Hospitallers Is the name generally given to charitable brotherhoods, consisting of laymen, monks, choristers, and knights of religious orders, who, while continuing under the rules and exercises of conventual life (chiefly after the rule of St. Augustine), devoted themselves to the care of the poor and the sick in the hospitals. These brotherhoods were founded at various times arid in different countries. They added to the ordinary vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the special vow that they would devote themselves to this work of mercy. The hospitals (q.v.), in the age when these were instituted, were mostly connected with monasteries, and were subject to the bishops. Oftentimes the care of them was so great that a special officer was appointed, with the appellation of general, and the officer under him as intendant, superior, or major. Some of the Hospitaller brotherhoods, however, were not subject to the bishops, but only to the pope, as the Hospitallers' of St. John of God, also called the Brethren of Love, etc. As an order of spiritual knights, they were divided into knights, priests, and serving brethren. Among them we find
(1.) The Hospitallers of St. Anthony, SEE ANTHONY, ORDERS OF, founded by Gaston in consequence' of an epidemic known as St. Anthony's fire.
(2.) The Brethren of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. SEE MALTA, KNIGHTS OF.
(3.) The Order of Teutonic Knights (q.v.).
(4.) The Brethren of the Hospital of the Order of the Holy Ghost, SEE HOLY GHOST, ORDERS OF, founded by Guido at Montpellier.
(5.) The Hospitallers of Burgos, founded in 1212.
(6.) The Hospitallers of our Lady of Christian Charity were founded near Chalons in the end of the 13th century by Guy de Joinville; a like order was founded at Paris in 1294.
(7.) The Hospitallers of our Lady Della Scala, which, according to some authorities, dates as far back as the 9th century, is said by others to have been founded about this time at Sienna, in Italy.
(8.) The Hospitallers of the Order of St. John of God (de Dieu), also called "Brothers of Charity," etc. SEE CHARITY, BROTHERS OF.
(9.) Of the Congregation of penitent Brethren, founded in Flanders in 1615; the Hospitallers of the Order of Bethlehemites (q.v.), in 1655; and a number of congregations of the third order of St. Francis, which arose in the 14th century, some are still in existence. The dress of the hospitallers was a black robe or cloak, on the breast of which was worn a white cross, with eight points, which, according to their statutes, is the true symbol of the virtues. See Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, 6, 285; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 5, 345; Helyot, Gesch. d. Klosteru. Ritterorden. 2, 200 sq.; 3, 86 sq., 463 sq.; Vertot, Hist. des Chevaliers de St. Jean de Jerusalem (Amst. 1732, 5 vols. 8vo); Schröckh, Kirchengesch. 25, 93 sq.; Hardwick, Hist. of the Middle Ages, p. 255 sq.; Riddle, Hist. of the Papacy, 2, 276; Milman's Gibbon, Roman Empire, 5, 598 sq.; Lea, Histor. Sacerdot. Celib. p. 365 sq., 475; New Englander, Aug. 1851, p. 388 sq. SEE JERUSALEM; SEE KNIGHTHOOD; SEE TEMPLARS; etc.