The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem
The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem – commonly known as the Order of St John – has a unique combination of features and has its roots in a hospice (hospital) founded in Jerusalem in the 11th century.
The Order is a major international charity, accredited at the United Nations, which provides first aid, health care and support services in over 40 countries around the world through a dedicated team of around 400,000 volunteers and staff.
The Order of St John itself is an Order of Chivalry of the British Crown. Her Majesty The Queen, the Sovereign Head of the Order, honours individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the work of St John, by awarding membership, at different grades, in the Order.
The Order is a Christian Order, founded on Christian principles and everything it does is inspired by Christian ideals. However, it provides a warm welcome to people of any faith or no faith, who are motivated to share its mission.
The objects and purposes of the Order are stated in its Statutes. The two key objects are:
- the encouragement of all that makes for the spiritual and moral strengthening of mankind in accordance with the first great principle of the Order embodied in the motto Pro Fide – For the Faith
- the encouragement and promotion of all work of humanity and charity for the relief of persons in sickness, distress, suffering or danger, without distinction of race, class or creed and the extension of the second great principle of the Order embodied in the motto Pro Utilitate Hominum – For the Service of Humanity.
Unlike other Crown Orders of Chivalry, the Order of St John is very much a working Order.
Mutually Recognised Orders
Working alongside the Most Venerable Order there are four other mutually recognised Orders of St John, all of which come from the same beginnings. These are:
- the Sovereign Military Order of Malta;
- the Johanniterorden, of Germany;
- the Crown Order of St John in The Netherlands; and
- the Crown Order of St John in Sweden.