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Knights Hospitaller
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Accessed: 8/14/18



Knights Hospitaller
Fraternitas Hospitalaria
Knights of Saint John (of Jerusalem)
Knights of Rhodes, Knights of Malta
Flag of the Order

The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (Latin: Ordo Fratrum Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani), also known as the Order of Saint John, Order of Hospitallers, Knights Hospitaller, Knights Hospitalier or Hospitallers, was a medieval Catholic military order. It was headquartered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, on the island of Rhodes, in Malta and St Petersburg.

The Hospitallers arose in the early 11th century, at the time of the great monastic reformation, as a group of individuals associated with an Amalfitan hospital in the Muristan district of Jerusalem, dedicated to John the Baptist and founded around 1023 by Gerard Thom to provide care for sick, poor or injured pilgrims coming to the Holy Land. Some scholars, however, consider that the Amalfitan order and hospital were different from Gerard Thom's order and its hospital.

After the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, the organisation became a religious and military order under its own Papal charter, charged with the care and defence of the Holy Land. Following the conquest of the Holy Land by Islamic forces, the knights operated from Rhodes, over which they were sovereign, and later from Malta, where they administered a vassal state under the Spanish viceroy of Sicily. The Hospitallers were the smallest group to colonise parts of the Americas; at one point in the mid-17th century, they acquired four Caribbean islands, which they turned over to the French in the 1660s.

The knights were weakened in the Protestant Reformation, when rich commanderies of the order in northern Germany and the Netherlands became Protestant and largely separated from the Roman Catholic main stem, remaining separate to this day, although ecumenical relations between the descendant chivalric orders are amicable. The order was disestablished in England, Denmark, Sweden and elsewhere in northern Europe, and it was further damaged by Napoleon's capture of Malta in 1798, following which it became dispersed throughout Europe and Russia.


Foundation and early history

Grand Master and senior Knights Hospitaller in the 14th century

"Piae Postulatio Voluntatis". Bull issued by Pope Paschal II in 1113 in favour of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, which was to transform what was a community of pious men into an institution within the Church. By virtue of this document, the pope officially recognized the existence of the new organisation as an operative and militant part of the Roman Catholic Church, granting it papal protection and confirming its properties in Europe and Asia.

In 603, Pope Gregory I commissioned the Ravennate Abbot Probus, who was previously Gregory's emissary at the Lombard court, to build a hospital in Jerusalem to treat and care for Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land.[1] In 800, Emperor Charlemagne enlarged Probus' hospital and added a library to it. About 200 years later, in 1005, Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah destroyed the hospital and three thousand other buildings in Jerusalem. In 1023, merchants from Amalfi and Salerno in Italy were given permission by the Caliph Ali az-Zahir of Egypt to rebuild the hospital in Jerusalem. The hospital, which was built on the site of the monastery of Saint John the Baptist, took in Christian pilgrims travelling to visit the Christian holy sites. It was served by the Order of Saint Benedict.

The monastic hospitaller order was founded following the First Crusade by Gerard Thom, whose role as founder was confirmed by the papal bull Pie Postulatio Voluntatis issued by Pope Paschal II in 1113.[2] Gerard acquired territory and revenues for his order throughout the Kingdom of Jerusalem and beyond. Under his successor, Raymond du Puy, the original hospice was expanded to an infirmary[3] near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Initially the group cared for pilgrims in Jerusalem, but the order soon extended to providing pilgrims with an armed escort, which soon grew into a substantial force. Thus the Order of St. John imperceptibly became military without losing its charitable character.[3]

Raymond du Puy, who succeeded Gerard as Master of the Hospital in 1118, organised a militia from the order's members, dividing the order into three ranks: knights, men at arms, and chaplains. Raymond offered the service of his armed troops to Baldwin II of Jerusalem, and the order from this time participated in the crusades as a military order, in particular distinguishing itself in the Siege of Ascalon of 1153. In 1130, Pope Innocent II gave the order its coat of arms, a silver cross in a field of red (gueulles).[dubious – discuss][4]

The Hospitallers and the Knights Templar became the most formidable military orders in the Holy Land. Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor, pledged his protection to the Knights of St. John in a charter of privileges granted in 1185.

The statutes of Roger de Moulins (1187) deal only with the service of the sick; the first mention of military service is in the statutes of the ninth grand master, Fernando Afonso of Portugal (about 1200). In the latter a marked distinction is made between secular knights, externs to the order, who served only for a time, and the professed knights, attached to the order by a perpetual vow, and who alone enjoyed the same spiritual privileges as the other religious. The order numbered three distinct classes of membership: the military brothers, the brothers infirmarians, and the brothers chaplains, to whom was entrusted the divine service.[3]

In 1248 Pope Innocent IV (1243–1254) approved a standard military dress for the Hospitallers to be worn during battle. Instead of a closed cape over their armour (which restricted their movements), they wore a red surcoat with a white cross emblazoned on it.[5]

Many of the more substantial Christian fortifications in the Holy Land were built by the Templars and the Hospitallers. At the height of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Hospitallers held seven great forts and 140 other estates in the area. The two largest of these, their bases of power in the Kingdom and in the Principality of Antioch, were the Krak des Chevaliers and Margat in Syria.[2] The property of the Order was divided into priories, subdivided into bailiwicks, which in turn were divided into commanderies.

As early as the late 12th century the order had begun to achieve recognition in the Kingdom of England and Duchy of Normandy. As a result, buildings such as St John's Jerusalem and the Knights Gate, Quenington in England were built on land donated to the order by local nobility.[6] An Irish house was established at Kilmainham, near Dublin, and the Irish Prior was usually a key figure in Irish public life.

The Knights also received the "Land of Severin" (Terra de Zeurino), along with the nearby mountains, from Béla IV of Hungary, as shown by a charter of grant issued on 2 June 1247. The Banate of Severin was a march, or border province, of the Kingdom of Hungary between the Lower Danube and the Olt River, today part of Romania, and back then bordered across the Danube by a powerful Bulgarian Empire. However, the Hospitaller hold on the Banate was only brief.[7]

Knights of Cyprus and Rhodes

Street of Knights in Rhodes

The Knights' castle at Rhodes

After the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1291 (the city of Jerusalem had fallen in 1187), the Knights were confined to the County of Tripoli and, when Acre was captured in 1291, the order sought refuge in the Kingdom of Cyprus. Finding themselves becoming enmeshed in Cypriot politics, their Master, Guillaume de Villaret, created a plan of acquiring their own temporal domain, selecting Rhodes to be their new home, part of the Byzantine empire. His successor, Foulques de Villaret, executed the plan, and on 15 August 1310, after over four years of campaigning, the city of Rhodes surrendered to the knights. They also gained control of a number of neighbouring islands and the Anatolian port of Halicarnassus and the island of Kastellorizo.

