Knights and Dames of the Order, General Information for Candidates

The following information has been prepared on behalf of all persons requesting to be received as Knights or Dames of the Federation of Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta:

Knighthood Concepts

The Ideology

A person requesting to be received as member of the Federation of Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, and to be invested as Knight or Dame must be aware of the fact that he/she intends to become a part of a Chivalric Institution, and consequently should be prepared to adopt and to practice a Chivalric Code of Honor, based on fundamental religious and/or philanthropic principles, and mainly to seek justice, and charity for all, especially the more vulnerable and the needy

The Religion

The high spiritual values of chivalry, based on the Christian Faithand virtues of our early founders, have contributed to make the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem a unique institution where life is to be religious, and to be religious is to be alive. To be a Knight or a Dame of the Federation is therefore a providential gift bywhich the individual engages in a quest for religious perfection, as an expression of an ordained and healthy life, founded in the virtue ofcharity. The virtue of charity is that disposition of the heart which inclines the human being to think favorably of their fellow human beings, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to mankind.

The Knights and Dames of the Order, enriched in the faith inherited byour predecessors, must learn to love, respect and coexist with all goodwilled human beings who do not hold the same beliefs or traditions. We must find among us a formula of love and comprehension among the people of different religions, jurisdictions by which we abide, or creeds; we must find union in the common grounds as an expression ofthe supreme charity; but also, in a discrete way, avoiding unnecessary annoyance to our fellow human beings, each one of us shall holds trongly to the principles and traditions of his native faith, without making impossible or unnecessary concessions, or compromising the very principles of his own beliefs.

This ecumenical sense and respect, being the first expression of charity, is and shall always be our vocational common virtue.

In a wide spirit of charity, the Order will not exclude from admission those worthy and philanthropic individuals who by reasons of birth, tradition, cultural background or deep and honest conviction in their religious beliefs are non-Christian, but who wish to serve among us in the assistance of our less fortunate fellow human beings. To them will be granted membership, if they comply with the regulations for Admissions, and they will be placed under the direct authority of the Regent in a special Chapter of Philanthropic Knights.

The Structure

The Federation of Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, as juridical person, is an International Ancient Institution with specific humanitarian foundational purposes, subject to International Law, and constituted by a selective group of Knights and Dames. Internationally it is a Sovereignty without territory, although, in its quality of Sovereignty enjoys the inalienable and inviolable rights and the consuetudinary prerogatives and privileges granted traditionally, and those obtainedby its own merits and corroborated by the recognition of the International Community of Nations, with all the other sovereign attributes.

Domestically, in the U.S.A., at the City and State of New York, where its Grand Magisterial See resides, it exists also as a not-for-profit corporation.

By its nature and origins the Federation of Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, is an Order of Chivalry with humanitarian vocation. The high spiritual values of chivalry, and the deeds and virtues of the forefathers of the Order, have contributed to make this Order a special and favorable environment where its members, Knights and Dames, can grow to be better human beings.

The purposes of the Federation, in conformity with the intentions of its early founders, are to preserve and to perpetuate the Order as a brotherhood, composed of those individuals who wish to contribute to its existence by applying the principle of Charity in their private, social and public lives, tending the needy, nationally and internationally, and with the full intention of helping mutually, one to each other, morally and materially.

Today the Federation, founded exclusively in Christian and philanthropic principles, is open to all persons of good will who wishand request to become a part of a Sovereign Order, supra-national and multi-confessional, without any discrimination what so ever, and without distinction of social classes or races, and where each Knight or Dame may have equal access to any of its governmental responsibilities.

By the act of receiving the investiture as Knight or Dame of the Federation a person assumes the qualification of citizen of a Sovereign State, without territory, yet without renouncing, affecting or conditioning the nationality of origin. In terms of priority, a Knight or Dame of the Federation must uphold the laws of the nationality of origin as an exemplary citizen and, if not colliding with same laws, those of the Federation.