Religion: Custos in Washington

Francis of Assisi, simplest and kindliest of saints, lived in an age when Christendom sent army after army to wrest the Holy Land from the infidel. Burning to convert, rather than slaughter, the paynim, St. Francis took Palestine as a province of his order, before he or his followers ever laid eyes on it. When he did arrive there in 1219, the little saint settled Franciscans in some of the Holy Land's holy places. In 1333, by treaty with the Sultan, and with papal approval, Franciscans were awarded permanent "Custody of the Holy Land"—i.e., care of its Christian fanes.

The Custody still...

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