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Warriors of the Lord
The Military Orders of Christendom

by Michael Walsh

Book Review.

The book of 208 pages is an attractive illustrated history of the Church's warrior-monks, and is well illustrated. It recounts extraordinary story of the monastic Military Orders, and is an excellent introduction to the subject. It not only cover the details concerning the Orders, but introduces the reader to the background details.

The book is very easy to read, and the story begins by laying out the various elements which account for the rise of military monasticism. The change in Christian attitudes to war, from opposition to the possibility of 'Holy War' began. It covers in an understandable way, the rise of feudalism, and the rise of Islam, which had become the main threat to Christianity, leading up to the response in the form of the Crusades. Even as the story progresses with the Crusade, the complex tapestry which makes up any history, is carefully explained, as the Crusades are also the background to the existence of the Military Orders. Details on the Baltic Crusades are covered, along with its associated Military Orders, as the the reconquest of Christians lands in Spain. The Rule of life by which the Military Orders were self regulated is given space, and the final chapter "Aftermath" which covers the cooling of the Crusading spirit, but covers the Great siege of Malta, where the Knights gained a decisive Victory in the battle against Islam, which really ended, in terms of an attempt at world domination, in 1683, with the failure of the Moslems to take Vienna, thereafter, to have no foothold in Europe.

There are two useful appendices, the first of which deals with the Templar Myth, and the second provides a few details on a total of twenty seven Orders.

The Reverend Dr Michael Foster

Monday, 31st July 2007.

Michael Walsh is a retired librarian of Heythrop College, University of London, England. He is on the editorial board of the Heythrop Journal and author of Pocket Dictionary of Popes (May 2006), Warriors of the Lord (2003), Conclave (2003), Lives of the Popes (2001), Book of Saints (1995), John Paul II (1994) and editor of the Dictionary of Catholic Devotion (1994), Opus Dei (1992), the new edition of Butler’s Lives of the Saints (1985) and Illustrated History of the Popes (1984).


William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan &

Cambridge: 2003.

Created 31st July 2007
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