Church of Saint Mary of the Latins
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In around the middle of the 11th century, Amalfian traders obtained permission from the Caliph to build the church of Sainte Marie-Latine next to the church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, as well as a hospice for the accommodation of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. The hospice-hospital was run by Benedictine monks.
Prior to the First Crusade (1095-1099AD) and the capture of Jerusalem (1099AD) by the Western Europeans, this first Frankish hospice-hospital had no connections with any military order. Indeed, the 12th century historian William of Tyre writes about the existence of a monastery, belonging to the people of Amalfi, which took charge of the hospital and its chapel. The latter had been dedicated to the patriarch of Alexandria, John the Almoner (610-616).
However in the early years of the 12th century, after the first crusade, the enigmatic figure of Pierre Gerard or Gerard Tenque appeared in Jerusalem, a personality swathed in legend. Neither his homeland, his family nor his education are known, yet according to all indications to date, it is he who founded the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (Latin: Ordo Fratrum Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani), also known as the Order of Saint John, Order of Hospitallers, Knights Hospitaller, Knights Hospitalier or Hospitaller.