The Order of the Red Cross of Constantine
The Red Cross of Constantine is officially The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and St. John the Evangelist, the latter two of which are called the Appendant Orders. There are also two chair degrees conferred on the Viceroy and Sovereign of a Conclave, and two honorary orders: Knight Commander of Constantine and Knight Grand Cross. The governing body of the Order for the United States of America, the Republic of Mexico and the Republic of the Philippines and their territories is styled The United Grand Imperial Council of Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine and Appendant Orders for the United States of America, Mexico and the Philippines.
The purpose of the Constantinian Orders are to commemorate the first elevation of Christianity from the position of a despised and proscribed heresy to that of a legally recognized and honored religion, to cultivate the social virtues, appeal to the intellectual and moral qualities, preserve as far as possible the customs of the fraternity and bring about good fellowship and understanding between all branches of Masonry.
Knights Companions of the Order meet in Conclaves of the Red Cross of Constantine and a member must be a Royal Arch Mason in good standing and subscribe to a belief in the Christian religion as revealed in the New Testament. Membership is by invitation.
Saint Mark Conclave’s Name
In keeping with the ancient custom of the Order that Conclaves be dedicated to or bear the name of biblical Christian Saints, Saint Mark Conclave was named for Saint Mark, an Evangelist and Gospel writer.
Mark was one of the oldest Evangelists and the author of the New Testament Gospel bearing his name. John, whose surname was Mark had close acquaintance with two great apostles, Peter and John. He was minister or assistant to Paul and Barnabas and accompanied them on their early missionary journeys. A strong friendship and confidence existed between Paul and Mark, even during Paul’s weary days in prison. Mark was a great comfort to him. Paul sought after Mark as profitable to him for the Ministry. After the death of Peter and Paul, tradition affirms that Saint Mark visited Egypt, founded the Church of Alexandria, and died of Martyrdom.
The Gospel of Mark, one of the oldest of the Gospels, was written primarily for the Gentiles at Rome. Mark designed in his Gospel to present Jesus as the conquering Savior, the incarnate and wonder-working Son of God, living and teaching among men.
Little wonder that our Conclave bears the name “Saint Mark.”