Order of Malta

This Order actually consists of two: The Order of St. Paul, or the Mediterranean Pass, which is a preparatory order, and the Order of Malta itself.

The Order of Malta must be conferred in either full or short form. The full form is quite elaborate and beautiful but, alas, is not conferred by many Commanderies. The short form is but a summary of the lessons taught in the full form, and this is what I will describe here. The Order of St. Paul is based on the story of Paul’s shipwreck on the island of Melita (Malta). The candidate represents a knight about to depart for the Crusades in the Holy Land. The history of the Knights of Malta is explained and the periods of the order’s history is paralleled with the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. While Freemasonry often comes under attack by fundamentalists who view it as unchristian, the candidate for admission into this Christian Order can offer a clear argument to the contrary. The Order is purely Christian in beauty and seeks to perpetuate ideals of love and mercy fostered by the Christian Crusades.He receives sustenance, both spiritual and physical, to prepare him for the ardors of his journey. The Order of Malta is a suitable preparation for the Order of the Temple, in that it provides the candidate with additional New Testament instruction, particularly in the eight Beatitudes. The symbol of the order is the Maltese cross, symbolic of the Beatitudes and the eight languages, which once were spoken by its members. The candidate is created a Knight of Malta and invested with words and signs specific to the Order. The body is called a Priory.

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