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.
Welcome to the website of the Illinois Area of the American Association of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. Illinois is one of over 30 Areas of the Order of Malta, American Association USA. The Illinois Area currently has 79 Knights and Dames.
The Order of Malta is a lay religious order of the Roman Catholic Church with approximately 13,000 members and relief operations worldwide. Today, as at its founding over 900 years ago, the Order is foremost a Hospitaller Order, with members personally providing hands-on assistance to the sick and the poor. The Order traces its origins to a hospital in Jerusalem in the 1070s, created to care for pilgrims to the Holy Land, and which predated the Crusades. The Order assumed its military role in the twelfth century as its members, who were also knights, provided armed protection for pilgrims and the defense of the new Christian Kingdom against Muslim attacks. Today, the mission of the Order is to give glory to God by promoting the spiritual well being of its members and by providing assistance to the sick and the poor. Knights and Dames of the Order are also charged with the responsibility of defending the Faith.
We are committed in today’s world to be true to the Order’s mission. Our members volunteer to care for the sick and the poor in their communities. We also support charitable projects in other areas of the United States, such as the rebuilding of hurricane-destroyed homes on the Gulf Coast. We are dedicated to the Order’s annual international pilgrimage to Lourdes, and to our ministry interests in Haiti and Honduras. In witness to the Catholic faith, we participate in a variety of special Masses, retreats and seminars throughout the year.