The Order of St John and the Impact of the First Crusade
The Order of St John and the Impact of the First Crusade
The Order of St. John can be viewed as not only an innovative development in monastic orders –hospitality as a direct consequence of deep spirituality -but as thefirst hospital order of the Church, establishing a precedent for others to follow.. Not only did the Order provide care and comfort for weary pilgrims , but aslo through the development of the order, protection in both the temporal as well as spiritual spheres, drawing its name from its patron St. John the Baptist.
>From the discovery of the grave of Christ,'The Holy Sepulchre', by the mother of Constantine, Helena, Jesusalem became a Place of pilgrimage, for the Christian faithful.Pope St. Leo granted the "Indulgence of the Cross" for those who undertook a pilgrimmage to the Holy Sepulchre in AD. 1053. Beside the Holy Sepulchre was the Benedectine Monastery of St. Maria Latina, founder by merchants from Amalfi containing a house for guests and visitors. This guest house slowly became more and more of a hospital for sick and exhausted pilgrims, the journey to jerusalem from Europe being arduous both physically and mentally. However the origional Amalfian Monastery was a dependancy while the monastery of gerard was wholly autonomus from its foundation It was a French Monk, Gerard, who initally developed the Order of St. John into an institution, dedicated to the care of the Sick It was to Gerard –'Greaudo institutori ac praeposito Hirosolimitani Xenodochii" -that the papal privilege !
of 1113,was addressed granting permission to establish a xenodochio (xenos = stranger, docheio = container).
The First Crusade can truly be observed to be the spark that ignited the inferno. It marks the evolution of the Order from carers of the pilgri