What is the story about the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine?
I ask because the name reminds me of Orthodoxy.
It is an order of the Royal Arch of York Rite Freemasonry. The Masonic Dictionary
This Order of Masonic Knighthood is based upon Trinitarian Christianity and was traditionally founded by Constantine the Great after the Battle of Saxa Ruba in 312 AD. [But] no direct connection can be made with that legendary Order
A belief in the "Christian Trinity in Unity" is required to join, but other Masonic orders allow anyone who believes in a god to join. The ritual to join is online, and it focuses on the cross Constantine envisioned (http://www.stichtingargus.nl/vrijmetselarij/ovorcc_r1.html
). For what it's worth, it doesn't say what the Trinity is.
Wikipedia shows these medals for its 3 ranks:
I read that Templars also used a red cross, and their slogan was "In hoc signo vinces (in this sign you will conquer)", which is what the letters on the medal stand for. Note that there is also a common Western Christian motto I.H.S., which is the Jesuits' abbreviation. Perhaps this may be the motive for using the initials I.H.S.V.
J.S. Ward's Handbook says it contains a reference to the Roman College of Architects, which he says the Comacine Masons descend from. But do the builders of European castles really go all the way back to Rome? He adds: "This is the only degree in English Freemasonry, of which i am aware, which does endeavour to give the meaning of the Craft and Arch."http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/masonry/The_Higher_Degrees_Handbook.pdf
A Masonic website describes 15th cent. Goldschmidt Tarot cards, commenting that the Sun card "has the emblem of the MWGM (Most Worshipful Grandmaster) over a cross of Constantine with three symbolic green hills with M A and C upon them, all on a chequered pavement."http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/Tarot_Cards_Masonic.htm
One publication says:
The Imperial Ecclesiastical and Military Order of the Knights of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine, now the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, was 'revived' by Little in 1865 when he was only twenty-six years old. The Order achieved an immediate popularity. Between May 1865 and September 1871 sixty-two Conclaves were chartered. The anonymous author of a pamphlet recently published under the authority of the Order's Grand Imperial Conclave in London refuted Little's proposition that he had resuscitated an Order with a lengthy previous history.
In 1866, the year after he 'revived' the Knights of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine, Little founded the Rosicrucian [Rose Cross] Society of England