoxy. The Byzantine Roman empire was previously being slowly destroyed, by the incursions of the followers of the Latin Church from 1202 CE onward. Then in its weakness, it was defeated by the adherents of the Prophet Muhammad in 1453 CE, and with it came a new name, Istanbul. 

The here and now was 846 CE, which found Rome undefended by its God, unloved by its vulgar people who said it was a sign from God, sending an avenging Angel! And found defenceless by the followers of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad! With the ports of Rome made vulnerable by the cowardly capitulation of its defenders at the sight of the invaders, leaving the Vatican and Rome easy targets for plunder. 

On the question of the near-collapse of Roman Church 846 CE, brought the Saracens who sacked Rome, St Peters and St Paul’s. However, the sacking of Rome took part during the reign of the controversial Pope Sergius II (844-847 CE). Rome was still reeling from the 844 CE violent papal contest for the vacant seat left by the death of Pope Gregory IV (827-844), with the peoples choice, John being overturned by the nobility for the noble-born pope, Sergius. So much for the Apostolic Succession!

The Princeton scholar, Tommi P. Lankila, writing the introduction to an essay to honour the Finish scholar, Kaj K A Öhrnberg (The University of Helsinki), on the Saracen raid of Rome in 846 CE, wrote: 

Ultores misit Deus paganos – ‘God sent the avenging pagans’ – was the Christian explanation for the Saracen attack of Rome, as is found in Liber Pontificalis. The church was corrupt and God enacted his revenge through the hands of the Saracens. Although the term “Sack of Rome” is often used to describe the Saracen attack on the city in 846, this is actually slightly misleading, as the assault was not directed against the city of Rome itself, but against its two wealthy churches, the Basilicas of St Peter and St Paul. The pillage must be understood in the larger context of Arab maritime raiding expeditions that occurred in the Early Middle Ages, and it serves as an excellent example of the type of raiding warfare, ghazw, of which the Arabs had a long history…The Saracen attack was surprisingly successful. They delivered a blow to the ecclesiastical capital of the Western world without great losses to themselves, until the tempest finally befell them. The churches of the Apostles Peter and Paul were prominent and rich, and popes had long adorned them with lavish gifts. Yet despite the importance of these churches, they were not protected by the old roman walls, unlike the Lateran, the papal curia. Thus, these churches were easy targets for raiders who could break through the coastal defenses…The Papal Chronicle informs us that the army of Saracens was formidable, consisting of 11,000 men, 500 horses, and 73 ships. [The Saracen Raid of Rome in 846 – An example of maritime ghazw. (pp. 93–120) From Travelling Through Time, Essays in honour of Kaj Öhrnberg] 

 What do you say, were you aware of the Saracen invasion on Rome and Italy in 846 CE? 

One can ask if Urban II’s claim for a Holy Crusade in 1095 was in retaliation for the 846 CE raid on Rome?

Keep safe


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