The Order of St. John is first and foremost an Order of Knighthood.
Although in the 21st Century it is best known by its focus: the care of the sick and the poor through humanitarian and charitable actions of its members, it is not a club or a civic organization that one can join.
A person invited to membership in the Order of St. John 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 of Aspirancy, which is typically a six-month period that involves the candidate in learning about the work of the International Order, the Grand Priory of Australasia, and Priory.
During this time, a candidate is able to examine the work of the Order and the Order examines the background and dedication of the prospective Aspirant.
At the end of this period and following the mutual decision to extend and to accept the accolade, the candidate is invested in to the Order and as a Knight or Dame of Honour, a Serving Sister or Serving Brother in a Solemn Ceremony of Investiture.
The Order provides that each Priory should judge the qualifications of the candidates who may be proposed in a manner consistent with the mandates contained in Order’s Charter and Constitution.
The basic qualifications of membership are further illuminated in the Priory’s and Commandery’s standard operating procedures as:
A person formally baptized into a Christian faith community;
A person of excellent character and reputation;
A person who is well-known within the community as a person of charity;
A person who has attained the age of 23;