Rhodes and other possessions of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John.

Pope Clement V dissolved the Hospitallers' rival order, the Knights Templar, in 1312 with a series of papal bulls, including the Ad providam bull that turned over much of their property to the Hospitallers.

The holdings were organised into eight "Tongues" or Langues, one each in Crown of Aragon, Auvergne, Crown of Castile, Kingdom of England, France, Holy Roman Empire, Italy and Provence. Each was administered by a Prior or, if there was more than one priory in the langue, by a Grand Prior.

At Rhodes, and later Malta, the resident knights of each langue were headed by a baili. The English Grand Prior at the time was Philip De Thame, who acquired the estates allocated to the English langue from 1330 to 1358. In 1334, the Knights of Rhodes defeated Andronicus and his Turkish auxiliaries. In the 14th century, there were several other battles in which they fought.[8]

In 1374, the Knights took over the defence of Smyrna, conquered by a crusade in 1344.[9] They held it until it was besieged and taken by Timur in 1402.[9]

On Rhodes the Hospitallers,[10] by then also referred to as the Knights of Rhodes,[11] were forced to become a more militarised force, fighting especially with the Barbary pirates. They withstood two invasions in the 15th century, one by the Sultan of Egypt in 1444 and another by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1480 who, after capturing Constantinople and defeating the Byzantine Empire in 1453, made the Knights a priority target.

In 1494 they created a stronghold on the peninsula of Halicarnassus (presently Bodrum). They used pieces of the partially destroyed Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, to strengthen their rampart, the Petronium.[12]

In 1522, an entirely new sort of force arrived: 400 ships under the command of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent delivered 100,000 men to the island[13] (200,000 in other sources[14]). Against this force the Knights, under Grand Master Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, had about 7,000 men-at-arms and their fortifications. The siege lasted six months, at the end of which the surviving defeated Hospitallers were allowed to withdraw to Sicily. Despite the defeat, both Christians and Muslims seem to have regarded the conduct of Phillipe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam as extremely valiant, and the Grand Master was proclaimed a Defender of the Faith by Pope Adrian VI.

Knights of Malta

Deed of Donation of the islands of Malta, Gozo and Tripoli to the Order of St John by Emperor Charles V in 1530.

Grand culverin of the Knights Hospitallers, 1500–1510, Rhodes

Arms of the Knights Hospitallers, quartered with those of Pierre d'Aubusson, on a bombard

After seven years of moving from place to place in Europe, the knights gained fixed quarters in 1530 when Charles I of Spain, as King of Sicily, gave them Malta,[15] Gozo and the North African port of Tripoli in perpetual fiefdom in exchange for an annual fee of a single Maltese falcon (the Tribute of the Maltese Falcon), which they were to send on All Souls' Day to the King's representative, the Viceroy of Sicily.[16][17]

The Hospitallers continued their actions against the Muslims and especially the Barbary pirates. Although they had only a few ships they quickly drew the ire of the Ottomans, who were unhappy to see the order resettled. In 1565 Suleiman sent an invasion force of about 40,000 men to besiege the 700 knights and 8,000 soldiers and expel them from Malta and gain a new base from which to possibly launch another assault on Europe.[15] This is known as the Great Siege of Malta.

At first the battle went as badly for the Hospitallers as Rhodes had: most of the cities were destroyed and about half the knights killed. On 18 August the position of the besieged was becoming desperate: dwindling daily in numbers, they were becoming too feeble to hold the long line of fortifications. But when his council suggested the abandonment of Birgu and Senglea and withdrawal to Fort St. Angelo, Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette refused.

The Viceroy of Sicily had not sent help; possibly the Viceroy's orders from Philip II of Spain were so obscurely worded as to put on his own shoulders the burden of the decision whether to help the Order at the expense of his own defences.[citation needed] A wrong decision could mean defeat and exposing Sicily and Naples to the Ottomans. He had left his own son with La Valette, so he could hardly be indifferent to the fate of the fortress. Whatever may have been the cause of his delay, the Viceroy hesitated until the battle had almost been decided by the unaided efforts of the knights, before being forced to move by the indignation of his own officers.

Re-enactment of 16th-century military drills conducted by the Knights. Fort Saint Elmo, Valletta, Malta, 8 May 2005.

On 23 August came yet another grand assault, the last serious effort, as it proved, of the besiegers. It was thrown back with the greatest difficulty, even the wounded taking part in the defence. The plight of the Turkish forces, however, was now desperate. With the exception of Fort Saint Elmo, the fortifications were still intact.[18] Working night and day the garrison had repaired the breaches, and the capture of Malta seemed more and more impossible. Many of the Ottoman troops in crowded quarters had fallen ill over the terrible summer months. Ammunition and food were beginning to run short, and the Ottoman troops were becoming increasingly dispirited by the failure of their attacks and their losses. The death on 23 June of skilled commander Dragut, a corsair and admiral of the Ottoman fleet, was a serious blow.[19] The Turkish commanders, Piali Pasha and Lala Mustafa Pasha, were careless. They had a huge fleet which they used with effect on only one occasion. They neglected their communications with the African coast and made no attempt to watch and intercept Sicilian reinforcements.

On 1 September they made their last effort, but the morale of the Ottoman troops had deteriorated seriously and the attack was feeble, to the great encouragement of the besieged, who now began to see hopes of deliverance. The perplexed and indecisive Ottomans heard of the arrival of Sicilian reinforcements in Mellieħa Bay. Unaware that the force was very small, they broke off the siege and left on 8 September. The Great Siege of Malta may have been the last action in which a force of knights won a decisive victory.[20]

When the Ottomans departed, the Hospitallers had but 600 men able to bear arms. The most reliable estimate puts the number of the Ottoman army at its height at some 40,000 men, of whom 15,000 eventually returned to Constantinople. The siege is portrayed vividly in the frescoes of Matteo Pérez in the Hall of St. Michael and St. George, also known as the Throne Room, in the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta; four of the original modellos, painted in oils by Perez d'Aleccio between 1576 and 1581, can be found in the Cube Room of the Queen's House at Greenwich, London. After the siege a new city had to be built: the present capital city of Malta, named Valletta in memory of the Grand Master who had withstood the siege.[citation needed]

In 1607, the Grand Master of the Hospitallers was granted the status of Reichsfürst (Prince of the Holy Roman Empire), even though the Order's territory was always south of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1630, he was awarded ecclesiastic equality with cardinals, and the unique hybrid style His Most Eminent Highness, reflecting both qualities qualifying him as a true Prince of the Church.[citation needed]

