Knights of Malta Jesuits Plans for World
1. End of sovereignty for the United States and other countries.
2. End of absolute property rights.
3. End of all gun rights.
4. The new international economic Order (world government).
5. The redistribution of wealth and jobs.
6. Calls for nations to trust the United Nations.
7. Total disarmament.
8. Promote the United Nations as the hope for peace.
9. Promote UNESCO, the deadly educational and cultural arm of the United Nations.
10. Promote interdependence.
11. Support sanctions honoring Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin-the New Age Humanist Priest.
12. Support the belief that the economic principle of traditional Christian or Catholic social doctrine is the economic principle of communism.
13. Promote the Pope as the acting go-between for the United States and the Soviet Union.
Title: Key Understanding Of The 200-Year Battle Between The Catholic Jesuit Order And The Illuminati
Subtitle: The “Grand Global Merger” of all Black Magick forces occurred in June, 1963, when the new Pope, Paul VI, ascended to the Chair of Peter. For the previous two centuries, the Masters of the Illuminati sought to take over the Vatican from within, while the Jesuit Order fought back, trying to take over the Illuminati. When Paul VI held up the Satanic Twisted Crucifx, he was signalling to the entire world that the “Great White Brotherhood” had taken control of the Vatican.
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THE CUTTING EDGE
SETTING THE STAGE: “Windswept House: A Vatican Novel“, by Malachi Martin, “The Enthronement of the Fallen Archangel Lucifer, June 29, 1963.
“The Enthronement of the Fallen Archangel Lucifer was effected within the Roman Catholic Citadel on June 29, 1963; a fitting date for the historic promise about to be fulfilled. As the principal agents of this Ceremonial well knew, Satanist tradition had long predicted that the Time of the Prince would be ushered in at the moment when a Pope would take the name of the Apostle Paul. That requirement — the signal that the Availing Time had begun — had been accomplished just eight days before with the election of the latest Peter-in-the-Line.” [P. 7; Emphasis added]
This Pope who would take the name of the Apostle Paul, was none other than Pope Paul VI, who became Pope on June 21, 1963. Few people know that, on that day, a grand merger of Satanic forces occurred that brought the Vatican into full accord with the Masters of the Illuminati. You see, Satanists know that the Traditional Roman Catholic Church has always been the most powerful practitioner of White Magic Witchcraft in the world, while the Masters of the Illuminati has been the most powerful practitioner of Black Magick Witchcraft in the world since their founding on May 1, 1776.
As a result, the Vatican and the Masters of the Illuminati had always been mortal enemies on the global stage. Was the world to be united under a global government controlled by the White Magic Vatican or by the Black Magick Illuminati? Vatican intrigue and subversion of governments worldwide continually clashed with similar intrigue by the Black Magic Illuminati. The conflict was the stuff of legends, the stuff of the CIA battling the KGB.
In the early 1800’s, the Illuminati decided to infiltrate the Vatican from within, beginning with the infiltration of rogue priests within seminaries, graduating to control of seminaries, then moving to control of the College of Cardinals, and then finally, to control the Papacy itself. From the beginning, they calculated they might need all of 200 years to accomplish this goal. However, they knew they must control the Papacy with Black Magick, for their Christ — the Biblical Antichrist — could not arise unless the occult world was united under the Black banner. The Bible foretells that Antichrist will practice Black Magick Witchcraft, in Daniel 8:23-25. Listen:
THE QUOTATION BELOW ARE FROM A CORRUPTED SATANIC VERSION OF bible!
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand.” [Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary; Emphasis added]
The words we have highlighted, above, are perfect descriptions of a practitioner of Black Magick Witchcraft. A brief explanation is in order:
Fierce Countenance — since a Black Magick witch or wizard has voluntarily given themselves up to the Dark Side, to the Dark demonic forces of Hell, they are filled with an anger and hatred that is truly supernatural. They will physically take on a dark, brooding look. Adolf Hitler is the most infamous example in world history, and pictures of him abound showing him very dark, very brooding. Freemason Aleister Crowley is another good example.
