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The Eight-Pointed Cross
(Also known as the Maltese Cross)

The Eight Langues of the Knights of Malta

The Eight Beatitudes
The Eight-Pointed Maltese CrossThe Eight-Pointed Cross, which is nowadays commonly known as the Maltese Cross, owes its origins to the Maritime Republic of Amalfi in Italy. Amalfi was the birthplace of some pious merchants who founded the first hospice (hospital) of the Order of St. John in Jerusalem, in 1048. The Eight-Pointed Cross has ever since become the emblem of the Knights Hospitallers. Nowadays, it also refers to anything that is Maltese! In fact the Maltese Cross can be seen on the emblem of Malta's National Airline Company.

The eight points of the cross represent the Eight Langues of the Order of St. John. Moreover, the eight points of the cross also symbolise the Eight Beatitudes, which Our Lord Jesus Christ preached during the Sermon on the Mount.

The Eight-Pointed Cross is made up of four triangular arms, which represent the Four Virtues of the Knights of St. John. These four virtues are:

  1. Fortitude

2. Justice

3. Temperance

4. Perseverance

All the Knights of St. John were bound by their three solemn vows. These three vows were:

  1. Poverty

2. Chastity

3. Obedience