Who were the Knight Hospitallers?

June 24, 2022 5:43 pm

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Of all the holy warriors to come out of the crusades, the Knight Hospitallers were the noblest. They were the support for pilgrims looking to get to the holy city of Jerusalem, providing care, comfort and muscle to allow the safe passage of anyone looking to journey to the city. They would have been the first to have signed up for Emergency First Aid Training Courses, such as those from https://www.tidaltraining.co.uk/emergency-first-aid-training-courses/, if they had been available in the 1300s and 1400s.

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They grew out of a small hospice that was located in the holy city itself. To begin with, it was run by a small group of Italian merchants who had established a trade route with the Palestinians. They based the hospice on the remains of a church that St John himself was said to have preached at. This hospice and subsequent hospitals became part of a city-wide network run by order of Benedictine monks.

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As the years, and crusades, rolled by, the order began to militarise itself. The journey to the holy land became fraught with difficulties, and the successes gained by the first crusade were soon under threat. The crusader states were desperate to retain their control, and the Muslim populace was happy to let the pilgrims come to Jerusalem.

Sadly, the region began to descend into war, and the hospitallers were at the forefront of providing military, medical and social aid. After being driven out of the Holy Land, they established a permanent base on the islands of Rhodes.