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After leading a rather worldly existence in his earlier years, the northern Frenchman Fulco underwent a profound conversion, becoming a zealous parish priest. He served in his own church at Neuilly-sur-Marne, and gave missions across Burgundy, Picardy, and Normandy. Fulco preached simple but fervent sermons that moved very many sinners to conversion. He did not shrink from the daunting task of denouncing from the pulpit sins of immorality and usury. It is Fulco who is said to have challenged England's King Richard the Lionhearted to reform his life, calling upon the monarch to rid himself of the vices of pride, avarice, and lust. Although by no means self-indulgent, Fulco did not engage in the more severe forms of fasting that some others observed, but instead gratefully partook of whatever meal was set before him. Having preached to recruit volunteers for the Fourth Crusade at the request of Pope Innocent III, Fulco was preparing to journey to the Holy Land with the crusaders when he fell ill and died.
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By Deacon Keith Fournier
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