This small medal is a simple, yet stunning sterling silver Maltese Cross. It comes with an 18 in. sterling chain in a gift box. The Maltese Cross emblem dates back to the 11th century and the design of four V-shaped arms is based on crosses used since the First Crusade. The four arms represent the Cardinal Virtues, and the 8 points on the cross represent the Beatitudes.
Medal measures 5/8in. x 5/8in.
The Maltese Cross
The history of the cross dates to the 11th century and is attributed to an order of monks dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. The monks took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and ministered to the sick and weary pilgrims of all faiths who visited the Holy Land. The order selected the eight-pointed cross to represent the eight beatitudes from Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount. The four arms represent the four cardinal virtues: Prudence, Justice, Temperence and Firtitude. The cross became known as the Maltese Cross when the order relocated to the island of Malta, becoming known as the Knights of Malta. The symbol is used to represent Saint John the Baptist, and is depicted as a silver cross on a black field. Today, the Maltese Cross is also frequently used as an emblem by firefighters and as a symbol of chivalry.