The creation of the Knights of St John International owes itself to the inspiration of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. In 1886, some American Roman Catholics in New York City met and decided that a living tribute should be created to commemorate the gallant Knights who had so courageously defended the Church in the medieval era. They founded an Order in the tradition of the Hospitallers by forming the "Roman Catholic Union of St. John". On May 6, 1886, the Ancient and Noble Order of the Knights of St. John was established in the United States.
Its aims and purposes is as follows:
(a) to create and foster a feeling of fraternity and fellowship among the various commanderies
(b) to improve their moral, mental and social condition
(c) to aid, assist and support members and their families in case of want, sickness and death and
(d) to promote a more generous and filial respect for the spiritual authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Order In West Africa
The Order of the Knights of St. John was introduced into the Gold Coast, now Ghana, in 1933. Through the influence of his son (Anthony Quansah of Saltpond who had met a member of the Order) Emmanuel Raphael Quansah of Saltpond applied to the supreme Commandery in the United States Of America for permission to form a Commandery in Saltpond in the Central Region of Ghana. He also approached the then Archbishop of Cape Coast, Archbishop Thomas William Porter. His Grace stipulated that they were to conduct meetings with prospective members for a period of five years while the application was being considered. At the end of the fifth year i.e. 1937, His Grace gave approval for the establishment of the Order in Saltpond.
Soon the Order of the Knights of the St. John was flourishing in many parishes in the country. The universality of the Roman Catholic Church coupled with cross border trade and movements of goods and persons facilitated the rapid expansion of the Noble Order in the West Afircan sub-region. Over a span of a short time the Order was inaugurated in Lome, Togo; Monrovia, Liberia; Enugu, Nigeria; and Freetown, Sierra Leone.