Understanding Dark Sentences — When any occultist reaches a certain point in the development of his or her understanding of Witchcraft, they must make a choice: if they choose to use their occult power for “good”, they are said to be following the Right Hand Path, and practicing White Magic. If they choose to use their occult power for “evil”, they are said to be following the Left Hand Path, and practicing Black Magick Witchcraft. A Black Magick Witch or Wizard then practices “Dark Sentences” that wreak chaos, death, and destruction. A good example of this type of Dark Sentence is a “killing curse”, where a demon is called into this dimension for the express purpose of killing an enemy of the coven; police departments are well aware of this type of “Dark Sentence”, and they call it Psychic Murder. Such murder is impossible to solve because no human carried out the deed; since a supernatural demon carried out the murder, no clues are left behind which would enable police to solve the crime.
Craft to Prosper in his Hand — Witchcraft has always been referred to in a shorthand way as “The Craft”. Further, all rituals are done by the witch or wizard using their hands. The movement of the hands ceremonially is crucial to the success of the ritual of whatever kind it is.
Thus, Antichrist will practice Black Magick Witchcraft. This Biblical prophecy meant that the ultimate victory would belong to the Masters of the Illuminati. Thus it was that this ultimate capture of the Vatican officially occurred on June 21, 1963, with the coronation of Pope Paul VI. Since the Illuminati revels in flashing symbolic signals to the world that only Satanists will understand, they wasted no time flashing the symbolic signal that they had finally conquered the White Magic Vatican for their cause. Pope Paul VI began to show the Satanic symbol known as the Twisted Crucifix, shown here in the hands of Pope Paul VI on the left and Pope John Paul II on the right. Let us allow Catholic author, Piers Compton the privilege of the explanation, in his book, “The Broken Cross: Hidden Hand In the Vatican“, Channel Islands, Neville Spearman, 1981:
“This Bent Crucifix is “… a sinister symbol, used by Satanists in the sixth century, that had been revived at the time of Vatican Two. This was a bent or broken cross, on which was displayed a repulsive and distorted figure of Christ, which the black magicians and sorcerers of the Middle Ages had made use of to represent the Biblical term ‘Mark of the Beast’. Yet, not only Paul VI, but his successors, the two John-Pauls, carried that object and held it up to be revered by crowds, who had not the slightest idea that it stood for anti-Christ.” (p. 72) On page 56 Compton prints a picture of the current Pope, John Paul II, holding this bent or broken cross, just as we have shown, at left. We encourage you to read the full report on this subject in RC100.
The Twisted Cross is very well known as a symbol of the Black Magick Antichrist to Satanists throughout the world. Further, Satanists around the world know the role of the Papacy in promoting this Black Magick plan. This fact is the reason Malachi Martin showed the Twisted Crucifix on the front cover of his novel, “Windswept House“; this Twisted Crucifix is displayed prominently against the black-clad figure of the Pope in the background!
Now, let us return to the story of the official secret Black Magick ceremony to commemorate this Black Magick victory. It was held on June 29, 1963. I find it highly instructive that the specific day chosen for this black coronation was the 29th of the month, a day that adds to an ’11’, the number of Antichrist in both the Bible [Daniel 7:7-8] and in Satanic doctrine. After the public ceremony on June 21, the Black Magick ceremony occurred on June 28; however, it was to be a Parallel Ceremony, a ceremony which was to be held in two distinct geographical locations at the identical time. Malachi Martin explains in, “Windswept House“. Listen:
“Such unobtrusive elements as the Pentagram and the black candles and the appropriate draperies could be part of the Ceremonial in Rome. But other Ruberics — the Bowl of Bones and the Ritual Din, for example, the sacrificial animals and the victim — would be too much. There would have to be a Parallel Enthronement. A Concelebration could be accomplished with the same effect by the Brethren in an Authorized Targeting Chapel. Provided all the participants in both locations ‘targeted’ every element of the Event on the Roman Chapel, then the Event in its fullness would be accomplished specifically in the target area. It would all be a matter of unanimity of hearts, identity of intention and perfect synchronization of words and actions between the Targeting Chapel and the Target Chapel. The living wills and the thinking minds of the Participants concentrated on the specific Aim of the Prince would transcend all distance.” [P. 8]
In other words, the required sacrificial animal, and the human victim, that could not be ceremonially murdered in the secret ceremony in the Roman Chapel within the walls of the Vatican could be carried out at the parallel ceremony in the off-site “Authorized Targeting Chapel”. Martin says this chapel was located in South Carolina, USA! [Ibid.]
