Afrikaans Boodskap oor die Ridders van St John v Malta

The St John of Malta 

“For the Faith and in the Service of Humanity”

  • Saving
  • Helping
  • Caring

Unsung Heroes of Faith Series

Short History of the order of St John – The Hospitallers

The history of the Order of St. John is one of the most remarkable stories of courage, endurance, and prevailing faith since biblical times. Also known as “the Knights of Malta,” three times they took their stand against some of the most powerful Islamic armies in the world. When outnumbered by as many as one hundred to one, they refused to retreat. Given no hope by friends or foes, they stood their ground until they prevailed, to the astonishment of the entire world.

Joyner, Rick. Courage That Changed The World (The Hall of Faith Series) . MorningStar Publications, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Aleccio, Matteo Perez d’; The Siege of Malta: Attack on the Post of the Castilian Knights, 21 August 1565; National Maritime Museum;

Though the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual, there are great and timely lessons in the amazing history of the Order of St. John. Epic spiritual battles such as they fought are now being waged. The odds seem impossible at times, and we are again in need of such great souls to stand for truth, justice, and liberty, without compromise, without fainting, and without regard to the cost.

The impressive red colour of their armoury, strikes fear in the hearts of their opponents!

3 Lessons we can learn from these brave Knights!

  1. Never lose sight of our real enemy!
  2. Never abandon our original mandate and purpose to “the complete healing of the total person”
  3. Make no room for self-pity.

The Vows of a Knight

The Vows of a Knight The following are the solemn vows taken by the knights of the Order of St. John in a ceremony that has remained the same for 900 years.


Upon the True Faith of a Christian, may God witness that I hereby vow and dedicate myself as a servant of Christ and the Poor, the first qualification of a True Knight.

I promise to be faithful and loyal to Christ and to be guided by the ideals of the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem: to do everything in my power to contribute to its Glory, Protection, Prosperity, Support and Utility: to combat everything prejudicial to its well-being: never to act contrary to its Dignity, but to conduct myself always as a true Knight of Christ: a good Christian and a person of Honor. Believing that Christ will grant me a special token of His favor, I therefore, in all Humility, Charity, and Respect agree to join with every sincere and Godly Christian of whatever Church, to bring about by prayer and deed the salvation of the Christian World by helping to promote a lasting Christian Unity.

I will adorn my Knighthood with true Charity, the mother and solid foundation of all virtues. I will wear on my person the Christian Maltese Cross of eight points, to constantly remind me of my religious vow of always bearing in my heart the Cross of Jesus Christ, adorned with the virtues that attend it. So help me God.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints

A modern image of St Elmo’s fort on Malta! Courtesy Teacher Neil Lombaard

Its eight points symbolize the eight Beatitudes according to Saint Matthew and the eight virtues that a member of the Order must possess: loyalty, piety, honesty, courage, honour and glory, contempt for death, solidarity towards the poor and the sick, respect for the Church.

The Maltese Cross – Order of St John