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The Maltese Cross by Marcus Luna PDF Print E-mail

he Knights of St. John were warriors who fought the Saracens to obtain the Holy Land. The Saracens used fire as a weapon of choice.  The bombs were glass with naphtha in it; the Saracens would hurl them at the Knights and then send a flaming tree into the crowd.

The Knights that were not killed risked their lives to save their brothers-in-arms.  These were established as the first firefighters.  The other Crusaders acknowledged the heroism of the firefighters; they were given badges of honor that were in the shape of a cross.

The Knights of John lived on an island in the Mediterranean Sea named Malta, the cross was known as the Maltese cross.

The Cross-is a symbol of protection, it means firefighters who wear this are willing to lay down their lives for their comrades. The Maltese Cross is also a badge of honor stating the firefighter works in courage, pride and honor, they say a ladder rung away from death.

“For no greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for others”.

The Knights of St. John were started in Jerusalem in a monastery that was devoted to St. John the Baptist. The Knights were once monks called the Brothers of St. John, or Hospitalers. The church attempted to tame them but later enlisted them to help with the first crusade of 1095.  The Knights were mariners, builders, and navigators.

The Cross of Malta is also known as The Cross of Calvary. The cross represents public service dedication to man and environment and charity, loyalty, chivalry honesty, integrity, honor, pride, gallantry, generosity, commitment, dedication, selflessness discipline, protection, devotion, ethics, dignity, and dexterity.

The Knights of St. John can trace their origin to a group of monks attached to a hospice in the Holy Lands in Jerusalem to aid travelers visiting the Holy Land.  The monks were called Friar Hospitalers de St. Jean de Jerusalem or the Knights Hospitalers of Saint John up to 1309.  Their mission was “to care for our lords sick and our lords poor.”  In 1530, they were called the Knights of Malta. In 1123, Pope Pascal III acknowledged the Knights as a religious order and for their humanitarian care as well as their military assistance in attempting to win back the Holy Land.  The close links are maintained with the Roman Catholic branch the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta. The Grand Master has the rank of Cardinal.

The need to use the emblem was crucial because of the armor that covered their bodies and faces. The Knights could not distinguish who was friend or foe in battle. The “Cross of Calvary” is the symbol or insignia since they fought their battles for a holy cause.

The Four Arms represent:

  • Fath
  • Justice
  • Temperance
  • Fortitude

The Eight Beattudes.

Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they all see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they, which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


The eight pointed cross or star is a symbol by the knights to show the eight obligations or goals of the knights.

The Knights used a white or silver cross on a dark background or antic design.