Knights of St. John

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The Knights of St. John, also known as the Knights Hospitaller, was a medieval military order. They originally cared for sick and wounded pilgrims, but gradually developed, and became an autonomous order dedicated to defending Christendom, especially during the Crusades. After the Holy Land was conquered my the Muslims, they relocated to Rhodes, and eventually to Malta, over which they ruled.[1]

Today, the order survives in the form of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta (SMOM). Along with the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta is an order of chivalry that is recognized and protected by the Holy See. The Protestant continuation of the Knights Hospitaller is known as the Order of Saint John in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, as well as in the Commonwealth of Nations. Not beholden to any nation, the Order of Malta is sovereign in its own right and has diplomatic relations with over 100 counties. It also has its own militaries, but by this point in time, the militaries is de facto an extension of the Italian Armed Forces.