The military orders represent a very specific case in the medieval religious world. Those congregations were created with the double perspective of warfare and charity and in their relations to the secular world they were characterised by a major opening than in the case of the traditional monastic orders. Thus, the personal of those orders, divided between knights, sergeants and priests, needed very specific instruments, helping them to assume all the various functions they had to carry out. The historical process of the creation of the rules of the three major military orders goes from the first half of the 12th until the middle of the 13th century. I will present the evolutions of those rules, the characteristics of the communities to whom they were destined and of the personal of each military order, including, in some cases, also the female branches, followed by theological and juridical observations and, at last, by some examples and considerations about the reception of the rules, their putting in practice and their spiritual and material applications and consequences.
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