In the mid eleventh century, a group of people devoted to taking care of the sick came together to form one of the greatest brotherhoods of the Middle Ages. They named themselves the Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, more commonly referred to as the Knights Hospitaller. They named themselves after Saint John the Hospitaller. These knights devoted their time and lives to the care and protection of the ill and dying during the twelfth century. The Hospitallers took in people of all illnesses, except those with leprosy due to safety reasons, regardless of their age, race or sexuality. Not even a century later, in 1113 Pope Paschal II recognized the Knights Hospitaller in a Papal bull (bill). As the years passed, the Knights Hospitaller soon transformed from a group that cared for the sick, into “one of the most effective fighting forces of the Middle Ages.” Although the Knights Hospitaller cared for the sick and defended the people, did these righteous people continue their great service, or did they turn on their vows and become corrupt like many organizations before them.
The knights of The Order of the Knights Hospitaller were ruthless warriers who became one of the most powerful fighting forces of the Middle Ages. The Knights Hospitaller played an important part in the Second, Third and Fourth Crusades. The Knights Hospitaller was well respected knights who fought with bravery and courage on the battlefield. They were so well respected that even their presence on the battlefield boosted the other soldiers.
The only other force that could possibly rival the Knights Hospitaller in strength was the Knights Templar. Because of this it was fitting that the two groups rivaled each other. The Templars were also fierce fighters who were also recognized by the pope. The Templars and the Hospitallers were so similar even their sigils were almost the same. The sigil of the Knights Templars was a red cross of a white field, while the Knights Hospitaller’s sigil was a while cross on a field of black.
The Knights Hospitaller branched out all across Europe during the crusades. The Hospitallers created hospitals around Europe for the crusaders to heal their wound. During their course of history, the Hospitallers were moved all around Europe so they were free to set up hospitals wherever they went. Hospitals that remained once the Knights Hospitaller were moved.
The Knights Hospitaller fought in most of the major crusading campaigns. In 1153 the siege of Ascalon took place. Ascalon was a Muslim held city in Egypt that constantly raided the crusading forces and its cities. In 1153 Baldwin III of Jerusalem decided to take the fight to the Muslims by gathering the forces of Jerusalem and putting Ascalon under siege. After months of fighting the crusaders wanted to give up and go, however the Hospitallers convinced the king to stay and fight. A couple of days later another enterence to the city was forged, and the crusading forces took the city...