In the sign of the cross, each brother eternally bounds to the Order. The black cross on the white ground is for us a symbol of Christ’s victory over the powers of darkness and death. “Far be it from us to praise ourselves in anything but the Cross of our Lord.
In Lord we found salvation, resurrection and life; with him, we are redeemed and freed” (Initial verse Feast of the Cross; cf. Gal 6,14). Under this sign of God’s love we will help people and lead them to Christ. The Cross shall be our power and strength in life, our comfort and confidence in death, our honour and glory for eternity.
The Cross is the mark of our Order. We are coined by this seal. This is why the brothers who took the perpetual vow wear it on a white mantle, and the brothers who took a temporary vow wear it on the black mantle. The brothers bear the Cross of the Order as sign for having taken the vows.
Under the sign of the Cross we set out to help people and lead them to Christ. In such a manner, suffering can be the most powerful weapon, the shining expiation of reality in a disregarded life.
Rules of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary’s house in Jerusalem, No. 63 - 66