The Knights in the 16th and 17th centuries: Reconquista of the Sea

Following the knights' relocation on Malta, they had found themselves devoid of their initial reason for existence: assisting and joining the crusades in the Holy Land was now impossible, for reasons of military and financial strength along with geographical position. With dwindling revenues from European sponsors no longer willing to support a costly and meaningless organization, the knights turned to policing the Mediterranean from the increased threat of piracy, most notably from the threat of the Ottoman-endorsed Barbary pirates operating from the North African coastline. Boosted towards the end of the 16th century by an air of invincibility following the successful defence of their island in 1565 and compounded by the Christian victory over the Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, the knights set about protecting Christian merchant shipping to and from the Levant and freeing the captured Christian slaves who formed the basis of the Barbary corsairs' piratical trading and navies. This became known as the "corso".[21]

Yet the Order soon struggled on a now reduced income. By policing the Mediterranean they augmented the assumed responsibility of the traditional protectors of the Mediterranean, the naval city states of Venice, Genoa, and Pisa. Further compounding their financial woes; over the course of this period the exchange rate of the local currencies against the 'scudo' that were established in the late 16th century gradually became outdated, meaning the knights were gradually receiving less at merchant factories.[22] Economically hindered by the barren island they now inhabited, many knights went beyond their call of duty by raiding Muslim ships.[23] More and more ships were plundered, from the profits of which many knights lived idly and luxuriously, taking local women to be their wives and enrolling in the navies of France and Spain in search of adventure, experience, and yet more money.[24]

The Knights' changing attitudes were coupled with the effects of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation and the lack of stability from the Roman Catholic Church. All this affected the knights strongly as the 16th and 17th centuries saw a gradual decline in the religious attitudes of many of the Christian peoples of Europe (and, concomitantly, the importance of a religious army), and thus in the Knights' regular tributes from European nations.[25] That the knights, a chiefly Roman Catholic military order, pursued the readmittance of England as one of its member states – the Order there had been suppressed, along with monasteries, under king Henry VIII of England – upon the succession of the Protestant queen Elizabeth I of England aptly demonstrates the new religious tolerance within the Order.[26] For a time, the Order even possessed a German langue which was part Protestant or Evangelical and part Roman Catholic.[citation needed]

The perceived moral decline that the knights underwent over the course of this period is best highlighted by the decision of many knights to serve in foreign navies and become "the mercenary sea-dogs of the 14th to 17th centuries", with the French Navy proving the most popular destination.[27] This decision went against the knights' cardinal reason for existence, in that by serving a European power directly they faced the very real possibility that they would be fighting against another Roman Catholic force, as in the few Franco-Spanish naval skirmishes that occurred in this period.[28] The biggest paradox is the fact that for many years the Kingdom of France remained on amicable terms with the Ottoman Empire, the Knights' greatest and bitterest foe and purported sole purpose for existence. Paris signed many trade agreements with the Ottomans and agreed to an informal (and ultimately ineffective) cease-fire between the two states during this period.[29] That the Knights associated themselves with the allies of their sworn enemies shows their moral ambivalence and the new commercial-minded nature of the Mediterranean in the 17th century. Serving in a foreign navy, in particular that of the French, gave the Knights the chance to serve the Church and for many, their King, to increase their chances of promotion in either their adopted navy or in Malta, to receive far better pay, to stave off their boredom with frequent cruises, to embark on the highly preferable short cruises of the French Navy over the long caravans favoured by the Maltese, and if the Knight desired, to indulge in some of the pleasures of a traditional debauched seaport.[30] In return, the French gained and quickly assembled an experienced navy to stave off the threat of the Spanish and their Habsburg masters. The shift in attitudes of the Knights over this period is ably outlined by Paul Lacroix who states:

Inflated with wealth, laden with privileges which gave them almost sovereign powers ... the order at last became so demoralised by luxury and idleness that it forgot the aim for which it was founded, and gave itself up for the love of gain and thirst for pleasure. Its covetousness and pride soon became boundless. The Knights pretended that they were above the reach of crowned heads: they seized and pillaged without concern of the property of both infidels and Christians."[31]

With the knights' exploits growing in fame and wealth, the European states became more complacent about the Order, and more unwilling to grant money to an institution that was perceived to be earning a healthy sum on the high seas. Thus a vicious cycle occurred, increasing the raids and reducing the grants received from the nation-states of Christendom to such an extent that the balance of payments on the island had become dependent on conquest.[24] The European powers lost interest in the knights as they focused their intentions largely on one another during the Thirty Years' War. In February 1641 a letter was sent from an unknown dignitary in the Maltese capital of Valletta to the knights' most trustworthy ally and benefactor, Louis XIV of France, stating the Order's troubles:

Italy provides us with nothing much; Bohemia and Germany hardly anything, and England and the Netherlands for a long time now nothing at all. We only have something to keep us going, Sire, in your own Kingdom and in Spain.[32]

It is important to note that the Maltese authorities would neglect to mention the fact that they were making a substantial profit policing the seas and seizing "infidel" ships and cargoes. The authorities on Malta immediately recognised the importance of corsairing to their economy and set about encouraging it, as despite their vows of poverty, the Knights were granted the ability to keep a portion of the spoglio, which was the prize money and cargo gained from a captured ship, along with the ability to fit out their own galleys with their new wealth.[33]

The great controversy that surrounded the knights' corso was their insistence on their policy of 'vista'. This enabled the Order to stop and board all shipping suspected of carrying Turkish goods and confiscate the cargo to be re-sold at Valletta, along with the ship's crew, who were by far the most valuable commodity on the ship. Naturally many nations claimed to be victims of the knights' over-eagerness to stop and confiscate any goods remotely connected to the Turks.[23] In an effort to regulate the growing problem, the authorities in Malta established a judicial court, the Consiglio del Mer, where captains who felt wronged could plead their case, often successfully. The practice of issuing privateering licenses and thus state endorsement, which had been in existence for a number of years, was tightly regulated as the island's government attempted to haul in the unscrupulous knights and appease the European powers and limited benefactors. Yet these efforts were not altogether successful, as the Consiglio del Mer received numerous complaints around the year 1700 of Maltese piracy in the region. Ultimately, the rampant over-indulgence in privateering in the Mediterranean was to be the knights' downfall in this particular period of their existence as they transformed from serving as the military outpost of a united Christendom to becoming another nation-state in a commercially oriented continent soon to be overtaken by the trading nations of the North Sea.[34]

Life in Malta

Auberge de Castille in Valletta, an example of 18th century Baroque architecture built by the Order.

