As well as protecting Christianity and guarding the frontier with Islam, military orders from their beginnings also carried out other roles such as hospitality. Medieval hospitals were conceived as places where charity and care took place for a well-defined social group formed by the poor, the sick and pilgrims. 2 This aspect was closely related to the activities of the wider Church and religious orders, and was the initial vocation of many of the institutions that would later adopt a military role in the Holy Land, such as the Hospitallers. In addition, many orders also conducted the task of redeeming prisoners taken captive during clashes with Muslim forces. 3