owever, each gesture, each word, of the ceremony in the Roman Chapel within the Vatican must be exactly, simultaneously carried out in the off-site chapel. To accomplish this feat, a telephone hookup was established. In each location, a senior priest who had carried out the ritual so any times they were perfectly familiar with the cadence of the gesture and the spoken word would begin at the same moment, and end at precisely the same moment. When the time came for the “living sacrifice” to be made, the ceremonial dagger in the Vatican would fall at precisely the same moment as the ceremonial dagger in the off-site chapel!
Through this Black Magick ceremony, the first truly Black Magick Pope in history — Pope Paul VI — was officially and powerfully enthroned. The Parallel Ceremony was absolutely essential, for the true merger of Satanic forces worldwide could not have otherwise occurred.
But, occur they did. The massive Satanic forces of Black and White Magic ceased their battling for supremacy, joining forces at the “Latter Time” in order to finally move the world into the Kingdom of Antichrist, the New World Order. From that moment, final decisions were made by the top leadership of the Masters of the Illuminati, not the Vatican. The top leadership shifted to the British Monarchy, to the House of Windsor [Read Antichrist and a Cup of Tea, by Tim Cohen]; the Vatican simply began to take orders instead of issue them.
This grand merger of all Satanic forces meant that the Jesuits were now working for the Illuminati, not for the Vatican. All the agents of the Jesuits, and all their organizations, now took their orders from the Illuminati. Therefore, all events that occurred on behalf of the coming New World Order after June 29, 1963, occurred because the Illuminati ordered it. The Vatican ceased to be an independent headquarters, and began marching in full sync with the House of Windsor.
The Pope was then chosen to be the top religious leader in early 1991 [Read NEWS1052 for full details]. Since the Illuminati is fully in control of the Vatican now, and since they plan on the Pope being the Religious False Prophet of Revelation 13:11-18 they have no trouble showing public obeisance to the Pope when they meet with him; thus, the Pope wears the white dress symbolic in the Zoroastrian religion of the Luciferian Sun God, while the Illuminists who meet with him dress in subordinate black [Read NEWS1608].
This fact is the one key element that the author of the Vatican Assassins simply does not understand. Nevertheless, his expose’ of the Vatican and the Jesuits is priceless, for they thoroughly document the Jesuit intrigue from the long corridors of history and into the 20th Century. They also aid us in understanding many of the troubling events of history. Let us now examine just such a troubling event: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Let us review the Vatican Assassins revelations first.
E. Howard Hunt
Assassination of President Kennedy
“Vatican Assassins”, p. 39
As you carefully study the people of this chart, you will discover the names of the key Jesuit figures that play such a prominent part in this assassination. People like:
Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York and the Knights of Columbus. Vatican Assassins reveals that he is also the “Military Vicar” for America. Few people have ever thought the Cardinal had a “dark side” to him, but he assuredly does, for no one not part of the Black Pope agenda could ever be appointed to such a high level of authority within the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
J. Peter Grace, Head of the American branch of the Knights of Malta. Grace was also appointed to a special investigative panel by President Reagan.
John A. McCone, Knight of Malta, and CFR [Council on Foreign Relations] member, was well known throughout the disastrous Vietnam War, one of the major planned wars of the Illuminati.
William F. Buckley, Jr., Knight of Malta, CFR and CIA, plus the Satanic secret society, Skull and Bones [Read NEWS1314]. Buckley has always been touted as a key “Conservative” that fights Big Government and its ever-increasing instrusiveness, demonstrating the truth we teach in Seminar 2, that the CFR was designed to turn out men and women thoroughly trained in the tactics of the New World Order, while graduating with a label they would carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Lee Harvey Oswald was a low-level CIA/KGB agent who was used mightily to foster the ridiculous one-gunman theory of the assassination of President Kennedy. Any well-laid assassination will always have a fall-guy to whom the focus of the “investigation” can turn, thus drawing the attention of the average citizen away from the real culprits.