Having gained Malta, the knights stayed for 268 years, transforming what they called "merely a rock of soft sandstone" into a flourishing island with mighty defences and a capital city (Valletta) known as Superbissima, "Most Proud", amongst the great powers of Europe. However, "the indigenous islanders had not particularly enjoyed the rule of the Knights of St John". Most Knights were French and excluded the native islanders from important positions. They were especially loathed for the way they took advantage of the native women.[35]

In 1301, the Order was organized in seven langues; by order of precedence, Provence, Auvergne, France, Aragon, Italy, England, and Germany. In 1462, the Langue of Aragon was divided into Castile-Portugal and Aragon-Navarre. The English Langue went into abeyance after the order's properties were taken over by Henry VIII in 1540. In 1782, it was revived as the Anglo-Bavarian Langue, containing Bavarian and Polish priories. The structure of langues was replaced in the late 19th century by a system of national associations.

When the Knights first arrived, the natives were apprehensive about their presence and viewed them as arrogant intruders. The Maltese were excluded from serving in the order. The Knights were even generally dismissive of the Maltese nobility. However, the two groups coexisted peacefully, since the Knights boosted the economy, were charitable, and protected against Muslim attacks.[36]

Not surprisingly, hospitals were among the first projects to be undertaken on Malta, where French soon supplanted Italian as the official language (though the native inhabitants continued to speak Maltese among themselves).[37] The knights also constructed fortresses, watch towers, and naturally, churches. Its acquisition of Malta signalled the beginning of the Order's renewed naval activity.

View of the fortifications of Valletta

The building and fortification of Valletta, named for Grand Master la Valette, was begun in 1566, soon becoming the home port of one of the Mediterranean's most powerful navies. Valletta was designed by Francesco Laparelli, a military engineer, and his work was then taken up by Girolamo Cassar. The city was completed in 1571. The island's hospitals were expanded as well. The Sacra Infermeria could accommodate 500 patients and was famous as one of the finest in the world. In the vanguard of medicine, the Hospital of Malta included Schools of Anatomy, Surgery and Pharmacy. Valletta itself was renowned as a centre of art and culture. The Conventual Church of St. John, completed in 1577, contains works by Caravaggio and others.

In Europe, most of the Order's hospitals and chapels survived the Reformation, though not in Protestant or Evangelical countries. In Malta, meanwhile, the Public Library was established in 1761. The University was founded seven years later, followed, in 1786, by a School of Mathematics and Nautical Sciences. Despite these developments, some of the Maltese grew to resent the Order, which they viewed as a privileged class. This even included some of the local nobility, who were not admitted to the Order.

In Rhodes, the knights had been housed in auberges (inns) segregated by Langues. This structure was maintained in Birgu (1530–1571) and then Valletta (from 1571). The auberges in Birgu remain, mostly undistinguished 16th-century buildings. Valletta still has the auberges of Castille (1574; renovated 1741 by Grand Master de Vilhena, now the Prime Minister's offices), Italy (renovated 1683 by Grand Master Carafa, now the Malta Tourism Authority), Aragon (1571, now Ministry for EU Affairs), Bavaria (former Palazzo Carnerio, purchased in 1784 for the newly formed Langue, now used as the Government Property Department) and Provence (now National Museum of Archaeology). In the Second World War, the auberge d'Auvergne was damaged (and later replaced by Law Courts) and the auberge de France was destroyed.

A 1742 Tarì coin of the Knights Hospitaller, depicting the head of John the Baptist on a platter.

In 1604, each Langue was given a chapel in the conventual church of Saint John and the arms of the Langue appear in the decoration on the walls and ceiling:

• Provence: Michael the archangel, Jerusalem
• Auvergne: Saint Sebastian, Azure a dolphin or
• France: conversion of Paul the Apostle, France
• Castile and León: James, brother of Jesus, Quarterly Castile and Leon
• Aragon: Saint George [the church of the Langue is consecrated to Our Lady of the Pillar Per pale Aragon and Navarre]
• Italy: St Catherine, Azure the word ITALIA in bend or
• England: Flagellation of Christ, [no arms visible; in Rhodes the Langue used the arms of England, quarterly France and England]
• Germany: Epiphany, Austria born by a double-headed eagle displayed sable

Turmoil in Europe

Even as it survived on Malta, the Order lost many of its European holdings during the Protestant Reformation. The property of the English branch was confiscated in 1540.[38] The German Bailiwick of Brandenburg became Lutheran in 1577, then more broadly Evangelical, but continued to pay its financial contribution to the Order until 1812, when the Protector of the Order in Prussia, King Frederick William III, turned it into an order of merit;[38] in 1852, his son and successor as Protector, King Frederick William IV of Prussia, restored the Johanniterorden to its continuing place as the chief non-Roman Catholic branch of the Knights Hospitaller.

The Knights of Malta had a strong presence within the Imperial Russian Navy and the pre-revolutionary French Navy. When Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy was appointed governor of the French colony on Saint Kitts in 1639, he was a prominent Knight of St. John and dressed his retinue with the emblems of the Order. In 1651, the knights bought from the Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique the islands of Sainte-Christophe, Saint Martin, and Saint Barthélemy.[39] The Order's presence in the Caribbean was eclipsed with De Poincy's death in 1660. He had also bought the island of Saint Croix as his personal estate and deeded it to the Knights of St. John. In 1665, the order sold their Caribbean possessions to the French West India Company, ending the Order's presence in that region.

The decree of the French National Assembly in 1789 abolishing feudalism in France also abolished the Order in France:

V. Tithes of every description, as well as the dues which have been substituted for them, under whatever denomination they are known or collected (even when compounded for), possessed by secular or regular congregations, by holders of benefices, members of corporations (including the Order of Malta and other religious and military orders), as well as those devoted to the maintenance of churches, those impropriated to lay persons and those substituted for the portion congrue, are abolished ...[40]

The French Revolutionary Government seized the assets and properties of the Order in France in 1792.

Loss of Malta

Emperor Paul wearing the Crown of the Grand Master of the Order of Malta (1799).

Their Mediterranean stronghold of Malta was captured by Napoleon in 1798 during his expedition to Egypt.[18] Napoleon demanded from Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim that his ships be allowed to enter the port and to take on water and supplies. The Grand Master replied that only two foreign ships could be allowed to enter the port at a time. Bonaparte, aware that such a procedure would take a very long time and would leave his forces vulnerable to Admiral Nelson, immediately ordered a cannon fusillade against Malta.[41] The French soldiers disembarked in Malta at seven points on the morning of 11 June and attacked. After several hours of fierce fighting, the Maltese in the west were forced to surrender.[42]

Napoleon opened negotiations with the fortress capital of Valletta. Faced with vastly superior French forces and the loss of western Malta, the Grand Master negotiated a surrender to the invasion.[43] Hompesch left Malta for Trieste on 18 June.[44] He resigned as Grand Master on 6 July 1799.

