Founded near Our Lord's Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem c. 1050 A. D., the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest Catholic orders. Uniquely defined as a sovereign and independent state, the Knights of Malta is a chivalric and militant Catholic brotherhood in the faithful service of God and His Church. The Hospitaller Knights strive for perfection of charity by impartial service to the sick, injured and poor; by preservation of the ancient Catholic liturgies and traditions; and by the propagation and defense of the Kingdom of Christ.