By faith and the utility of men:is the motto of the Order. The 'Coat of Arms' represents the Eagle with two heads of the Orthodox Church and the Romanov family, (protectors and Grand Masters of the Order up to 1918) which includes the cross of eight points, which represents the eight 'Beautitudes'.
After the loss of possession of the island of Malta in the year 1797 the Order was welcomed and settled in the Russian Empire.
All members of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Ecumenical of Rhodes and Malta (OSJ) despite revolutions, have maintained the same values of fraternity, charity, respect and love for their neighbours and have served as an inspiration to their founders from the XI century through the Russian period to the current time.
The Ecumenical Knights of Malta (OSJ) and its members are inspired to attain their common target for their hospitaller and humanitarian work, thereby forming a consistency with the spirit of the II VAtican Council on ecumenism.
This spirit extends to non - Christian religions Nostra Aestare being promoted by H.H. Pope John Paul II and now H.H. Pope Francis.
The O.S.J. welcomes Knights and Dames of non - Christian religions in the Order of the Crescent of Anjou and the Order of the Fleur de Lys.
The Order's Foundation
Long before the first crusade (according to some historians was between 1040 and 1050, but it was more likely around 1070), the Amalfi merchants, from South Italy, obtained from the Arabs occupying Jerusalem the permit to build a hospital for pilgrims and a Chapel dedicated to Saint John the Baptist in the Holy City. The monks, which were entrusted the care of the ill, soon were well known by the name of "Brothers of Saint John".
This small brotherhood, which started so modestly, developed quite fast and, after the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 by the Crusaders, turned into a Knights' community, the first Order of Knights. This institution, totally unknown in the Western societies, was built according to a very specific model from the Eastern societies: it's well known that, for example, in the VII Century, under the reign of the Omeyades' caliphs, there were Muslim monks that defended the fortresses of the African littoral region in the route to Spain.
O.S.J OFFICIAL SEAT
FORTRESS St. SEBASTIEN:The Fort is one of the earliest European building in Sao Tomé, construction was started in 1575. Later the fort was enlarged. The Lighthouse was built in1866