The development of the Order of St. John in Jerusalem under Grandmaster

Frŕ Roger de Moulins / Desmoulins / Rugerio Moulins

1177 - 1187

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Jobert's successor was another Anglo-Norman soldier: Frŕ Roger de Moulins / Desmoulins / Rugerio Moulins  (1177-1187) of Normandy. Under his leadership the Order was already predominantly involved in military tasks.

This urged Pope Alexander III. (1159-1181) to issue the bull "Piam admodum" (dated between 1178 and 1180) to admonish Frŕ Roger

to vigorously adhere to the sanctified customs and good consuetude of his deceased predecessor... . The brethren should only touch their weapons when there is a general call up to defend the country or to besiege a castle of the infidel under the sign of the cross. By doing so the care for the poor must not be decreased in any way.

Pope Alexander III.
[ Pope Alexander III. ]

This exhortation was not disregarded at all and the Chapter General of 1181 gives new Hospital Regulations in their decisions.

In AD 1178 the Grand Priory of France emerged through a division of the province of the Provence, which had grown too big. 1187 is also the founding date (according to Jan Dlugosz it was already founded on 6 May 1170) of the Poznan House and Commandery of the Order of St. John in Poland.

Horns of HattinOn 4 July 1187 the Christian Army including the Hospitallers was completely destroyed in the disastrous Battle of Hattin by Saladin. "Among the prisoners", King reports, "were 230 Knights of the Hospital and the Temple. Every knight was given the chance of saving his life by renouncing Christianity and becoming a Moslem.

Not a single man of them flinched before the ordeal, and two days after the battle the glorious crown of martyrdom was their reward." They were executed on the slopes of the Horns of Hattin, where eleven centuries before, Christ had preached the Sermon on the Mount.

The period of time of our reflection is being concluded by Saladin's entry into Jerusalem on October 2nd, 1187.

1187: Departure of the Christians and the Knights of St. John from Jerusalem
(fresco in the Grand Master's Palace in Valletta)

The Order of St. John had to give way and changed it's centre to Margat. Although sultan Saladin had given his permission to the hospital to continue its operation for another year. The area of the hospital was ever since called "Muristan" which is Kurdish for hospital (cf. Arab "bimaristan" and Persian "himeristan"). This date terminates the history of the Hospital of Jerusalem, which was in closest connection with the origin, the foundation and the first glorious history of the Order of St. John.

The hospital was later destroyed. Just a few ruins of Santa Maria Latina are the sad witnesses of a great past.

Medieval Sourcebook: Roger of Hoveden: The Fall of Jerusalem, 1187
Masterclass Magazine - Come costruire un plastico o diorama.
Patron Saints Index Pope Alexander III

Blessed Gérard
This page is part of the publication: Blessed Gérard and his "everlasting brotherhood": The Order of St. John of Jerusalem

This page was last updated on Saturday, 23 July 2016 03:18:29


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