This weekend was the 810th anniversary of the Battle of Las Navas De Tolosa. On July 16th, 1212, the Reconquista defeated the Muslim invaders of Spain and marked a turning point in the liberation of the country. Spain had been occupied by Muslim slavers for five centuries, with a small resistance movement slowly taking back territory in the north bit by bit. After they had liberated half the country, the situation escalated. The Muslims amassed a huge army of volunteers, traitors, and slaves to reinvade northern Spain.
Pope Innocent III received the declaration of war and called for Christian warriors from across the lands to muster for a defense. Thus, a new Crusade began, and Alfonso VIII of Castile took charge of the Reconquista. The Spanish Christians were outnumbered, but better equipped and were volunteers with hearts filled with passion. A force of 12,000 heavily armed and armored warriors stood against the ragtag group of 30,000 scantily clad conscripts. The enemies fell in droves, but their numbers allowed them to withstand such losses.
The Christians eventually grew weary and lost hope. They began to flee, and Alfonso took the initiative to lead a cavalry charge. With their flags bearing the cross and the Son, Alfonso and his men rallied their troops and broke through the Muslim lines. They slaughtered the slave warriors chained together and scattered the rest who could run. The tide was turned and the enemy was routed. This battle was one of the great triumphs of freedom over slavery and it is an inspiring tale to behold.
Terror spreads throughout the land Fiends pillage and enslave the weak A great heresy is their marching band Where they go, havoc does wreak
Yet brave souls prosper to the north Carrying the sword of the cross Piece by piece, they move forth Reclaiming the land which was lost
The slaver king cries out in vain Against the return of the light The Lord has come to free the land of Spain To push out the heretical blight
Hope is kindled near every bend Light spreads to the darkest corner A scourge of five centuries comes to an end The Lord has come to restore His order
The slaver king fumes with rage Wailing from his throne of flesh and chains Against the Lord, he sets his cage With malice flowing through his veins
The heretics know their end draws near The time fro them to drown in shame The Lord's men come for that most dear To reclaim the lost land of Spain
Men of God muster from across all the lands To Crusade once more against the darkness Pushing back the heretics and slaver bands The Reconquista comes to redeem us
A force of warrior monks and knights Volunteers with hearts strong and calm To battle the slave hordes of Muslim fright And restore the realm of Christendom
The army of God amassed as one Met with a sea of demons of all types Knights in armor shined in the sun The agents of the adversary of force of all stripes
Traitors, slaves, and volunteers filled the heretic ranks Dressed in rags and chains with flesh exposed Some came willingly, others dragged without thanks Others came in madness with their minds disposed
The light and dark clashed without end in sight Outnumbered at large was the Army of God Yet unyielding and undeterred as they kept up the fight Determined to break the heretics' fascade
A momenet then came When hope faultered briefly The army of light flew in shame As the dark horde stood steeply
But Alfonso stood tall When he heard that cry of doom He charged forth without fear nor stall Into the thick of the blood plume
There was no victory in sight With the darkness vast and shrill Though God's men stood still to keep the fight To embody His everlasting will
Armor clashed against flesh and chain Freeman against the slave Fighting for the fate of Spain For a future bright or grave
And the light shines in the darkness Ever bright and ever pure The darkness shall not overcome His greatness The future shall at last be secure
At long last the chains did break And the heretics fell to the sword Fallen ground was now God's to retake Freedom was Spain's reward
The Reconquista prevailed By God's mighty grace The enemy was assailed Now peace, Spain may embrace
Praise be to the Lord He who is never to know loss He who sends us men of war Men who wield the sword of the cross
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