About the Order The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilization. The 13,500 Knights and Dames remain true to its inspiring principles – nurturing, witnessing and protecting the faith and serving the poor and the sick.
The American Association Founded in 1927 as the first association of the Order of Malta in the Americas, the association is headquartered in New York City with over 2,000 knights, dames and volunteers in 16 states working with the poor, sick and incarcerated and giving witness to the Catholic faith.
Spirituality Knights and Dames join the Order of Malta to pursue their spiritual growth over a path laid out by Blessed Gerard more than nine hundred years ago, seeking to nurture and witness the Faith and assist the sick and the poor.
Spirituality in Action Members are involved in hands-on work involving over one hundred organizations and ministries. Food banks, hospitals, pregnancy support centers, homeless shelters and mentoring at risk children are just some of the activities in which members engage.
The cultural point of reference on the Sovereign Order of Malta
The Magistral Library is the principal library of the Sovereign Order of Malta and represents one of the world’s most complete collections of its history.
It came into being in the second half of the 19th century as a collection of books donated by various members of the Order of Malta, and today houses approximately 20,000 volumes, 40,000 photographs, over 500 manuscripts and hundreds of maps and prints. The collection covers history, heraldry and genealogy, among other subjects.
The oldest piece in the collection is a Bull dated 1332 and signed by Pope John XXII. Within the Library are the Magistral Archives holding documents for the admission of the Order of Malta’s members, with records dating from its arrival in Rome in the eighteenth century, and the Grand Magistry’s historic archives since 1950. Together the archives cover almost one linear mile of shelving.
Information for Visitors and Researchers
The Magistral Library is a private institution dedicated to researchers and students interested in the history of the Sovereign Order of Malta and the genealogy and heraldry of its members. As a working research library admission requires prior reservation. After the first complimentary visit, a weekly, monthly or annual pass can be purchased. Guided tours include a maximum of twenty people per group.
To plan your visit to the Magistral Library, please click here.