Gerald Ford, destined to become President after Nixon resigned, was not only a Shriner Freemason as reported by Vatican Assassins, but was also a member of the Bilderberg Group, one of the major Illuminist governing bodies.
Charles Colson is identified by Vatican Assassins as a “Pro-Jesuit Protestant”! This certainly explains the terribly wrong turn that Colson’s ministry took, as he veered off into horrific apostasy, cooperating with the Pope, accepting the Templeton Award and generally leading trusting Christians astray!
Vatican Assassins correctly identifies the reason President Kennedy was murdered: he was going to take America out of the planned Vietnam War. Further, Kennedy planned to drastically reduce the power and scope of the CIA and the Federal Reserve, and some have even stated their belief that he was going to reveal the total plan of the Illuminati to stage Antichrist!
It is no wonder the Jesuits took him out!
However, the Kennedy Assassination also bears large marks of Freemasonry. As I stated in NEWS1314:
“President Kennedy was planning to use the powers of his office of the presidency to fully inform the American people of the Illuminati plan to enslave us, and only weeks later, he was assassinated. However, his assassination was carried out according to the favorite number of the Illuminati, the eleven:
* Kennedy was murdered during the 11th month [November]
* Kennedy was murdered on the 22nd day [11 x 2]
* Kennedy was murdered at the 33rd parallel [11 x 3]
* Kennedy was murdered in the Masonic Dealey Plaza, the site of an old Masonic Lodge during the time of the Texas revolution designed to free Texas from Mexican control. Dealey Plaza also has an obelisk commemorating the site as being “the first fraternal Lodge in Texas”. [“Masonry: Conspiracy Against Christianity”, by A. Ralph Epperson, p. 51]
Thus, Kennedy was murdered with the bold typical signature of the Illuminati, just as surely as the Number 11 formed the Illuminist signature of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.” [Read NEWS1533, NEWS1538, NEWS1541]
Vatican Assassins listed men involved in the assassination who were connected to the Jesuits, as we have detailed, above. Below are men involved in critical positions with the assassination who were Masons: [Taken from “Masonry: Conspiracy Against Christianity“, by A. Ralph Epperson, p. 332+]
Earl Warren, head of the Warren Commission.
J. Edgar Hoover, a 33rd Degree Mason.
Further, Kennedy was shot in the exact location in which the legendary hero, Hiram Abiff, was struck by the three ruffians in the dramatic legend of the Masonic Lodge! As was Hiram Abiff, Kennedy was struck in the back near the area of the heart, the neck, and finally the head. The last blow killed both men.
Finally, the Illuminati signaled to the entire world that they were the force behind the assassination when they created the Eternal Flame monument to the slain President [Read NEWS1547 for full details].
Freemasonry thus has its fingerprints all over the Kennedy assassination!
GRAND MERGER OF ILLUMINIZED FREEMASONRY AND VATICAN JESUITS
Now, how can both the White Magic Jesuits and the Black Magick Masons be intimately involved in the leadership of the assassination of President Kennedy? One cannot possibly reconcile this question unless you understand that a grand merger of all Satanic forces occurred on June 29, 1963, at the secret Enthronement of Pope Paul VI!
The organizations set up by the Jesuits became the organization of the Masters of the Illuminati on June 29, 1963.
We are now fully 44 years following that eventful, secret Enthronement of the Fallen Archangel Lucifer, as described by Malachi Martin. World events have proceeded apace, and now the world stands trembling at the precipice the Bible calls the Tribulational Period, and its ruler, Antichrist.
Are you spiritually ready? Is your family? Are you adequately protecting your loved ones? This is the reason for this ministry, to enable you to first understand the peril facing you, and then help you develop strategies to warn and protect your loved ones. Once you have been thoroughly trained, you can also use your knowledge as a means to open the door of discussion with an unsaved person. I have been able to use it many times, and have seen people come to Jesus Christ as a result. These perilous times are also a time when we can reach many souls for Jesus Christ, making an eternal difference.
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Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem
(Also known as KNIGHTS OF MALTA).
The most important of all the military orders, both for the extent of its area and for its duration. It is said to have existed before the Crusades and is not extinct at the present time. During this long career it has not always borne the same name. Known as Hospitallers of Jerusalem until 1309, the members were called Knights of Rhodes from 1309 till 1522, and have been called Knights of Malta since 1530.
