The Malta Degree
A brief introduction
The Malta Degree is often seen as an option for Knights Templar to further their interests in an appended order. However, on becoming a Knight of Malta, you are participating in a ceremony comprising two separate parts, that of becoming a Knight of St. Paul, or the Mediterranean Pass, and then that of becoming a full Knight of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta. In a similar way to that which the Knights Templar initiation draws inspiration from the experiences of a pilgrim’s transition into the Order, so the Malta ceremonies follow the history of the long struggle of the Knights of Malta from the time they left Jerusalem until they reached the island of Malta.
A Knight of St. Paul or the Mediterranean Pass
This short ceremony is often referred to as the “Passing Degree” and is a pre-requisite before a Knights Templar can become a Knight of Malta. It recalls the Apostle Paul’s experiences on the island of Malta on his journey to Rome.
A Knight of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta
This very colourful and detailed ceremony involves many Officers and the impressive ritual has a very distinctive esoteric, Christian and historical flavour. The regalia is characterised by the red tunic with the white eight pointed “Maltese Cross” on the front, over which the black mantle is worn, also emboldened with the Maltese Cross.
All candidates must first be installed as a member of the Knights Templar and therefore profess a Christian faith. Officers and positions are slightly different to those found in a Knights Templar Preceptory and you will join a Priory of the Knights of Malta. Similar to the Knights Templar degree, the Knights of Malta does not trace its ritual and ancestry through a direct historical link to the original medieval Military Orders, nor to the Knights Hospitallers or the Order of St. John, but draws its inspiration and tenets from the same source.