Although it did not achieve its expectations of establishing theocratic rule in the East, the Church maintained a certain influence throughout the two centuries of Frankish rule. The political strength of the patriarchate was never very great, and in comparison to its position in the West the Church in the Latin East was neither influential nor wealthy. However, individual ecclesiastical establishments did become important property owners. Notable amongst these were the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Convent of St Anne, St Mary of Mount Zion, and St Mary in Jehoshaphat in Jerusalem, the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Abbey of St Lazarus in Bethany. Their holdings were varied; the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, for example, possessed houses in the major cities as well as in many of the smaller towns, whole villages (both those of the indigenous peasantry and the newly established villages of Frankish settlers), mills, bakeries and other institutions.
The military orders
The military order was a new and uniquely Crusader institution combining the concepts of knighthood and monasticism. The orders became an important element in Crusader society, the principal means of maintaining organized and well-equipped armed forces in the Latin East. The possession of numerous castles added to their weight in the defence of the Latin East. The Order of the Hospitallers or the Knights of St John, which had its beginnings in the monastery hospital of St Mary Latin in Jerusalem established around 1070, was recognized in 1113 by the pope and became a military order around 1130. Its principal aim was to care for the sick. The second military order was the Order of the Templars, so called because they had their headquarters in al-Aqsa Mosque, which was known to the Franks as the Templum Salomonis. It was founded in 1119–20 by a knight named Hugh of Payns with the aim of defending pilgrims on the roads. Both orders developed into huge organizations with vast holdings both in Outremer and in Europe. There were other military orders, notable amongst them the German Teutonic Order founded in 1190 which had its headquarters in Akko, the Order of St Lazarus and the Order of St Thomas.