Military and Hospitaller
Other than the Order of Saint John:
The idea of combining warfare and healthcare seems rather odd to the modern
mind, but the success of the Hospitallers inspired numerous imitators. Knights,
after all, were supposed to do good. The idea of a "chivalric order" was
tremendously appealing to mediævals, seeming to reconcile the aristocratic
way of life with the Church's monastic ideals. The orders often claimed to
be descended from elite units of the old Roman army and to be the defenders
of Christian civilisation from its enemies. As time passed, however, the
tension between loyalty to the Church, the State, and the Order's own leadership
became intense in every Order, and in the end all were suppressed, amalgamated,
disarmed, or redirected.
All modern orders of chivalry should be viewed with caution; some are on
the level, some are not.
Teutonic Knights -- Templars
-- Knights of Lazarus --
Mercedarians -- Knights of the Holy
GENERAL AND VARIOUS:
A pair of crusading orders (eventually merged into one) which proved less
important in the Middle East than in other theaters of the Crusades: they
defeated the last polytheistic tribes in Eastern Europe, then warred
intermittently against the Eastern Orthodox. Prussian military culture is
partly derived from this Order, remnants of which (purely religious or
philanthropic) still exist.
The Hospitallers' competition during the Crusades, afterwards suppressed
amid lurid rumors.
The Preceptory: Knights Templar Homepage
Highly recommended. At the maintainer's request, I add the following: "The
Preceptory is not affiliated with Freemasonry, the Society for Creative
Anachronism, or any other organization. It is maintained solely for the enjoyment
of mediaeval history enthusiasts."
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers
of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, by Grant Fritchey: Very nice
photographs of Templar-related places. (Celtic Rose )
Bibliography, by Jamie Norrish
Templar: (Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 Edition)
Templar, by António Mendonça. An online book of popular
a Knight Templar: Romantic Nineteenth Century image. (Catholic
Encyclopedia, 1913 Edition)
Praise of the New Knighthood, by St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Bernard
was the spiritual father of the first Templars, and wrote their Rule; he
hoped they would be a new kind of holy warriors serving the Church. Greenia
translation, 1977. (ORB)
Bulls of Clement V and Documents
of the Council of Vienne concerning the suppression of the Templars.
(St. Michael's Depot)
Jerusalem: the Order of the
Temple Part of the Jerusalem Mosaic online project. (Hebrew
Attire of the Knights
Templar, Twelfth Century, and
and Templar, Thirteenth Century, Nineteenth Century reconstructions,
from Braun and Schneider, History of Costume.
Neo-Templars, by "Dr. Pangloss": A skeptical history of organizations,
mostly but not exclusively Masonic, claiming descent from the Templars.
This Order claimed to have originated either in pre-Christian times (founded
by the Jewish priest-king John Hyrcanus) or in the Fourth Century (founded
by St. Basil the Great). During the Crusades, the Orthodox monastic hospitaller
brotherhood dedicated to St. Lazarus was transformed into a Roman Catholic
Order of Chivalry. It survived until at least the French Revolution; some
modern groups claim to continue it today.
An Order prominent in Spain and later in the New World, more for religious
and charitable activities than for military ones. Originally a military Order,
its Knights were suppressed in the 1300s. It has survived to the present
day as an Order of Friars, closely associated with Spanish and Portuguese
Homepage of the Brazilian mission, with extensive information about current
the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy: The Friars' US vocations director's
(Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 Edition)
Homepage of the Brazilian mission, with extensive historical information.
of St. Raymond of Pennafort: Ramón de Peñaforte was the
spiritual father of St. Peter Nolasco, and inspired him to found the Mercedarian
Order. (Catholic Online).
of Peñafort, by Karen Ræ Keck: (ECOLE)
The Founding of
"Our Lady of Ransom": Traditional account of the vision which supposedly
resulted in the founding of the Mercedarians. Contemporary Roman Catholic
reference works sound skeptical of the authenticity of these vision narratives.
(New Age Page)
Seven Tiny Stars:
Describes the allegedly miraculous discovery of a buried clock by St. Peter
Nolasco, founder of the Mercedarians. (New Age Page)
de Zurbaran: Saint Peter Nolasco's Vision of the Crucified Saint
Peter. Painting, 1629, now in the Prado. (UC Davis)
of St. Peter Nolasco: In the Palace of Mafra, Portugal.
Leo XIII: In Plurimus. Papal encyclical against slavery, 1888,
lauding the work of the Mercedarians toward this end throughout their history.
Monumental City of the Americas, by R. Finch: Among Guatemala City's
great monuments is a famous and historic Mercedarian church.
THE KNIGHTS OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE:
Partly absorbed by the Order of St. John, and likewise now fragmented into
numerous Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and other splinters, some
of them completely fraudulent imitations.
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