How The Crusader Tamed The Lion

Source: Web

Gouffier of Lastours was a Crusading knight from France who took part in the first Crusade. He helped in the siege of Antioch and took Jerusalem in 1099, driving the Muslims back into the tower of David where they ultimately surrendered.

During the course of his stay, it is said he rescued a Lion from a snake. The story does not go into detail on the where, how and when, but presumably it was an Anaconda. I would imagine it wrapped around the Lions neck. How else could a Lion be threatened by a snake? It’s unlikely Gouffier carried Anti-venom with him in 1099.

The story goes that following the rescue of the Lion, Gouffier befriended the Lion and it followed him everywhere. It is even said to have followed him into battle. When departing for Europe on board a ship, the sailors refused the Lion entry.

I think they did it for obvious reasons don’t you? Could you imagine getting on board your local cruise ship with a pet Lion at your side? I would imagine the same amount of common sense would prevail over today’s sailors as that of yesterdays.

The ship set its sails for Europe. Upon leaving the harbour, the bond between Gouffier and the Lion was so strong, the Lion jumped into the water and began to swim after Gouffier. From the stern of the ship, Gouffier had to watch his animal friend struggle to swim, drowning before his very eyes. While Gouffiers heart sank into the pit of his stomach, his Lion sank into the Mediterranean Sea never to be seen again.

In my opinion this story speaks about how we can make the most unlikely of friends when least expected. What was considered to be an enemy to mankind became a friend to Gouffier through one simple act of kindness. This can also work on a human level. One’s enemy, can often transform into the most loyal of friends, even to the point of sacrificing their lives to be close to us.

God teaches that kindness and compassion to our enemies, even the the biggest beasts of the fields such as Lions, gets repaid one hundred fold. In our lives we have many personal enemies that are just as intimidating, yet through a simple act of love, transform such animosity into an eternal friendship. Gouffier was used to invading cities and forcing his way inside to get what he wanted. However, through Gouffier, God taught the world that when it comes to taming the Lion, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

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