The origins of the order have given rise to learned discussions, to fictitious legends and hazardous conjectures. The unquestionable founder was one Gerald or Gerard, whose birthplace and family name it has been vainly sought to ascertain. On the other hand, his title as founder is attested by a contemporary official document, the Bull of Paschal II, dated 1113, addressed to “Geraudo institutori ac praeposito Hirosolimitani Xenodochii”. This was certainly not the first establishment of the kind at Jerusalem. Even before the crusades, hostelries were indispensable to shelter the pilgrims who flocked to the Holy Places, and in the beginning the hospitia or xenodochia were nothing more. They belonged to different nations; a Frankish hospice is spoken of in the time of Charlemagne; the Hungarian hospice is said to date from King St. Stephen (year 1000). But the most famous was an Italian hospice about the year 1050 by the merchants of Amalfi, who at that time had commercial relations with the Holy Land. Attempts have been made to trace the origin of the Hospitallers of St. John to this foundation, but it is obvious to remark that the Hospitallers had St. John the Baptist for their patron, while the Italian hospice was dedicated to St. John of Alexandria. Moreover, the former adopted the Rule of St. Augustine, while the latter followed that of the Benedictines. Like most similar houses at that time, the hospice of Amalfi was in fact merely a dependency of a monastery, while Gerard’s was autonomous from the beginning. Before the Crusades, the Italian hospital languished, sustained solely by alms gathered in Italy; but Gerard profited by the presence of the crusaders, and by the gratitude felt for his hospitality, to acquire territory and revenues not only in the new Kingdom of Jerusalem, but in Europe — in Sicily, Italy, and Provence. In the acts of donation which remain to us, there is no mention of the sick, but only of the poor and strangers. In this respect the hospice of Gerard did not differ from others, and his epitaph defines his work:
Pauperibus servus, pius hospitibus . . . .
Undique collegit pasceret unde sous.
Thanks to the resources accumulated by Gerard, his successor, Raymond of Provence (1120-60), caused the erection of more spacious buildings near the church of the Holy Sepulchre, and henceforth the hospice became an infirmary served by a community of hospitallers in the modern sense of the word.
Strictly speaking, therefore, the Hospitallers of Jerusalem only began with Raymond of Provence, to whom they owe their rule. This rule deals only with their conduct as religious and infirmarians, there being no mention of knights. It especially sets forth that the hospital shall permanently maintain at its expense five physicians and three surgeons. The brothers were to fulfil the duties of infirmarians. A pilgrim, about the year 1150, places the number of sick persons cared for at 2000, a figure evidently exaggerated, unless we make it include all the persons harboured in a whole year. Raymond continued to receive donations, and this permitted him to complete his foundation by a second innovation. To accompany and defend at need, the arriving and departing pilgrims, he defrayed the cost of an armed escort, which in time became a veritable army, comprising knights recruited from among the crusaders of Europe, and serving as a heavy cavalry (see CHIVALRY), and Turcopoles recruited from among the natives of mixed blood, and serving as light cavalry armed in the Turkish fashion. With this innovation originated the most ancient military dignities in the order: the marshal, to command the knights, the turcopolier, for the Turcopoles. Later the grand masters themselves went into battle. Gosbert (c. 1177), the fifth successor of Raymond, distinguished himself, and Roger de Moulins perished gloriously on the field of battle (1187). Thus the Order of St. John imperceptibly became military without losing its eleemosynary character. 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, Alfonso 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. Henceforth the order numbered two distinct classes of members: the military brothers and the brothers infirmarians. The brothers chaplains, to whom was entrusted the divine service, formed a third class.
