With history dating back to 600 AD, The Grand Sovereign Dynastic Hospitaller Order of St. John presents its Knight of Merit award based on community commitment. Knighted individuals represent an organization that supports relief of human suffering as well as finding ways to enhance the moral and spiritual compass of mankind. They participate in philanthropic, humanitarian, social, and cultural initiatives that advance their ideals. The order does not take into account race or class when deciding who may receive knighthood, nor does it focus on religion.
Individuals holding the Knight of Merit distinction may wear the badge and historic eight-pointed cross of the Italian region of Amalfi. In addition, knights receive certificates representing their achievements. The document includes the official seal of the order and is signed by the hereditary princess grand master.