The Order of St. John referred to by the acronym OSJ is first and foremost an Order of Knighthood

Within the OSJ, membership is not acquired by application as in a club or a civic organization. A person is invited  to accept the accolade of knighthood because he or she has already demonstrated a life’s commitment to the Christian faith and to the care of the sick and poor.

Candidates for knighthood are first invited by two existing members of the Order who serve as guarantors and as orientation guides through the candidate’s period as a Donat, which involves the candidate in learning about the foremost aim of the Order.

At the end of this period and following the mutual decision to extend and to accept the accolade, the candidate is inducted as an Aspirant to the Order and prepares to receive full membership in the Order of St. John as a Knight or Dame of Honour in a Solemn Ceremony of Investiture.

The basic qualifications of membership are:

  • formally baptized into a Christian faith community;

  • of excellent character and reputation;

  • well-known within the community as a person of charity;

  • promises to continue their humanitarian and charitable work, caring for the sick and poor, in concert with their brothers and sisters in St. John;

  • personally known for at least two years by at least two current members in good standing for three consecutive years with the Order;

  • resides within the jurisdiction or specified boundaries of the sponsoring unit as specified by the Priory or Grand Priory;

  • attained the age of 23.