Established in 1888 by Queen Victoria, the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem is a working order of charitably minded men and women whose philanthropy is expressed principally through its two foundations, the St. John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem and St. John Ambulance. The Order traces its origins to the Knights Hospitaller, of the Crusades, who served the Abbey of St. Mary’s small hospital for sick pilgrims in Jerusalem in the 12th century. The Order was brought into the Canadian Honours System in 1990. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the Order’s Sovereign.
St. John Ambulance
St. John Ambulance Canada is a charitable organization whose mission is to enable Canadians to improve their health, safety and quality of life, by providing training and community service. In addition, the organization supports the Hospital of St. John in Jerusalem by providing for the services of a surgeon, and by supplying optical equipment and funds for special projects.
Levels in the Order are:
- Bailiff Grand Cross or Dame;
- Knight or Dame;
- Officer; and
- Serving Member.
Description of the insignia
The insignia for all grades of the Order consists of a Maltese cross, embellished alternately in each of its principal angles with a lion and a unicorn. The four arms of the cross symbolize the virtues of Prudence, Temperance, Justice and Fortitude.
For more information, please visit: www.sja.ca and www.orderofstjohn.org.