Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Knights Hospitallers

‘…The crusades were in reality military expeditions to the Holy Land to recover the sepulcher of Christ, which was in the possession of the Mohammedans. Of the eight expeditions the first four were the most important. The first occurred in 1096-1099.

The military orders were the three orders of knights: the Templars, the Hospitallers, and the Teutonic Knights.

It was in the interval between the crusades that the two orders known as the Knights Templars and the Knights Hospitallers grew up. There had long been monks at Jerusalem who received travelers and cared for sick pilgrims at their hospital. When the need of soldiers to defend the city became great, these monks were enrolled as soldiers and became the Knights Hospitallers. Founded in 1092, forty years after the first crusade, "the servants of the Hospital of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem" became "a military order of monks, the first body of men united by religious vows, who wielded the temporal sword against the enemies of the Church." They are sometimes called the Knights of Rhodes, from their first great conquest, which was the island of Rhodes, which in two centuries they rendered one of the strongest places in the world. In 1522 they were driven out of the island by the Turks; they then established themselves in the island of Malta, which fact gave to them the name of Knights of Malta, by which they are also known in history. "Their chief seat in England was at Clerkenwell; this property was destroyed by an insurrection under Wat Tyler, but their priory was afterward restored."— Timbs. …‘

From the introduction to Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe”. On February 15, 1113, Pope Paschal II issued a bull which sanctioned the establishment of the Knights Hospitallers.

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