The knights were dispersed, though the order continued to exist in a diminished form and negotiated with European governments for a return to power. The Russian Emperor, Paul I, gave the largest number of knights shelter in Saint Petersburg, an action which gave rise to the Russian tradition of the Knights Hospitaller and the Order's recognition among the Russian Imperial Orders.[45] The refugee knights in Saint Petersburg proceeded to elect Tsar Paul as their Grand Master – a rival to Grand Master von Hompesch until the latter's abdication left Paul as the sole Grand Master. Grand Master Paul I created, in addition to the Roman Catholic Grand Priory, a "Russian Grand Priory" of no fewer than 118 Commanderies, dwarfing the rest of the Order and open to all Christians. Paul's election as Grand Master was, however, never ratified under Roman Catholic canon law, and he was the de facto rather than de jure Grand Master of the Order.

By the early 19th century, the order had been severely weakened by the loss of its priories throughout Europe. Only 10% of the order's income came from traditional sources in Europe, with the remaining 90% being generated by the Russian Grand Priory until 1810. This was partly reflected in the government of the Order being under Lieutenants, rather than Grand Masters, in the period 1805 to 1879, when Pope Leo XIII restored a Grand Master to the order. This signaled the renewal of the order's fortunes as a humanitarian and religious organization.

On 19 September 1806, the Swedish government offered the sovereignty of the island of Gotland to the Order. The offer was rejected since it would have meant the Order renouncing their claim to Malta.[46]


View from Valletta, Malta, showing Fort Saint Angelo, belonging to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

In August 2013, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced that the 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) Hospitaller hospital, built between 1099 and 1291, with permission from the Muslim authorities, had been rediscovered in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. It had been able to accommodate up to 2,000 patients, who came from all religious groups, and Jewish patients received kosher food. It also served as an orphanage, with these children often becoming Hospitallers when adult. The remaining vaulted area was discovered during excavations for a restaurant, and the preserved building will be incorporated in the project.[47]

Claims over the Knights Hospitaller

Several organizations claim with their own sources to have evolved from the Knights Hospitaller but all are subject to international dispute and lack recognition. The Russian Tradition was recognized by the Pope with Tsar Paul I becoming Grand Master. The British resented this decision as it could have given Russia access to the Mediterranean through a claim over Malta. Britain said that the decision of the Pope was not official. The Holy See later retracted its decision stating a number of conflicts with Tsar Paul I, since he did not follow the precepts binding the Grand Master: he was married and not celibate ; he had never been to Malta and declined to live there; and he was not a Roman Catholic. In the 20th century a British leaning order called the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) was formed claiming descent from the early 19th century. Its recognition was promoted by Britain and accepted by the Roman Catholic Church on several conditions, but most countries do not recognize it, while other countries do so according to different criteria ranging from a sovereign entity to a charitable organization. The British leaning SMOM order, ironically, has also formed a protestant branch of the order. Several other orders have made claims over the Order of St John since the 19th century. Each order, including the Russian Tradition and the SMOM generally use their interpretation of sources to present and claim a particular history of events. No independent sources support any superseding order of the Knights Hospitaller, all of which use either non-primary or self-published, non-peer-reviewed sources in support of their claims of legitimacy. The Order came to an end either sometimes after the expulsion of the knights from Malta or soon after the Russian revolution, both in the early 19th century.[48]

Sovereign Military Order of Malta

In 1834, the order settled in Rome.[49] Hospital work, the original work of the order, became once again its main concern. The Order's hospital and welfare activities, undertaken on a considerable scale in World War I, were greatly intensified and expanded in World War II under the Grand Master Fra' Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere (Grand Master 1931–1951).

Coat of arms of the Order of Malta

The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, better known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), is a Roman Catholic lay religious order and the world's oldest surviving order of chivalry.[50] Its sovereign status is recognised by membership in numerous international bodies and observer status at the United Nations and others.[51]

The Order maintains diplomatic relations with 107 countries, official relations with 6 others and with the European Union, permanent observer missions to the United Nations and its specialised agencies, and delegations or representations to many other international organizations.[52][53] It issues its own passports, currency, stamps and even vehicle registration plates[citation needed]. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta has a permanent presence in 120 countries, with 12 Grand Priories and Sub-Priories and 47 national Associations, as well as numerous hospitals, medical centres, day care centres, first aid corps, and specialist foundations, which operate in 120 countries. Its 13,500 members and 80,000 volunteers and over 42,000 medical personnel – doctors, nurses and paramedics – are dedicated to the care of the poor, the sick, the elderly, the disabled, the homeless, terminal patients, lepers, and all those who suffer. The Order is especially involved in helping victims of armed conflicts and natural disasters by providing medical assistance, caring for refugees, and distributing medicines and basic equipment for survival.

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta established a mission in Malta, after signing an agreement with the Maltese Government which granted the Order the exclusive use of Fort St. Angelo for a term of 99 years.[54] Today, after restoration, the Fort hosts historical and cultural activities related to the Order of Malta.[55]

Alliance of the Orders of Saint John of Jerusalem

During the Reformation, German commanderies of the Bailiwick of Brandenburg (located chiefly in the Margraviate of Brandenburg) declared their continued adherence to the Order of Saint John even as their knights converted to evangelical Christianity. Continuing to the present day as the Order of Saint John of the Bailiwick of Brandenburg, this forms an order of chivalry under the protection of the Federal Republic and with its Herrenmeister ("Lord of the Knights") almost always a scion of the House of Hohenzollern (currently, Prince Oscar of Prussia). From Germany, this Protestant branch has spread by membership into other countries in Europe (including Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Austria, the United Kingdom, and Italy), North America (the United States, Canada, and Mexico), South America (Colombia, Venezuela, Chile), Africa (Namibia, South Africa), Asia, and Australia.[56]

The commanderies of the Bailiwick of Brandenburg in the Netherlands (which originated in the Middle Ages) and Sweden became independent of the Bailiwick after the Second World War and now are independent orders under the protection of their respective monarchs; the Dutch monarch is an Honorary Commander of the Order of Saint John in the Netherlands, and the Order of St John in Sweden is protected by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

All three Protestant orders, the German, Dutch, and Swedish, are in formalised co-operation as members of the Alliance of the Orders of Saint John of Jerusalem, founded in 1961 by the Order of Saint John of the Bailiwick of Brandenburg. (As well as originating with the mediaeval Knights Hospitaller, these three orders meet the traditional conditions for dynastic orders of chivalry under the legitimate fount of honour of each nation, and thus enjoy recognition by the privately operated and funded International Commission on Orders of Chivalry as of 2016.) The Protestant orders remain independent of though co-operative with the Roman Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

In England, almost all the property of the Knights Hospitaller was confiscated by King Henry VIII through the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the Reformation. Though not formally suppressed, this effectively caused the activities of the English Langue of the order to come to an end.

