Catholic, Crusader, Leper and King: The Life of Baldwin IV and the Triumph of the Cross
Crusade Magazine, September/October (2006)
Modern society obsessively avoids suffering, risk and danger. It secures everything with seatbelts and safety rails, air conditions the summer heat, prints warnings on coffee cups and advises that safety glasses should be used while working with hammers. Certainly such precautions have prevented misfortune. However, since heroism and excellence are born from con- fronting rather than avoiding suffering and peril, the mania for safeguards has also diminished the notion of these qualities. This is unfortunate since only those intrepid souls who confront danger, endure suffering and overcome obsta- cles merit mention in the annals of history. A shining example is the leper king Baldwin IV of Jerusalem.