Orders of the Crusades

Far 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 pilgrims.

  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 Chivalric Order.

  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.

  Far Right.  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.

"Born in Blood" Book Review




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