While the Order of St. John became a mixed order, that of the Templars was purely military from the beginning, and on this point it can claim priority, despite the contrary assertions of the Hospitallers. The Templars followed a different monastic rule and wore a different habit — the white habit of the Cistercians, whose rule they followed, with a red cross, while the Hospitallers had the black mantle with a white cross. In war the knightly brothers wore above their armour a red surcoat with the white cross. Mutually emulous from the outset, they soon became rivals, and this rivalry had much to do with the rapid decline of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In other respects the two orders held the same rank in Church and State, both being recognized as regular orders and endowed by the papacy with most extensive privileges, absolute independence of all spiritual and temporal authority save that of Rome, exemptions from tithes, with the right to have their own chapels, clergy and cemeteries. Both were charged with the military defense of the Holy Land, and the most redoubtable strongholds of the country, the splendid ruins of which still exist, were occupied by one or the other (Rey, “Monument de l’architecture militaire des Croisés”, Paris, 1865). On the battlefield they shared between them the most perilous posts, alternately holding the van and rear guard. The history of the Hospitallers of Jerusalem is involved in that of the Latin Kingdom of the same name, with which the order was associated in prosperity and adversity. When the kingdom was at the height of its glory, the Hospitallers possessed no fewer than seven strongholds, some situated on the coast, others in the mountains; of these Margat and Krals, in the territory of Tripoli, are the most famous. They enjoyed the revenues of more than one hundred and forty estates (casalia) in the Holy Land. As to their European possessions, a writer of the thirteenth century credits them with about nineteen thousand manses or manors. It was necessary to organize a financial administration in order to assure the regular payment of revenues of these widely scattered possessions. This was the task of Hugh of Ravel, seventeenth Grand Master of the Holy Land (c. 1270). The lands attached to a single house were placed under the command of a knight of the order, who formerly was called a preceptor, but afterwards took the title of commander. This official was charged with collecting the revenues, one portion of which was devoted to the support of his community, formed of a chaplain and some brothers; the other portion being destined for the houses of the Holy Land. This latter portion consisted of an annual and invariable impost called “Responsions”.
Thanks to these resources, drawn from Europe, the order was able to survive the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which involved the loss of all its possessions in Asia. After the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin (1187), the Hospitallers retained only their possessions in the Principality of Tripoli, and these they lost a century later by the fall of Acre (1291). They were obliged to seek refuge, under their grand master, Jean de Villiers, in the Kingdom of Cyprus, where they already had some possessions. King Amaury assigned them as a place of residence the town of Limassol on the coast. Having become islanders, the Hospitallers were obliged to modify their manner of warfare. They equipped fleets to fight the Muslims on the sea and to protect the pilgrims, who had not ceased to visit the Holy Places. But it was chiefly the conquest of the island of Rhodes, under the Grand Master Foulques de Villaret, that brought about a complete transformation of the order.
The Knights of Rhodes (1309-1522)
The Knights of Rhodes, the successors of the Hospitallers of St. John, were distinguished from the latter in many ways. In the first place, the grand master of the order was thenceforward a temporal sovereign in that island, which constituted a true ecclesiastical principality, under the nominal suzerainty of the Emperors of the East. Secondly, although Villaret’s first care was to build a new infirmary, the care of the sick took a secondary place, as the members of the order had scarcely occasion to devote themselves to any save the members of the community. The name knights then prevailed over that of hospitallers. This character was accentuated by the fusion of the Hospitallers with the remaining Knights Templar, subsequent to the suppression of the latter (1312). This fusion at the same time increased the wealth of the order, to which the pope assigned the property of the Templars in every country except Aragon and Portugal. In France, where Philip the Fair had sequestrated this property, the order obtained restitution only by paying large indemnities to the king. From this time its organization took its definitive form, the whole body being divided into tongues, priories, and commanderies. The tongues, or nations, were eight in number, each having its own bailiff; and one of the eight supreme dignities was reserved to each tongue — to Provence, that of the grand commander; to Auvergne, that of marshal; to France, grand hospitaller; to Italy, admiral; to Aragon, standard-bearer; to Castile, grand chancellor; to Germany, grand bailiff; to England, turcoplier. (On these dignities see MILITARY ORDERS.) The grand master might be elected from any of the various tongues; he exercised supreme authority, but under control of the grand chapter and with the aid of several councils. Each tongue was subdivided into priories, and the head of each priory had the right to receive new knights and to visit the commanderies. The priories number twenty-four, and the commanderies, which were subdivisions of the priories, 656. All these posts were held according to seniority, the commanderies after three campaigns, which were known as “caravans”.
