The Knights Templar - bleuprint of militarized fraternities

Formed in the setting of the Chapter of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem from a brotherhood of Champenois and Burgundian knights, the Templars received their rule at the Council of Troyes in 1129. They inspired all the foundations that followed by showing the way of militarization to charitable fraternities. 

The hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, appearing in the context of the First Crusade, engaged in fighting in the Holy Land and in the Iberian Peninsula from the 1130 and 1140s, Just like the Sainte-Marie des Teutoniques hospital, established at Acre around 1190, and militarized eight years later, and Saint-Lazare which came forth fom a leper colony in Jerusalem around 1130 and involved in the Crusade a century later.

Operated under the influence of the Temple, this military conversion was also encouraged by the rulers of the Holy Land and the Iberian Peninsula who wished to involve these new powers in the defense of their states. Parallel to the experiences of the Holy Land, but this time on the front of the Reconquista, brotherhoods of knights supervised by the Cistercians were formed to defend and populate cities and territories that had become Christians. These gave birth to military orders marked by a "national" imprint. The Order of Calatrava was basically Castilian, control of The Order of Alcántara was an issue between Castile and León, The Order of Santiago was rather close to the Castilian monarchy, but gave birth to a branch independent Portuguese in 1290. While the Order of Avis was specifically Portuguese. At the other end of Christianity, in the first third of the 13th century, the militant spirituality of Cîteaux also gave birth to the militias of Porte-Glaive and Dobrin, responsible for supporting the evangelization of the Baltic areas.

Despite their diversity, these orders all share a common origin: they came forth from associations of knights attached to the defense of a city or a castle and were all sponsored by a canonical or monastic institution. This brotherly crucible, conforming to the evangelical spirit but enriched with a military dimension, constituted the spiritual essence of military monasticism. In the 13th century, they continued to inspire armed brotherhoods dedicated to the fight against heresy and the control of morals, supported by the Dominicans in Northern Italy - militias of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary - or by the papal legates in Languedoc - militias of the Faith of Jesus Christ and of Faith and Peace.

source (in French, translated by TN): Les ordres militaires et hospitaliers: une nouvelle religion by Damien Carraz

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