What Is The Maltese Cross?
The Maltese cross symbolism consists of an eight-pointed cross that has been around for quite a long time. It is not to be confused with the Iron Cross, which resembles it in some regards. Originally, it was worn by Maltese knights who used it as their special military badge. For them, it was an insignia of several things.
First, it was a symbol of courage and bravery. Second, they wore the badge to demonstrate the strength of their faith and commitment. This group was considered to be highly virtuous, the most honorable and brave of their kind.
These knights, appropriately deemed the Knights of Malta, were quite religious in their military order, which explains the use of the Christian cross in the first place. Each of the eight points of the cross symbolized one of the Christian beatitudes given to mankind by Jesus Christ:
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
- Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
- Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
- Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Maltese Cross – The Symbolic Meaning
The eight points of the Maltese Cross meaning are also representative of attributes corresponding with the Knights’ creed. As virtuous men, the Knights held the values of self-esteem, holy devotion, courage, reputation, love, fearlessness, loyalty, and humanitarianism above all else. They entered battles outnumbered and out-skilled, but they remained true to these characteristics no matter what.
The creed was truly a matter of life and death. “Eight” also signifies the number of European states that formed the unique group of knights. They were Auvergne, England, Aragon, Castile, Provence, Italy, Germany and France.
The Order of St. John and the Venerable Order of St. John were the main purporters of the Christian symbolism of this cross. Within the Venerable Order, St. John Ambulance acted as the number one service organization.
This sub-group also used “eight” to create secular symbolism for emergency health care providers. Under his system, workers should be observant, tactful, resourceful, sympathetic, persevering, explicit, dextrous and discriminating.
Nowadays, the Maltese Cross symbolism is commonly used as an idea for a tattoo. The person who dons it may be trying to convey similar messages to the Knights. It is also frequently adorned by firefighters. As the Maltese cross had great historical significance across Europe, it has remained an active part of their culture. In fact, it is currently printed on the back of both the one and two Euro coins.