Gerard Thom

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Blessed Gerard Thom
++Gerard Tum, by Laurent Cars.jpg
Gerard Tum, Founder of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, copper engraving by Laurent Cars, c. 1725
Founder, Grand Master
Born c.1040
Died September 3, 1120
Honored in
Roman Catholic Church
Major shrine Monastery of St. Ursula, Valletta, Malta
Feast October 13
Patronage Day of Emergency Medicine (Poland)

Gerard (c. 1040 – September 3, 1120), variously surnamed Tum, Tune, Tenque or Thom, is accredited as the founder of the Knights Hospitaller which is currently divided into the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem and the Order of Malta, as well as numerous other groups who trace their descent and/or inspiration to the original Hospitaller's order.

He may have been born in Amalfi, in Southern Italy, and may have had some connection to the convent of Saint Lawrence in Amalfi. Other accounts hold he was born in Martigues, Provence, while one authority even names the Chateau d'Avesnes in Hainaut as his birthplace. Either as a soldier or a merchant, he found his way to Jerusalem, where a pair of hospices (one for men and one for women) had recently been built in the neighborhood of Muristan. These hospices were financed in large part by wealthy merchants from Amalfi.[1] Gerard became guardian or provost of the Men's Hospice at a date not later than 1100, and it was there he laid the foundations for the Religious Order of St. John which received papal recognition from Paschal II in 1113, by the bull Geraudo institutori ac praeposito Hirosolimitani Xenodochii. It was renewed and confirmed by Calixtus II shortly before the death of Gerard in 1120.


  1. ^ Health and medicine in early medieval Southern Italy, Patricia Skinner, Brill Publishers, Leiden 1997.

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Preceded by
Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller
Succeeded by
Raymond du Puy de Provence