The Crusades were started with one purpose - to take back the Holy Land from the Muslim invaders, to make it once again safe for pilgrims to travel there.
A crusader was a knight who fought under the banner of the Cross.
Yes, there were many missteps, many mistakes, and, in some cases, crusaders committed heinous acts, often ignoring specific papal commands to the contrary.
Militant Islam is rampant today.
In response to Pope Benedict XVI's speech in Regensburg on September 12, 2006, Muslim reaction erupted on September 14 - The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross! Among the reaction was the following quote from Mujahideen Shura Council, an umbrella group led by Iraq's branch of al Qaeda:
"We shall break the cross and spill the wine. ... God will (help) Muslims to conquer Rome. ... God enable us to slit their throats, and make their money and descendants the bounty of the mujahideen,"
Is there any doubt that Christianity must battle Islam in the spiritual realm?
Yes, we admit that not all Muslims are out to get us. It's been estimated that 15%-20% of Muslims are militant. 15-20% percent of 1.3 BILLION people.
That's 195 to 260 MILLION who are out to get us, in one way or another.
Not all Germans were Nazis. But look at what a handful did.
But, of course, this should never be used as an excuse for violence against any Muslim. Lest there be any doubt, the only valid use of force on a personal level is in self-defense
"Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." Eph 6:12
So, how do we combat Islam? Islam is more than a political movement. It is a heresy of Christianity. The Battle is SPIRITUAL.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to God unto the pulling down of fortifications, destroying counsels," - 2 Corinthians 10:4
The Catholic Church has always recognized this fact. Remember the Battle of Lepanto!
So, as Crusaders we are to wage spiritual battle under the banner of the Cross.
And the point of the battle, the intention of our prayers, is the conversion of the Muslim, through the action of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Mary Immaculate.
But, why the Immaculata? St. Maximilian Kolbe said, "The Immaculate will conquer, through us, the whole world, and every single soul".
What are the practices of the Crusaders of the Immaculate?
- Consecrate oneself to Mary Immaculate. It can be of any form that one prefers - the consecration of St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, the Militia Immaculata consecration of St. Maximilian Kolbe, or even something as simple as praying, "Mary, my mother, take me as your slave, mold me, and use me as you see fit, all for the glory of your Son".
- Eucharistic Adoration, Frequent Confession, and Frequent Eucharistic reception (daily, if possible), according to the individual's ability.
- Pray the Chaplet of the Holy Cross on Wednesdays and Fridays. (see under pages section, on the right).
- Use a variation of the Miraculous Medal Prayer as an extra decade prayer in the Rosary: "Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for the conversion of Muslims".
- Seek holiness and knowledge through the study and application of the Church's magisterial documents, the writings of the Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the writings of masters of Catholic and Eastern Orthodox spirituality.
- Be always ready to give an account for the hope that is in you (1 Pet 3:15) and to preach the truth in season and out of season