The roots of the Order of St. John (as well as the Knights Templar and the Teutonic Knights) are found in the goal of the Crusaders to secure the Holy sites and protect pilgrims in their passage to and from the Holy lands. But the Order of St. John had a dual mission, a military arm as well as a monastic hospitaller order. The hospitaller mission of the Order is its original function.. Approximately in 1023, merchants from Amalfi in Italy, gained permission from the Caliph of Egypt to rebuild a hospital in Jerusalem near the church of St. John the Baptist. The main objective was to care for sick and injured pilgrims visiting the Holy Lands.
It was served by Benedictine monks under Brother Girard.