The Order of Knights Hospitaller was founded by a Benedictine monk in Jerusalem around 1113 A.D. These knights would later be named the Knights of St. John. The order of knights performed charitable works of mercy and compassion.
The knights also defended Jerusalem from their enemy, the Saracens. They fought courageously on the Island of Malta and were given the island and the cross that was on the Maltese flag.
The eight points of the Cross Maltese have different symbolic meanings but the most widely known is that each of the eight points represent one of the eight Beatitudes from the Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10.
The Eight Beatitudes
1st. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2nd. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
3rd. Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
4th. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
5th. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
6th. Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
7th. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
8th. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Contemporary Maltese Cross Pendants
Contemporary Maltese Cross pendants are created in a variety of styles and designs. The constant with all the Maltese Cross jewelry is the eight points on the cross. The modern Maltese Cross pendant is available in sterling silver and gold and is a very popular gift for firefighters because of the risks they take to save others, living as the original Knights of Hospitaller.
There is also the Maltese Cross crucifix which displays the eight points with the figure of the crucified Jesus on the cross. This Maltese Cross pendant is ideal for all followers of Jesus as a display of living the life of the Eight Beatitudes.