A crusader from a crypt in a Dublin church has been decapitated by vandals.
According to Archdeacon David Pierpoint, the 800-year-old crusader’s head had been ‘severed from his body and taken away.’
It was discovered when a tour guide was making preparations to open the church for visitors one afternoon.
Archdeacon Pierpoint said he was disappointed and upset that vandals targeted the church again. In 1996, the crypt of St. Michan’s was also vandalized.
During that time, a group of teenagers broke in and took numerous mummified bodies from their coffins.
Archdeacon Pierpoint said to RTC that what happened was devastating for the community and the church.
He first said he was ‘quite disgusted’ when he discovered what had happened. Now, he was ‘just sad.’
He added: “It’s a sad day for the church and a sad day for humanity that someone would do such a thing.”
Crusaders fought in numerous religious wars called the Crusades which were sanctioned by the Church during the medieval period.
The most known of the crusades were campaigns in the eastern Mediterranean that aimed to recover the Holy Land from the rule of Muslims. There were seven major crusades and many other significant ones.
Last year, about 27,000 visited the church. But tours are now being canceled for the foreseeable future.
The Church of Ireland said in a statement that the crypt had been badly damaged and many mummies, including the 400-year-old remains of a nun, had been defiled.
The 800-year-old crusader’s body was flipped and his head was savagely removed.
Archdeacon Pierpoint said a solid steel internal gate was taken but their current concern was protecting the vaults.
Irish police are examining the CCTV footage from the area.
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