In 1831, however, a British order was recreated by European aristocrats claiming (possibly without authority) to be acting on behalf of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.[57] This order in time became known as the Most Venerable Order of Saint John, receiving a royal charter from Queen Victoria in 1888, before expanding throughout the United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth, and the United States. Today, the best-known activities of this order are the St. John Ambulance Brigade in Britain and the Commonwealth and the Saint John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem.[58] The Most Venerable Order of Saint John has maintained a presence in Malta since the late 19th century. In contrast with the orders originating with the mediaeval Knights Hospitaller, the British organisation no longer limits its membership to Christians.

Other orders

Following the end of World War II, and taking advantage of the lack of State Orders in the Italian Republic, an Italian called himself a Polish Prince and did a brisk trade in Maltese crosses as the Grand Prior of the fictitious "Grand Priory of Podolia" until successfully prosecuted for fraud. Another fraud claimed to be the Grand Prior of the Holy Trinity of Villeneuve, but gave up after a police visit, although the organisation resurfaced in Malta in 1975, and then by 1978 in the USA, where it still continues.[59]

The large passage fees collected by the American Association of SMOM in the early 1950s may well have tempted a man named Charles Pichel to create his own "Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller" in 1956.[5] Pichel avoided the problems of being an imitation of SMOM by giving his organization a mythical history, claiming that the American organization he led had been founded within the Russian tradition of the Knights Hospitaller in 1908—a spurious claim, but which nevertheless misled many including some academics. In truth, the foundation of his organisation had no connection to the Russian tradition of the Knights Hospitaller. Once created, the attraction of Russian Nobles into membership of Pichel's 'Order' lent some plausibility to his claims.

These organizations have led to scores of other self-styled orders.[5] Another self-styled Order, based in California, gained a substantial following under leadership of the late Robert Formhals, who for some years, and with the support of historical organisations such as The Augustan Society, claimed to be a Polish prince of the House of Sanguszko.[5]

Princes and Grand Masters

See also

• Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
• List of the priors of Saint John of Jerusalem in England
• Teutonic Order
• Knights Templar
• Torphichen Preceptory
• Pierre Jean Louis Ovide Doublet, a leadership member of the French Secretariat of the Knights Fortifications
• Fortifications of Rhodes
• Fortifications of Malta
• Kolossi Castle
• Mailberg


1. Adrian J. Boas, Jerusalem in the Time of the Crusades: Society, Landscape and Art in the Holy City under Frankish Rule, (Routledge, 2001), 26.
2. "Knights of Malta – unofficial website".
3. "Moeller, Charles. "Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company". Newadvent.org. 1910-06-01. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
4. Louis Moreri, The Great Historical Dictionary(1759):[page needed]
5. Cartulaire general de l'ordre des hospitaliers de St Jean de Jerusalem (1100–1310), ed. Joseph Delaville le Roulx (Paris, 1894–1906), no. 78, no. 2479.
6. L. Greaves, Houses of the National Trust: Outstanding Buildings of Britain (London, 2008) p. 325
7. M. Rady, Nobility, Land and Service in Medieval Hungary[1]
8. Graham, J. J. (1858). Elementary History of the Progress of the Art of War. R. Bentley., page 299
9. Helen J. Nicholson, The Knights Hospitaller, (Boydell Press, 2001), 54
10. Artemi, E. DIASPORIC COMMUNITIES IN RHODES 1350 -1450. The Knights of Rhodes – the hospitallers
11. "Catholic Encyclopedia: Knights of Malta". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
12. "Bodrum.com".
13. Balfour, Baron Kinross, Patrick (1979). The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire. p. 176.
14. (G. Veinstein). "Süleymān: Encyclopaedia of Islam: Brill Online". Brillonline.nl. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
15. "Malta History". Jimdiamondmd.com. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
16. "Malta History 1000 AD–present". Carnaval.com. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
17. This historical fact was used as the plot hook in Dashiell Hammett's famous novel The Maltese Falcon.
18. "Knights of Malta". Knightshospitallers.org. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
19. Balbi, Francesco (1965). The Siege of Malta, 1565. Boydell Press. ISBN 9781843831402.
20. Ottoman Siege of Malta, 1565, World History at KMLA. Accessed 14 September 2007
21. Peter Earle, Corsairs of Malta and Barbary, (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1970); p. 107
22. Hoppen, 'The Finances of the Order of St John of Jerusalem' p. 106
23. Peter Earle, Corsairs of Malta and Barbary, (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1970); p. 109
24. Peter Earle, Corsairs of Malta and Barbary, (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1970); p. 97
25. Herny Kamen, Early Modern European Society, (London: Routledge, 2000); p. 17
26. D F Allen, "Charles II, Louis XIV and the Order of Malta", The Historical Journal, 33(4), 1990, p. 326
27. Paul Walden Bamford, 'The Knights of Malta and the King of France 1665–1700', French Historical Studies, 3, 1964; p. 432
28. Paul Walden Bamford, "The Knights of Malta and the King of France 1665–1700", French Historical Studies, 3, 1964; p. 434
29. D. F. Allen, "Charles II, Louis XIV and the Order of Malta", The Historical Journal, 33(4), 1990, p. 324
30. Paul Walden Bamford, "The Knights of Malta and the King of France 1665–1700", French Historical Studies, 3, 1964; pp. 423–433
31. Paul Lacroix, Military and Religious Life in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, (New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing, 1964); p. 188
32. D. F. Allen, "Charles II, Louis XIV and the Order of Malta", The Historical Journal, 33(4), 1990, p. 338
33. Desmond Seward, The Monks of War (London: Penguin, 1972); p. 274
34. Molly Greene, "Beyond the Northern Invasion: The Mediterranean in the 17th Century", Past and Present, 2002 (174), p. 46
35. John Sugden (3 Feb 2014). Nelson: The Sword of Albion(illustrated ed.). Random House. p. 122. ISBN 9781847922762.
36. Nicholas C. Prata (1 Apr 2004). Angels in Iron (illustrated, reprint ed.). Arx Publishing, LLC. pp. 10–11. ISBN 9781889758565.
37. Cassar, Mario. "L-Istorja tal-Ilsien Malti". L-Akkademja tal-Malti. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
38. "History – Order of Malta in the UK". Orderofmalta.org.uk. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
39. Louis Jean Pierre Marie Bonnassieux, Les grandes compagnies de commerce: étude pour servir à l'histoire de la colonisation. Originally published Paris, 1892. Reprinted in 1969 by Ayer Publishing.
40. Robinson, J.H., ed. (1906). "The Decree Abolishing the Feudal System". Readings in European History 2 vols. Boston: Ginn. 2: 404–409.
41. Cole, Juan (2007). Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 8–9.
42. Cole, Juan (2007). Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 9.
43. Cole, Juan (2007). Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 10.
44. Whitworth Porter, A History of the Knights of Malta (London: Longman, Brown, Green, 1858). p. 457.
45. "Focus on Malta – History". Focusmm.com. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
46. Stair Sainty, Guy (2000). "From the loss of Malta to the modern era". ChivalricOrders.org. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012.
47. Mairav, Zonszein (August 5, 2013). "Mideast's Largest Crusader-Era Hospital Unveiled". National Geographic Society. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
48. Dijkhof, Hans J. Hoegen; Dijkhof, Hendrik Johannes Hoegen (2006). The Legitimacy of Orders of St. John: A Historical and Legal Analysis and Case Study of a Para-religious Phenomenon. Hoegen Dijkhof Advocaten. ISBN 9789065509543.
49. "Sovereign Order of Malta – official site". Orderofmalta.int. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
50. World Orders of Knighthood and Merit edited by Guy Stair Sainty, Burke's, Aug 2006
51. "Organisations granted Observer Status in the General Assembly". Archived from the original on 1 December 2012.{}
52. Bilateral relations. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
53. Multilateral Relations. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
54. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
55. Sovereign Order of Malta – official sitepublisher=Orderofmalta.int|date=|accessdate=2017-09-12
56. "St John International". Retrieved 2016-06-17.
57. Desmond Seward, The Monks of War: The Military Orders(London 2000), 270–85.
58. "St John Eye Hospital". Stjohneyehospital.org. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
59. "Self-Styled "Orders of Saint John" II". Chivalricorders.org. Archived from the original on 19 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
This article incorporates text from Knights of Malta 1523–1798 by Reuben Cohen, a publication now in the public domain.