A most important change in the character of the order was the transformation of the knights into corsairs. The piracy practiced by the Muslims was the scourge of the Mediterranean and especially of Christian commerce. The Knights of Rhodes, on their side, armed cruisers not only to give chase to the pirates, but to make reprisals on the Turkish merchantmen. With increasing audacity they made descents on the coast and pillaged the richest ports of the Orient, such as Smyrna (1341) and Alexandria (1365). However, a new Muslim power arose at this period — the Ottoman Turks of Iconium — and took the offensive against Christianity. After the fall of Constantinople, Mahomet II directed his attention to the task of destroying this den of pirates which made Rhodes the terror of the Muslim world. Henceforth the order, thrown on the defensive, lived perpetually on the alert. Once, under its grand master, Pierre d’Aubusson, it repulsed all the forces of Mahomet II in the siege of 1480. In 1522 Solyman II returned to the attack with a fleet of 400 ships and an army of 140,000 men. The knights sustained this great onslaught with their habitual bravery for a period of six months under their grand master, Villiers de l’Isle Adam, and capitulated only when their supplies were completely exhausted. Their lives were spared, and they were permitted to withdraw. Solyman II, in homage to their heroism, lent them his ships to return to Europe. They dispersed to their commanderies and begged Charles V to grant them the island of Malta, which was a dependency of his kingdom of Sicily, and this sovereignty was granted them in 1530, under the suzerainty of the kings of Spain.
The Knights of Malta (1530-1798)
The Knights of Malta at once resumed the manner of life they had already practiced for two centuries at Rhodes. With a fleet which did not number more than seven galleys they resisted the Barbary pirates who infested the western basin of the Mediterranean. They formed a valuable contingent during the great expeditions of Charles V against Tunis and Algiers and at the memorable victory of Lepanto. The Knights of Malta were also permitted to equip galleys at their own expense to give chase to the Turkish galleys. These enterprises did not fail to draw upon them fresh attacks from the Ottomans. Solyman II, regretting his generosity, gathered a second time all forces of his empire to dislodge the Christian corsairs from their retreat. The siege of Malta, quite as famous as that of Rhodes, lasted for four months (1565). The Turks has already taken possession of a part of the island, destroying nearly the whole of the old city, slaying half the knights and almost 8000 soldiers, when Malta was delivered by an army of relief from Spain. In retreating the Turks are said to have left 30,000 slain. A new city had to be built — the present city of Valette, so named in memory of its valiant grand master who had sustained this siege. Malta, however, was not rid of its most dangerous adversary until the battle of Lepanto (1571) which dealt the Ottoman fleet a fatal and final blow.
From this time the history of Malta is reduced to a series of encounters by sea with the Barbary corsairs which have only local interest. The struggle was carried on chiefly by younger knights who were in haste to accomplish their three “caravans” in order to merit some vacant commandery. It was an existence filled with perils of every kind, sudden attacks, adventures, successes and defeats. There was constant risk of life, or of liberty, which could be regained only at the cost of enormous ransoms. But when success came, the undertaking proved lucrative, not only defraying all costs but also enriching the captain. The best result was the deliverance of hundreds of Christian slaves, chained as rowers on the Turkish galleys. In requital the vanquished Turks were in turn reduced to slavery and sold to Christian galleys which had need of rowers. In this respect Malta remained a veritable slave-market until well into the eighteenth century. It required a thousand slaves to equip merely the galleys of the order, which were a hell for those unfortunates. It will be readily understood that the habit of living in the midst of these scenes of violence and brutality exercised a bad influence on the morals of the knights of the order. Discipline became relaxed and the grand mastership became a more and more perilous honour. Revolts were frequent. In 1581 the grand master, Jean de la Cassière, was made prisoner by his own knights, whose principle grievance was the expulsion of lewd women. The vow of obedience was little better observed than that of celibacy. Once in possession of some commandery situated on the Continent, a knight would become indeed independent of the grand master’s authority and maintain only the most remote relations with the order. As to the vow of poverty, the knights were recruited solely from among the nobility, proofs of noble descent being more severely scrutinized than religious dispositions, and naturally, the wealth of the order formed the only motive of these vocations. Its decay began, too, with the confiscation of its possessions. One effect of Protestantism was the alienation of a large group of commanderies, to be thenceforward appropriated to the Protestant nobility, as, for instance, the Bailiwick of Sonnenburg in Prussia. In other Protestant countries the order was simply suppressed. In Catholic countries the sovereigns themselves assumed more and more the right to dispose of the commanderies within their jurisdiction. At last Malta, the very centre of the order, was treacherously surrendered under the grand master, the Count von Hompesch, to General Bonaparte when he made his expedition to Egypt (12 June, 1798).
