Their millennium-old legacy includes some of history’s most mysterious characters and relics, from the Holy Grail to King Solomon’s riches, Freemasons, and the Barbary Pirates. From humble monks to fearsome warriors, the Knights of Malta became Europe’s valiant and admired heroes.
Tales of the ancient order of knights unfold on this in-depth exploration. The Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta have a lengthy history that has seen them encounter some intriguing historical legends; even the mysterious Holy Grail has connections to the impenetrable group.
With origins shrouded in myth and a thousand-year legacy steeped in legends that continue to the present day, the Knights of Malta began as a Benedictine nursing order, evolving into a fearsome, militant Christian warrior tradition. Through interviews and re-enactments, their provocative connections to Solomon’s riches, Barbary Coast pirates, Freemasons, and the Holy Grail are explored.
Knights Of Malta – Sovereign Military Order of Malta
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta or Order of Malta, is a Roman Catholic lay religious order traditionally of military, chivalrous and noble nature. It was founded as the Knights Hospitaller circa 1099 in Jerusalem, Kingdom of Jerusalem, by the Blessed Gerard, making it the world’s oldest surviving chivalric order. Headquartered in Palazzo Malta in Rome, its mission is summed up in its motto: Tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum, “Defence of the (Catholic) faith and assistance to the poor”. The order is an elective monarchy and is ruled by a Prince and Grand Master.
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, now based in Rome, is the present-day continuation of the medieval Knights Hospitaller, with origins in the Fraternitas Hospitalaria hospital founded circa 1048 by merchants from the Duchy of Amalfi in the Muristan district of Jerusalem, Fatimid Caliphate, to provide medical care for pilgrims to the Holy Land. Following the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade and the subsequent loss of the Kingdom of Jerusalem to the Mamluk Sultanate, it became a military order to protect Christians against Islamic persecution and was recognised as sovereign in 1113 by Pope Paschal II. It operated from Cyprus (1291–1310), Rhodes (1310–1523), Malta (1530–1798), over which it was sovereign until the French occupation, and from Palazzo Malta in Rome from 1834 until the present. The order venerates as its patroness the Virgin Mary, under the title “Our Lady of Mount Philermos”.