Why should I be interested in The Masonic and Military Order of Red Cross of Constantine? The answer is simple, because it’s true. It is based on the Roman Emperor Constantine. The first Emperor to convert to Christianity. If it wasn’t for Constantine, Christianity would not exist as it does today.
We take up the history of Constantine in 312 AD when the Roman Empire was split in two, the Eastern and the Western. Constantine wanted to be Emperor of both, so, dramatically the two parts clashed.
It was on the Milvian Bridge that Constantine and Maxentius clashed with tragic consequence. The number of soldiers and the weight of their armour caused the bridge to
collapse with the loss of many hundreds of men. Withdrawing for the night to reassemble his army, looking into the night sky he was struck by a pillar of light in the shape of a cross. Seeing this as a great Omen, he ordered his men to polish their shields and prepare for battle. On the following day he defeated Maxentius and became the ruler of all the Roman Empire.
Constantine was responsible for the construction ofmany churches, the first at Byzantium, St, Peter’s Church in Rome, now the Vatican. Constantine died in 342 AD and
subsequently the Roman Empire would never be the same. In Rome, next to the Coliseum is the Constantine Arch, built to celebrate the battle of the Milivian Bridge. The Order of the Red Cross of Constantine was first organised in UK in 1780 and re-organised in 1804. During the following fifty years the Order was not very active until, in 1865, when the Grand Imperial Conclave was re-assembled and the order flourished.
In the Metropolitan Division, meeting at Mark Masons Hall, there are ten Conclaves, all very active and meeting twice or three times a year. The minimum qualification required to be a member of the Order is to be a Companion of the Royal Arch (Chapter), and to profess a belief in the Trinitarian Christian Faith.
The Order, as its title indicates, has a Military bearing, so for some members a sword is carried adding a wonderful formality to the degree. In the Red Cross, there are three degrees, the first is Knight Companion, second Venerable Eusebius and the third Most Puissant Sovereign. The so-called Appendant Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of St. John the Evangelist, are to some members the most memorable degrees they have ever received and are only conferred in well practised Conclaves.