Teutonic Knight Fitted Tee & Motto
“Help, Defend, Heal.”
The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, or the Teutonic Knights, is a Catholic religious order founded in Acre at the close of twelfth century to protect and aid Christian pilgrims on their journey to the holy land. Like the Hospitallers before them, the Teutonic Knights built hospitals and cared for the vulnerable classes, but unlike their Jerusalem-based brethren, they were conceived with a military purpose. The Teutonic Knights took ordinary monastic vows, but also took another: to do battle with the enemies of the faith. They played an integral role in the Prussian Crusade, but lost much of their purpose with the Christianization of Lithuania, which remained pagan much later than other eastern European states. The Teutonic Knights also regularly came into conflict with their Christian neighbors. At the height of the Order’s power, their territory encompassed parts of modern day Lithuania, Russia, Poland Estonia and Latvia. The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary persists today, although they have eschewed their militaristic origins and are now purely religious in nature. They still confer honorary knighthoods upon those deemed worthy.