The Meaning of the Maltese Cross 

What is the meaning of the Maltese Cross? The Maltese Cross is most often linked with the Knights of Malta, also known as the Knights Hospitallers, who ruled the Maltese islands from 1530 until 1798. The Maltese Cross is now widely used and linked with Malta as a country, appearing on the Maltese Euro coins and the national carrier Air Malta’s logo, and is a gold cross often worn by Christians across the world as jewelry in the form of Maltese cross pendants—from believers who want to show their devotion to God as they wage a spiritual battle against the powers and principalities of the age to heroic firefighters who put their lives on the line for their fellow man.

History and Meaning of the Maltese Cross

The meaning of the Maltese Cross stems from the Knights Hospitallers of St. John, which was formally accepted in 1126 and based on the crusader crosses defined as the symbol of the “Christian warrior”: Its eight points, which are often depicted in the form of a silver or gold cross, represent the knights’ eight obligations or aspirations: “to live in truth, have faith, confess one’s faults, show humility, love justice, be merciful, be truthful and wholehearted, and suffer persecution.” 

The Maltese Cross is called after Malta, where the Knights of St. John established their headquarters. At the time of the 11th and 12th centuries, the Knights of St. John existed. The Knights wore armor that covered their entire bodies, even their faces. As a result, it was often impossible for the knights to distinguish themselves during battle. They understood they’d need a symbol that would allow them to swiftly and efficiently recognize themselves. They chose the Calvary Cross, which became known as the Maltese Cross, such as you see in gold crosses used in jewelry and pendants.

The foes of the night employed fire as a weapon frequently throughout the Crusades. It was common for a Knight to risk his life to save another Knight or put out a fire.

The Knights of St. John were also recognized for their compassion and caring for the sick or injured. The Maltese Cross appears to be a fitting sign of the modern fire department, given their ability to combat flames and the pride and honor they take in their often heroic work.

Maltese Cross Symbolism

The meaning of the Maltese Cross is embodied by its star-like design with four V-shaped arms linked at the tips. It is symmetrical vertically and horizontally and is commonly used in black and white or red and white. As a symbol, the Maltese Cross embodies divine, Godly protection and courage. It indicates that the fireman wearing this cross is willing to give his or her life for you.

In present times, the Maltese Cross is, without a doubt, the most well-known symbol of the Maltese Islands. So it’s no surprise that this symbol appears in the logos of several local organizations, including the Malta Tourism Authority, Malta Enterprise, and Air Malta, as well as the national football and rugby teams’ official uniforms.

The Cross is still incorporated not only in the form of cross jewelry, into the stonework of many Maltese homes. As a result, a visit to any souvenir or gift shop will uncover various Maltese Cross-adorned local items. Aside from the apparent t-shirts and keychains, the Cross may be found on a wide range of high-quality lace and filigree products, as well as jewelry, ceramics, glassware, brass door knockers, and limestone artifacts. Apples of Gold Jewelry has crafted their own high quality, best selling fully solid 14k gold Maltese cross pendants, featured above.

Category: Christian Jewelry, Cross Jewelry, Jewelry History

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