Red Cross of Constantine

This worldwide Order is known more fully by the title The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the appendant Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of St. John the Evangelist and is open to Royal Arch Masons professing a belief in the Christian Trinitarian Faith.


The Rancliffe Charter founding the order dates from 1796 and the Grand Imperial Conclave from 1865 and it uses the Constantinian legend and subsequent conversion of the Pagan Empire as an object lesson in the acquisition and confirmation of faith and Christianity as the basis of Masonry.


The legend holds that Constantine’s conversion to Christianity was the result of a vision on the eve of battle in which he saw a Cross in the sky, inscribed with certain letters. Constantine was said to have instructed the Christian soldiers to place a Red Cross on their shields and subsequently he caused a standard to be made showing the first two Greek letters of the name of Christ superimposed. After the battle, Constantine is said to have formed a Conclave of Knights from among his Christian troops and used them to replace the traditional Praetorian Guard as the personal bodyguard of the Emperor.


Constantine bravely embraced Christianity in his Pagan empire and conversion spread apace to become the sole religion.


This Order is a three-part progression. The Candidate is admitted and Installed as a Knight of the Order in the first part of the first degree. The second part is conferred in the twin ceremonies of the Appendant Orders. The second degree sees the candidate acting as Viceroy to the Sovereign whose office forms the third degree of the Order. These ceremonies are amongst the finest in Masonry and are a reflection of merit and responsibility founded on a firm Christian belief.


The Order adopts no sectarian Christian position and does not seek to affect personal worship. Regalia is a simple sash and jewel.



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