Further reading

• Ball, David (2004). Ironfire. Bantam Dell. ISBN 0-385-33601-2.
• Cohen, R. (15 April 2004) [1920]. Julie Barkley, Bill Hershey and PG Distributed Proofreaders, ed. Knights of Malta, 1523–1798. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 2006-05-29.
• Crowley, Roger (2008). Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World. Random House. ISBN 978-1400066247.
• Fenech, Marthese (2011). Eight Pointed Cross. BDL. ISBN 978-99957-33-08-7.
• Gauci, Liam (2016). In the Name of the Prince: Maltese Corsairs 1760-1798. Malta: Heritage Malta Publishing. ISBN 9789993257370.
• Hoegen Dijkhof, Hans J. (2006). The Legitimacy of Orders of St. John: a historical and legal analysis and case study of a para-religious phenomenon. Doctoral thesis. Leiden: University of Leiden. ISBN 9065509542.
• Levaye, Patrick (2007). Géopolitique du Catholicisme. Éditions Ellipses. ISBN 2-7298-3523-7.
• Lindgren, Carl Edwin (September–October 1999). "Some Notes About the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in the U.S.A". Nobilita (Rivista di Araldica, Genealogia, Ordini Cavallereschi). Istituto Araldico Genealogico Italiano. 7 (32).
• Nicholson, Helen J. (2001). The Knights Hospitaller. ISBN 1-84383-038-8.;
• Noonan, James-Charles, Jr. (1996). The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church. Viking. p. 196. ISBN 0-670-86745-4.
• Peyrefitte, Roger (1960). Knights of Malta. London: Secker & Warburg. Translated from the French by Edward Hyams.
• Read, Piers Paul (1999). The Templars. Imago. p. 118. ISBN 85-312-0735-5.
• Riley-Smith, Jonathan (1999). Hospitallers: The History of the Order of St John. Hambledon. ISBN 1-85285-197-X.
• Tyerman, Christopher (2006). God's War: A New History of the Crusades. Allen Lane. p. 253. ISBN 0-7139-9220-4.
• White, Joshua M. (2017). Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-1-503-60252-6.
1. ^ As the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

External links

• Sovereign Military Order of Malta official website
• Rare Histoire des Chevaliers de L’Ordre de S. Jean de Hierusalem Rare Book on Knights of St. John
• The Acquisition of Sovereignty by Quasi-States: The case of the Order of Malta by Dr Noel Cox
• WorldStatesmen article
• Houses of Knights Hospitallers, British History Online
• Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St John of Jerusalem in Scotland
• History of the Order of St John in Scotland
• "Vatican celebrates Knights of Malta's 900 years" by Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, Feb 9, 2013
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Re: Ordo Templi Orientis Spermo-Gnosis: Carl Kellner, Theodo

Postby admin » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:13 am

13th Degree: Royal Arch of Enoch (or Knights of the Ninth Arch)
The Book of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
by Charles T. McClenechan




Royal Arch of Enoch.


This degree, in fact, forms the climax of Ineffable Masonry; it is the keystone of the arch, and discovers that which is revealed in the succeeding degree of Perfection. It is a most important and interesting grade, and so intimately connected with its successor as to appear like a section of that degree.

The shaded beauties of the sacred words that have so gradually been inculcated, in this degree receive a climax, and culminate in the development of the great mystery of Ineffable Masonry.

"The dark clouds and mists that have hitherto veiled the sacred mysteries now begin to be dispelled: the glorious dawn illumines the E Image with its bright effulgence, and its rays penetrate into dark and hidden places."









This Chapter of Royal Arch of Solomon represents the audience-chamber of King Solomon. The hangings are alternately red and white.

Lights -- Three in the East, three in the West, and three in the South.


King Solomon is seated in the East.

Hirma, King of Tyre, is also in the East, on the left of K Image S Image

Senior Warden represents Gibulum, and is seated in the West.

Junior Warden represents Stolkin, and is seated in the South.

Treasurer (who represents Joabert), Secretary, Master of Ceremonies, Captain of the Guard, and other officers, stationed as in a Lodge of Perfection.

All Officers and Companion, except the Kings, clothed in black, with apron, collar, and jewel of this degree or of their particular office.

King Solomon wears a yellow robe, purple chasuble, lined with blue, sleeves reaching to the elbows, and rich purple sash, with jewel.

King Hiram of Tyre wears a purple robe, yellow chasuble, and rich purple sash, with jewel.

Apron -- Purple silk or velvet, bordered with white; in the centre of the area, the Enochian delta, with rays.


Collar -- Purple silk or velvet, and suspended to it the

Jewel -- A Gold triangle, on which is engraved the delta of Enoch, with rays. On the obverse side of the jewel is a representation of the first three recipients of this degree, two of them lowering the third into the subterranean vault. Around this device, the initials of the words "Regnante Sapientissimo Salamone, Gibulum, Joabert, et Stolkin invenerunt pretiosissimum Artificum thesaurum subter ruinas Enoch, Anno Mundi 2995."

Age - 7 times 9=63.

Battery - Image

There should be a separate apartment, without apparent door or window; opening overhead, covered with a trap-door, representing a flat stone with an iron ring to it.



T. Image P Image The Lord is great in Zion. Let all the earth praise him for his great and terrible name, for it is holy.

