of the Crusades
left. The Sovereign Order
of St. John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller--more commonly known as the
Knights of St. John. The oldest
surviving fraternal order, originating with a small order in Jerusalem in 1099
prior to the crusades. In 1118, they applied for and received a
constitution from the Vatican and a military branch of Knights were added to
the order which heretofore had been largely involved in providing lodging for
In the face of determined local opposition,
Europeans could not hope to hold onto the Holy Land and Jerusalem fell in
1187. Finally, in 1296, all of
the Europeans were expelled. The
Knights of St. John have continued to exist under the protection of a series
of monarchs to the present day. In
the process, it lost its Catholicism and now calls itself a Christian
Center. The large double Commanderís
Cross is from the Ancient Illustrious Order Knights of Malta.
In 1803, Pope Pious VII took control of the Italian branch of the KSJ
renaming it the Knights of Malta. The
AIOKM is a purely Papal order which serves the Vatican.
It has no connection with the KSJ nor is it related to the Masonic
Knights of Malta.
Knights of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, more commonly known as
the Knights Templar. This order
received its constitution the same year as the KSJ/Hospitallers in 1118.
These pieces are from the York Rite Masonic order bearing the same
name. Though the Masonic KT is of
recent origin (1700ís), the evidence strongly suggests that Masonry itself
evolved from the suppressed Templar order.
See synopsis of John Robinsonís Born
in Blood below.
in Blood" Book Review