Naillac, Philibert De

Naillac, Philibert De the grand-master of the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, was born about 1340 of a noble family. But little is known of his personal history. He became master of this order in 1376, and engaged in the Crusades, and was greatly distinguished by his valor and skill in warfare. He was prominently engaged in the battle of Nicopolis, and served the Christian interests by his treaties with the Saracens. Thus he concluded a treaty with the sultan of Egypt, which gave the Christians permission to enclose the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem with a wall; to maintain six knights of the Order of St. John within the city, free from all tribute, who should be permitted to carry on the hospitable duties of their profession in favor of all pilgrims led thither by devotion; that Christian slaves might be redeemed, either by purchase or by exchange with a Saracen; and that convents might be maintained in Jerusalem and in the other principal cities of the Holy Land. Inl 1415 internal dissension threatened the very existence of the Order of St. John. Naillac's wise counsels prevented all disgraceful proceedings; and when he died, in 1421, "he left the fraternity, at whose head he had been placed for so many years, at union with itself, at peace with its neighbors, and in a most flourishing state of prosperity." See Boissat, Hist. des Chevaliers de St. Jean de Jerusalem; Porter, Knights of Malta, 1:291 sq., 313. (J.H.W.)

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