4. The genesis of the Rule of the Order of St. John

A last new moment is the different genesis of the Rule of the Order of St. John compared to the older Rules of religious orders. In the Rule of St. Augustine and in the Rule of St. Benedict the founder of the Order gives regulations for a God pleasing religious life well founded practically and theoretically. But the Rule of the Order of St. John is the theoretical theological reflection about the exercised practise, written down because the practise was found to be right and thus was standardised, i.e. the Rule is not just theory which is to be filled with life, but it is philosophy of what was practised, whose norms regulate the further practise for the future too.

In this context it is also unusual, that the Rule itself and all statutes added to the Rule, are always authorised by the whole chapter general and not just by the founder or his successors, the Masters of the Hospital. This proofs first indications of a democratic structure in the legislature of a religious community. Thus also the veneration of Blessed Gérard or of his successor, Raymond du Puy as Founders of the Order stepped back behind the big veneration of St. John, the elected patron saint of the Order. This fact is also not known from any other older Order.

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


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This page was last updated on Monday, 13 October 2014 14:40:29