We’ve talked about the Hospitallers, aka the Knights of Malta and–in Bo Giertz’s novel by that name translated by Cranach commenter Bror Erickson–the Knights of Rhodes. You have already heard of the Knights Templar, with their mysterious and allegedly occultic secrets and their alleged ties to the Masons. There is also another order of monks who fought wars: the Teutonic Knights. Now they are in the news, as the remains of their original Grand Masters have been discovered in the Polish town of Kwidzyn, which was once the Prussian city of Marienwerder. The skeletons will be buried, with great ceremony, in the cathedral, though not without controversy, the Teutonic Knights having pretty much ravaged Poland, while also using the sword to bring Catholicism to the Baltics:
The remains were discovered in the cathedral’s crypt in 2008 and identified by DNA and other testing as being those of Werner von Orseln, the knights’ ruler from 1324-1330; Ludolf Koenig von Wattzau, who ruled from 1342-1345; and Heinrich von Plauen, from 1410-1413.
Next to the coffins will be plastic replicas of what the men are believed to look – long-haired men draped in cloths – based on a 16th century mural in the cathedral, said Bogumil Wisniewski, a city archaeologist.
Fragments of original gold-painted silks found on their skeletons are being displayed separately.
The Order of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary’s Hospital in Jerusalem was founded in the late 12th century to aid German pilgrims in the Holy Land. It evolved into a military order whose knights wore trademark white coats with black crosses. Later, they forcefully brought Christianity to swaths of northeastern Europe and ruled an area near the Baltic Sea coast in what is now northern Poland.
They too, like the Knights of Malta, combined combat with running hospitals. The order still exists, though without the military dimension to their good works.
How does the doctrine of vocation apply to these military orders?