The Three Classes of Knights Hospitallers

Thus the Order of St. John imperceptibly became military without losing its eleemosynary character. The statutes of Roger de Moulins (1187) deal only with the service of the sick; the first mention of military service is in the statutes of the ninth grand master, Alfonso of Portugal (about 1200). In the latter a marked distinction is made between secular knights, externs to the order, who served only for a time, and the professed knights, attached to the order by a perpetual vow, and who alone enjoyed the same spiritual privileges as the other religious. Henceforth the order numbered two distinct classes of members: the military brothers and the brothers infirmarians. The brothers chaplains, to whom was entrusted the divine service, formed a third class.

From, of course.


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