In 600, Pope Gregory the Great commissioned the Ravennate Abbot Probus, who was before Gregory's emissary at the Lombard court to build a hospital in Jerusalem to treat and care for Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. In 800, Charlemagne, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, enlarged Probus' hospital and added a library to it. About 200 years later, in 1005, Caliph Al Hakim destroyed the hospital and three thousand other buildings in Jerusalem. In 1023, merchants from Amalfi and Salerno in Italy were given permission by the Caliph Ali az-Zahir of Egypt to rebuild the hospital in Jerusalem. The hospital, which was built on the site of the monastery of Saint John the Baptist, took in Christian pilgrims traveling to visit the Christian holy sites. It was served by Benedictine monks.
The monastic hospitaller order was founded following the First Crusade by the Blessed Gerard, whose role as founder was confirmed by a Papal bull of Pope Paschal II in 1113
members claiming to hold colloquies with Jesus and the Virgin Mary
Ignatius of Loyola, while studying at Salamanca in 1527, was brought before an ecclesiastical commission on a charge of sympathy with the alumbrados, but escaped with an admonition. Miguel de Molinos was also accused of connection due to his publication of The Spiritual Guide. Teresa of Ávila openly confessed to her meditative practices being directed towards 'the Devil.'
It takes its origins from the Knights Hospitaller, an organization founded in Jerusalem in 1050 as an Amalfitan hospital to provide care for poor and sick pilgrims to the Holy Land. After the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, it became a Catholic military order under its own charter. Following the loss of Christian held territories of the Holy Land to Muslims, the Order operated from Rhodes (1310-1523), and later from Malta (1530-1798), over which it was sovereign
In 1816, four of the brothers were each ennobled by Austrian Emperor Francis I; Nathan was elevated in 1818. All of them were granted the Austrian title of baron or Freiherr on 29 September 1822. As such, some members of the family used "de" or "von" Rothschild to acknowledge the grant of nobility.
The Suppression of the Jesuits in Portugal, France, the Two Sicilies, Parma and the Spanish Empire by 1767 was troubling to the Society's defender, Pope Clement XIII. A decree signed under secular pressure by Pope Clement XIV in July 1773 suppressed the Order.
The property of the Order in England was confiscated by Henry VIII because of a dispute with the Pope over the dissolution of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which eventually led to the dissolution of the monasteries. Although not formally suppressed, this caused the activities of the English Langue to come to an end. A few Scottish Knights remained in communion with the French Langue of the Order. In 1831, a British Order was founded by Frenchmen claiming (possibly without authority) to act on behalf of the Order in Italy. Eventually it became known as the Most Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem in the British Realm, received a Royal Charter from Queen Victoria in 1888, and spread across the United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth, and the United States of America. However, it was only recognized by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in 1963. Its most well-known activities are based around St. John Ambulance, and the St. John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem.