Knights Malta hospitaller-14th CenturyPilgrims and tourists visiting the Vatican received a special treat Saturday, when some 4,000 members of the Knights of Malta marched in procession celebrating the group’s 900th anniversary.

The order’s mission is humility and charity and had its start in the 11th century, with the creation of an infirmary in Jerusalem that cared for people making pilgrimages to the Holy Land during the Crusades.

Today, it has become an international humanitarian organization with nearly 100,000 doctors, nurses and volunteers worldwide.

(READ the story from Sylvia Poggioli at NPR)

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