The Maltese cross, which is also called the George and the cross of St. John of Jerusalem, has an ancient history. It represents eight-pointed symbol, originating from the coat of arms of the Italian city of Amalfi. Knights from this city in the 12th century founded the order of Hospitallers, whose symbol has long been the cross.
The Knights believed that it symbolizes the eight knightly virtues (patience, sincerity, humility, mezhrechye, justice, truth, faith, charity).
Now this symbol is used by the English ambulance order of St. John.
In Russia the eight-pointed cross appeared during the reign of Paul I, who briefly turned it into the Russian coat of arms. Currently this symbol is left in the coats of arms of Pavlovsk and Gatchina.
There are other points of view about its origin. Some researchers believe that it appeared thousands of years before the rise of the knights Hospitaller and represents the unity of the four istarskih of the gods. There is also a view that this sign brings together two swastikas – solar and lunar, which means the unity of light and darkness.
Still unknown, some people created a Maltese cross, the meaning of which to this day is treated quite differently. For example, many researchers, fascinated by the esoteric and mysticism, this magic sign. They argue that it defines the essence of the earthly existence of man, and it contains the answer to the question about the main mystery of the universe.
According to them, the Maltese cross shows, first, the true essence of the material world, which is a unity of the four elements (earth, air, water, fire). Second, it reveals the secret meaning of life is intangible that is in the relationship of time, space, forces and information.
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In addition, if you imagine in the center of the cross man, the upper part will symbolize the divine will, lower means wisdom, and the left and right – the love that man gives to the world. Thus, the purpose of each is to listen to the will of God and follow it. The cross is the symbol of harmony with the world.
It is Also believed that with magical powers Maltese cross grants the power of the person who possesses them. Moreover, it was believed that such power belonged to Paul I, as he made the cross part of the emblem of Russia, albeit for a short time.
By the Way, during his lifetime he was Grand Master of the knights Hospitaller, which was reflected in his official title, and sought by all means to maintain the glory of the order. The guards went under the banner of the Maltese cross, and one of the fortifications of the Admiralty was established Maltese pavilion. In addition, in 1798 23 Jun began to celebrate the day dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, who is the patron Saint of the order. Many historians believe that the predilection of the Emperor to the symbolism of the order, and his attempts to introduce it into Russian life, were in the nature of theater productions and was kind of absurd. The successor of Paul, Alexander I, ascended the throne, he soon abandoned this title, and that the close connection of the history of Russia with the order ended before it had even enough to get stronger.
In eighteen hundred and seventeenth year, it was announced that Russian subjects are forbidden to wear the Maltese cross due to the fact that the branch of the order of St. John of Jerusalem ceased to exist.
Currently the memory of those times and the Emperor, who was a Great Master, is still alive. About events more than two centuries ago resemble the cities of Gatchina, Pavlovsk. And the Mikhailovsky castle, as well as the Vorontsov Palace, are stored in its chambers the spirit of chivalry.
Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."
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