A Chaplain Is Admitted Into the Order of Malta

August 31, 2023

A depiction of the Order of Malta Knights of uniforms: 1 – a full bailifs, Grand Cross of the Knight of, 2 – a full-fledged knight of the Order of cloak, 3 – bailifs honor, Knight of Grand Cross.

The Mass being over, Monsignor Magyari, escorted by his sponsors, crossed to kneel before the Grand Master, who asked him, “What is your request?”

“I ask to be received and admitted into the company of brothers in sacred religion of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.”

“The request you make was refused to certain others who were not worthy. But trusting in your probity, we have decided that it shall be granted to you. . . . You will be constrained to fast when you desire to eat, to watch when you would sleep. . . . Consider well whether you wish to strip yourself of your freedom, placing it in the hands of the masters of our religion.”

“I do so place it altogether in their hands.”

“I require you, now, to say whether you have ever taken vows in any other order.”


“. . . We therefore admit you with kindness, promising you only bread and water, travail and toil, and a simple garment.”

The light, ritual slap . . . did not appear to worry Monsignor Magyari. With his hands upon a Testament, the candidate went on to speak the formal words of the oath: “I swear to Almighty God, to the glorious Virgin Mary, and to the sieur St. John the Baptist, my protector, to observe and keep obedience, poverty, and chastity, as it is fitting that all good Catholic religious should do.”

The Grand Master took up a black cloak and, indicating the eight-pointed cross, said, “This cross was given to us in white to signify purity. The eight points which you see are the symbol of the eight beatitudes.”

He enumerated them, vested him with the cloak and, after explaining its symbolism, with the stole. The kiss of obedience completed the ceremony. . . .

Roger Peyrefitte, Knights of Malta, trans. Edward Hyams (New York: Criterion Books, 1959), 75– 76.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 893


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