The Knight and the Order
The worth and quality of a group is equivalent to the worth and quality of each one of its single members. The perception and consideration of the outside world of the worth and quality of a group is established and measured not from the worth, quality and conduct of the single member with the highest standards, but from the worth, quality and conduct of the single member with lesser degree of values.
These premises hold true on the perception and consideration of the outside world about the Federation as a whole, and likewise in the perception, consideration and self-pride of belonging displayed by each single one of its members as a Knight or Dame of Malta.
Is precisely for these reasons, and for respect to his/her fellow Knights and Dames that each member of the Federation shall abide him/herself to respect and to follow strictly the Chivalric Code of Honor, in a way that each and every one of his acts will reflect a human being adorned with the virtues of honesty, truthfulness, concern, consideration, gentleness and good manners.
This creates an intimate relation between the Knight/Dame and the Order. The Order is honored and becomes worthier each day by the quality of the human worth of his members while each particular Knight/Dame receives the social prestige and consideration of belonging to a prominent brotherhood.
The Code of Chivalry
The ten Commandments of the Chivalric code of Honor are:
- Thou shall accept thy Orderďs governance and its worthy commandments.
- Thou shall defend the Order in good and bad days.
- Thou shall respect the dignity of all persons and shall became their defender regardless their weakness or human imperfections.
- Thou shall love, honor and defend your country with your own good conduct.
- Thou shall stand steadfast before the enemy of truth and good.
- Thou shall fight low human instincts and strive for the establishment of love in all things and to all persons.
- Thou shall perform faithfully all duties avoiding anything contrary to the law of your God.
- Thou shall bear always witness to the truth by words and deeds, and remain steadfast to the pledged word.
- Thou shall be generous, and support with generosity all needy and indigent.
- Thou shall be everywhere and always champion of right and good against violence, injustice and evil.
All members of the Federation are organized by type of membership, by class and by grade of knighthood. In addition there are two special groups:
- Types of membership to the Federation are defined in accordance with the following definitions:
– Esquires and Damsels
Unmarried persons, male or female with less than twenty years of age.
– Postulants for Knighthood
Knights and Dames: All invested members of the Federation are considered rightfully Knights and Dames of the Federation, regardless of class or grade.
– Postulants for Knighthood
Knights and Dames: All invested members of the Federation are considered rightfully Knights and Dames of the Federation, regardless of class or grade.Accepted candidates for knighthood, who have complied with all membership procedures, are automatically considered for a period of not less than thirty days Postulants to Knighthood and will remain as such until properly invested as Knight or Dame of the Federation.
- In accordance to the personal rights of each Knight or Dame, or in accordance to the rights granted by personal achievements or by services rendered to the Federation, after the appropriate request, active members of the Federation are distributed in the following Classes of Knighthood:
– Knights and Dames of Justice
Persons of noble ancestry who are holders of hereditary knighthood rights, or persons with a Grant of Nobility conferred by the Federation and upon whom by a Grand Magisterial Special Act have also been conferred Hereditary Knighthood Rights.
– Knights and Dames of Honor and Devotion
Persons of Noble Ancestry or with a Grant of Nobility conferred by the Federation.
– Knights and Dames of Grand Magisterial Grace
All Knights and Dames other than the Knights and Dames of Justice or Knights and Dames of Honor and Devotion are Knights and Dames of Grand Magisterial Grace.
Grades of Knighthood
All members of the Federation regardless of the class in which they were received, are invested as Knights or Dames. In accordance with the personal achievements or services rendered to the Federation, active Knights or Dames may request and accede, when granted, to the consecutive grade. The Grades of Knighthood of the Federation ingranting sequence are:
- Knight and Dame
- Knight or Dame Officer
- Knight and Dame Commander
- Knight and Dame Grand Officer
- Knight and Dame of Grand Cross1.
Honorary Knights and Dames
From time to time the Federation may wish to honor someone for special reasons, and even to consider such individual exempt from any obligatory economic commitment. The process of selection shall be through the Board of Admissions as any other Knight or Dame. However Honorary Knights or Dames are not consideredfull members, do not have access to governmental, representative or administrative responsibilities within the Federation, and although they may wear the conferred insignia or decoration of the Federation, do not have the right of wearing the cape or using any other attribute of the Federation. Posthumous Knights and Dames: Any Knight or Dame of the Federation wishing to have a beloved departed family member included inthe daily “Officium Defunctorum” of the Chaplains of the Federation andin the daily Masses and/or services offered for the commemoration and on behalf of the souls of the faithful departed Knights and Dames of the Federation, may follow the proper procedure through the Central Office of Admissions.
Each Knight and Dame shall be attentive to maintain always the discipline of the Order and to be faithful to the honorable chivalric oath, honoring and respecting in this way
- The Order
- The Fellow Knights and Dames
The Chivalric oath is made during the Ceremony of Investiture in the following terms:
- I promise to know follow and observe faithfully the Constitution of the Order.
- I promise to support and defend, by word and deed, the prestige of the illustrious Chivalrous Order to which I am honored to belong, to be faithful to the noble traditions of the Order.
- I promise to remain always faithful and obedient to the Regent, and, through him, also to the other Dignitaries of the Order in all matters regarding the Order and its discipline.
- I promise to be always mindful of the noble purposes which the Order has set forth.
- I promise to live an exemplary life worthy of the knights and dames of the order in the observance of the Chivalric Code.
- I promise to participate in the service to the Order, to be observant of all assumed commitments and to fulfill all the obligations and duties inherent to my Chivalric Status.
- I promise to fight with all means the eventual enemies of the illustrious Chivalrous Order to which I am honored to belong.
- I promise to observe and respect with exemplarity the precepts of my Religion.
- I promise to observe and respect with exemplarity the laws of my Country.
- I promise to be helpful in all works of Charity toward my fellow men, according to the means at my disposition.