Sovereign Military Order of Malta

The Order of Malta and Freemasonry have parallels of current purpose and history.

The link above will take you to their official website. You must find the translation link at the top of the page if you do not speak Italian.

When the Knights Templar were disbanded and Grand Master Jacques De Molay and 11 others were burned at the stake in Paris the fallout was traumatic to the economic fabric of the Holy Roman Empire. As the Order created and ran the first effective banking system in Europe, there was certain to have been financial panic at the time.

By papal decree the Order of Malta, a parallel and sometimes rival brotherhood also known as the Order of Hospitallers, was given the property of Knights Templar shortly after the church disbanded them.

Like the Templars the Order of Malta is a fraternity created out of the Crusades and dedicated to St. John.

As the Knights Templar protected the road for Europeans traveling to Jerusalem, the Hospitallers provided clinics and medical care for the same pilgrims. Both orders fought to gain control of and protect Jerusalem after it was conquered, lost, reclaimed and ultimately lost again.

After being ejected from the holy land by Muslim forces the Order of Malta established themselves as the rulers of the Island of Rhodes as a military order of the Catholic Church and operated there from 1310-1523 AD until once again they were ejected by Muslim invaders.

From Rhodes they moved operations to  Malta and operated as “sovereign” from 1530-1798 AD when Napolean’s military conquered the island and banished them to Rome where they have existed as a soveriegn order ever since.

Unlike Freemasonry the current membership of the Order of Malta has an unbroken line of history from the time of its inception in Jerusalem in 1050 AD., and to become a member of this order one must be born into it.

As in speculative Freemasonry, however, the current stated mission of the Order of Malta is one of philanthropy.

They build and fund hospitals and medical research primarily in Europe but have a worldwide presence and are diplomatically accepted as a sovereign nation by a some countries outside of the sphere of papal influence.

They have an extensive website worth checking out at:

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Filed under: Catholic Orders

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