Present state of the order
The secularization of the property of the order in Protestant countries was extended by the French Revolution to the greater number of Catholic countries. On the other hand, Czar Paul of Russia assigned them considerable property in his domains (1797), and in return was elected grand master, but his election was not recognized by the pope. From that time forward the pope has named the grand master of the bailiff who takes his place. From 1805 to 1879 there was no grand master, but Leo XIII re-established the dignity, bestowing it on an Austrian, Geschi di Sancta Croce. It is now (1910) held by Galeazzo von Thun Hohenstein. The actual conditions for admission to the order are: nobility of sixteen quarterings, the Catholic Faith, attainment of full legal age, integrity of character, and corresponding social position. There are now in existence only four great priories, one in Bohemia, and three in Italy. There are still commanders and several classes of knights, with different insignia, but all wear the same eight-pointed Maltese cross (see PONTIFICAL DECORATIONS).
To the Order of the Knights of Malta belong the Convent of S. Maria del Priorato on the Aventine in Rome, overlooking the Tiber, and commanding from its gardens one of the most delightful views of the city. The walls of the convent are adorned with portraits of the knights, and the archives are rich in records of the order. The tombs of the knights in the convent church are interesting. The order was summoned to attend the Convention of Geneva (1864), on the same footing as the great powers.
The Protestant Baliwick of Sonnenburg in Prussia disappeared after the secularization of its property in 1810. Nevertheless Frederick William IV created a new confraternity of “Evangelical Johannittes” (1852), under the master (Herrenmeister) always chosen from the royal family, and with a great number of other dignitaries. Admission to the order is subject to numerous conditions, ancient nobility, corresponding social position, and entrance fee of 900 marks, a probation of at least four years as a knight of honor before admission of the accolade which confers the title of Knight of Justice. Their first obligation is to collect contributions for the support of hospitals. Thus this Protestant branch of the order has returned to the ideal of its first founder in the time of the First Crusade. Moreover, in times of war, since 1870, the order has been devoted to ambulance service on the field of battle.
HELDWALD, Bibliographie méthodique de l’Order de St-Jean de Jérusalem (Rome, 1885); PAOLI, Codice diplomatico del S. Ordine di S. Giovanni (Lucca, 1733); BOSIO, Istoria della S. Religione di S. Giovanni Jerosolym, (Rome, 1594-1602), continued by TOZZO (Verona, 1705), also Fr. tr. by BAUDOIN (Paris, 1643); VERTOT, Histoire des chevaliers hospitaliers de St-Jean (Paris 1727); DE SALLES, Annales de l’Ordre de Malte (Vienna, 1889); PAOLI, Dell’ origine ed institio dell’ Ordine Jerosolym (Rome, 1781); DELAVILLE-LEROUX, Cartulaire général des hospitaliers de Jérusalem (1100-1310) (Paris, 1894-97); IDEM, Les hospitaliers de en terre-sainte et à Chypre (1100-1310) (Paris 1904); PRUTZ, Die Anfnge der Hopsitaliter auf Rhodos (1310-1355) (Munich, 1908); CAOURSIN, Descriptio obsidionis Rhodiæ 1480 (Ulm, 1496); DELABRE, Rhodes of the Knights (Oxford, 1909) PRUTZ, Malteser Urkunden und Regesten (Munich, 1884); DE LA GRAVIÈRE, Les chevaliers de Malte (1537-1566) (Paris, 1887); LANE-POOLE, The Barbary Corsairs (London, 1890).
About this page
APA citation. (1910). Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved July 14, 2016 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07477a.htm
MLA citation. “Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 14 Jul. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07477a.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by the Priory of St. Thomas Becket of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.