|Hugh de Payns|
After Hugh received the blessing of Pope Honorious II in 1129, the order enjoyed the good press of one of the most influential clerics of the time, Bernard de Clairvaux. Clairvaux was influential in promoting the order to the rest of Europe, and soon the Templars were blessed with great patronage. Manors were donated, properties entrusted, and nobles' sons, deprived of the hope of inheritance, flocked to the new monastic warrior group. Soon the Templars had control of many lands and properties around Europe, the revenues of which were used by the order for the defence of the Holy Land. In Jerusalem the order built castles and hospitals, giving a shot in the arm to the fledgling kingdom. The pride of the military force of the kingdom was the crack troops of the order of the temple.
For many years the Templars aided in the success of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, but on the horizon storm clouds were forming. In a dizzying string of events, Saladin, the sultan of Egypt, brought Syria and Iraq under his control and the crusader states were surrounded. A tenuous peace was maintained with Saladin while the leper king Baldwin IV was alive. When Baldwin died, his sister, Sibylla and her husband Guy deLusignan ascended the throne. Unfortunately for the peace, Guy was unable to control his war-mongering friends and Saladin declared war.