|2654 Coat of arms of the SMOM|
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta (Latin: Supremus Ordo Militaris Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani Rhodius et Melitensis), also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) or Order of Malta, is a Catholic religious order traditionally of military, chivalrous and noble nature. Founded as the Knights Hospitaller circa 1099 in Jerusalem by Gerard Thom, is the world's oldest surviving chivalric order, and probably the best known.
Following the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 and the loss of the Kingdom of Jerusalem to the Mamluk Sultanate, it became chartered as a military order to protect against Islamic persecution of Christians, recognised as sovereign in 1113 by Pope Paschal II. It operated from Cyprus (1291-1310), Rhodes (1310-1523), Malta (1530-1798), over which it was sovereign until the French occupation, and from Palazzo Malta in Rome from 1834 until the present, subsequently known under its current name.
The order venerates as its patroness Mary, mother of Jesus, under the title "Our Lady of Mount Philermos". Headquartered in Palazzo Malta in Rome, widely considered a sovereign subject of international law, its mission is summed up in its motto: Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum (Defence of the faith and assistance to the poor). It issue its own passports, currency and postage stamps with the Maltese cross insignia. The order's military corps, three brigades, are stationed throughout Italy, liaisoned with the Italian Armed Forces.
The flag of the Order bears either the white latin cross on a red field or the white eight - pointed cross (cross of Malta) on a red field. Its design comes from the design worn by the Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades. A papal bull of Alexander IV in 1259 made this the design to be put on the mantling of the knights. The armorial bearings of the Order display a white latin cross on a red oval field surrounded by a rosary, all superimposed on a white eight-pointed cross and displayed under a princely mantle surmounted by a crown.
About the stamp
The stamp is the issue 442 of SMOM, Christianity and Heraldry. It depicts the coat of arms of the SMOM and the 15th century seal belonging to the Wallachian ruler Mircea the Elder. In the background is a map of Wallachia which dates back to that period. At the bottom of the stamp, the captions: "Joint Issue with Romania", "Christianity and Heraldry" and the face value of 2.40 EUR.
Sovereign Military Order of Malta - Wikipedia
Flag and coat of arms of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta - Wikipedia
Flags and Emblems - Order of Malta official website
Sender: Mihnea Răducu
Sent from The Headquarter of SMOM (Rome / Italy), on 08.07.2016