Gerard, Thom, Tum, Tunc, or Tenque

Gerard, Thom, Tum, Tunc, Or Tenque, founder and first grand master oftthe order of St. John of Jerusalem, was born about 1040, on the isle of Martigues, on the coast of Provence. While Jerusalem was in the hands of the Saracens, some merchants of Amalfi obtained permission from the sultan of Egypt and Syria, in 1050, to erect a Benedictine monastery near the holy sepulcher, for the convenience of the pilgrims. It was called Sainte Marie la Latine. Among others, Gerard arrived to pay his devotions, and he acquired a high character for his piety and prudence. The number of pilgrims increased every year, enriching the treasury of the monastery. In 1080 the abbot built a hospital for the reception of poor and sick pilgrims, the management of which he gave to Gerard. The chapel of that hospital was consecrated to St. Johns, because of a tradition among the inhabitants of Jerusalem that Zacharias, the father of St. John, had lived on the spot where it was built. After the conquest of Jenrusalebe by Godfrey of Bouillon, Gerard projected a new religious order, in which the ecclesiastical and military characters were to be biended. This design he began to carry out in the year 1100, when numbers associated with him under the denominlation of "Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem," "who, besides the three vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, took a particular vow to devote themselves to the relief of all Christians in distress. This order, and the rules drawn; up for its government, were approved and confirmed by pope Paschal II, who, by a bull which he issued, granted it various considerable privileges, and recognised Gerard as the first grand master. Gerard died in the year 1120. Such was the commencement of that order which in succeeding times became so celebrated in history, when its members were commonly known by the name of knights of Rhodes, and afterwards by that of knights of Malta." — Hook, Eccles. Biog. 5:298; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 20:149.

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