S. Image W Image Exalt the Lord our God, and worship on his holy hill.

J Image W Image He spake from the cloudy pillar and from the fire; and from the depth cometh forth the riches of secret places.

T Image P Image Exalt the Lord our God, for he is holy; and his name, for it is from everlasting to everlasting.

S Image W Image What is man, that he should magnify him, or that he should set his heart upon him?

J Image W Image We are but of yesterday, and know nothing. Our days are but a shadow: they flee, and we know not.

T Image P Image Canst thou, by searching, find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection? He is as high as heaven. What canst thou do? He is deeper than hell. What canst thou know?

S Image W Image His eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his doings.

J Image W Image O God, let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto the children of men!

T Image P Image Let the beauty of the Lord be upon us, and establish thou the work of our hands: O Jehovah, establish thou it!

S Image W Image I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being.

J Image W Image My meditations of him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord.

T Image P Image Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. "Mine eyes shall be on the perfect man," saith the Lord.

"The perfect of the land shall dwell with me: they shall walk in my name, and serve me forever." Companions, let us give thanks unto the Lord, who hath given us the treasures of darkness and the hidden riches of secret places.


O thou great and eternal Lord God, source of light and of love -- thou Sovereign Inspector and Mighty Architect of the wonders of Creation -- who from thy throne in the highest heaven in mercy looketh down upon all the dwellers of the earth -- lend, we beseech thee, thine ears to the prayers and petitions of thy unworthy servants now assembled in thy presence, to teach the mysteries of that Sublime Edifice which is erected and dedicated to thy Most Holy and Glorious Name. pour upon us, and all the members of the Mystic Craft throughout the two hemispheres, the rich blessings of thy Providence. Give us strength to overcome temptations, to subdue our passions, and to practise virtue. Fill our hearts with fear without desolation; with confidence without presumption; with piety without illusion; and with joy without licentiousness. Fill our hearts with tender affections for thy divine goodness, and love for our neighbors: make us faithful to our friends and charitable to our enemies. Dispose our hearts, O thou God Eternal! to receive the splendid impressions of Religion and Humanity; our minds, the great lights of Science; and direct our footsteps in the bright paths of virtue.

Let all our actions prove to an admiring world that our lives are sincerely dedicated to Thee, our God, and to the relief of our fellow-creatures. And finally, when we yield up our breath to Thee, the Source of Life, may we, bearing the rich harvest of good actions, be admitted into that Sublime and Eternal Lodge where happiness reigns without alloy, and where, around the throne of the Great Jehovah, we shall sing hallelujahs to his name.

Now unto the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the only Wise God, be the kingdom, power, and glory, forever and ever. Amen!

Omnes. God grant it so may be!



I shall now invest you with the apron, collar, and jewel of a Knight of the Ninth or Royal Arch.

The color of your apron and collar is purple, and denotes the royal origin of the degree and the dignity of your station.

The jewel alludes to the delta or golden plate found in the subterranean arch, a more full description of which will be obtained by attending to the history and lecture of the degree.


G Image O Image Companions: this is the history and legend of this degree. Enoch, the son of Jared, was the sixth in descent from Adam. Filled with the love and fear of God, he strove to lead men in the way of honor and duty. In a vision the deity appeared to him in visible shape, and said to him, "Enoch, thou hast longed to know my true name: arise and follow me, and thou shall know it."


Enoch, accepting his vision as an inspiration, journeyed in search of the mountain he had seen in his dream, until, weary of the search, he stopped in the land of Canaan, then already populous with the descendants of Adam, and there employed workmen; and with the help of his son Methuselah, he excavated nine apartments, one above the other, and each roofed with an arch, as he had seen in his dream, the lowest being hewn out of the solid rock. In the crown of each arch he left a narrow aperture, closed with a square stone, and over the upper one he built a modest temple, roofless and of huge unhewn stones, to the Grand Architect of the Universe.

Upon a triangular plate of gold, inlaid with many precious gems, he engraved the ineffable name of God, and sank the plate into one face of a cube of agate.


None knew of the deposit of the precious treasure; and, that it might remain undiscovered, and survive the Flood, which it was known to Enoch would soon overwhelm the world in one vast sea of mire, he covered the aperture, and the stone that closed it and the great ring of iron used to raise the stone, with the granite pavement of his primitive temple.

Then, fearing that all knowledge of the arts and sciences would be lost in the universal flood, he built two great columns upon a high hill -- one of brass, to resist water, and one of granite, to resist fire. On the granite column was written in hieroglyphics a description of the subterranean apartments: on the one of brass, the rudiments of the arts and sciences.

The granite column was overturned and swept away, and worn to a shapeless man by the Deluge, but that of brass stood firm, and was found by Noah. Thenceforward the true name of God remained unknown until he said unto Moses in Egypt, when he ordered him to go to Pharaoh, and cause him to send forth the children of Israel out of Egypt: "I am that which I was and shall be: I am the God of thy fathers; the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel He who is hath sent me unto you. I am the Lord, that appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob by my name AL-SHEDI, but my name -- I did not show them."

Moses engraved the ineffable name upon a plate of gold, and deposited it in the ark of the covenant. Moses made the name known to Aaron and Joshua, and afterwards it was made known to the chief priests. The word being composed of consonants only, its true pronunciation was soon lost, but the word still remained in the ark; and in the time of Othniel, in a battle against the King of Syria, those who bore the ark were slain, and the ark fell to the ground. After the battle, the men of Israel, searching for it, were led to it by the roaring of a lion, which, crouching by it, had guarded it, holding the golden key in its mouth. Upon the approach of the High-Priest and Levites, he laid down the key, and withdrew. Hence, upon the golden key worn by the treasurer, you see the initials of these words: "In arc leonis verbum inveni" -- "In the lion's mouth I found the word." This plate of gold was melted down, and made into an image of Dagon by the Philistines, who took it in battle.

David intended to build a temple to God, but bequeathed the enterprise to Solomon, his son, and Solomon selected a place near Jerusalem; but finding overthrown columns of Enoch's temple, and supposing them to be the ruins of a heathen temple, and not wishing to select a desecrated spot, selected Mount Moriah for the site of his Temple to the true God. Under this temple he built a secret vault, the approach to which was through eight other vaults, all under ground, and to which a long and narrow passage led under the king's palace. In the ninth apartment was placed a twisted column of white marble, on which it was intended to place the ark, and in this apartment he held his private conferences with King Hiram of tyre and H Image A Image, they only knowing the way by which it was approached. Solomon proposed to erect a Temple of Justice, and selected as a site the spot where Enoch's temple had stood, and to that end directed that the fallen columns and rubbish should be removed. Gibulum, Joabert, and Stolkin were selected to survey the ground and lay off the foundations.
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