Coined by the Cross of the Redeemer, which is also the mark of the Order, the congregation put itself completely under the protection of Mary, the mother of God, following its true origin. Saint Elisabeth of Hungary remains its shining example in terms of unselfish help for those in need for the sake of Christ. Saint George, the faithful martyr, lights them their way in the courageous efforts for the Christian faith.
The foundation of our Order gave responses to concrete necessities of the place and the time. Ever since its beginnings, it is an ideal of the Order to serve those in need for Christ’s sake with unconditional love. In the increasingly powerful misery of the time, the Order was assigned the additional task of protecting the Christian faith against the enemies of Christ. This inspiration, which was part of the small and initially time-influenced beginning of the Order, proved to be a response to a call of God to the people who – following Christ - are prepared to reply to concrete desperate situations in the Church and the world.
The Apostolic See awarded the Order with the exemption back then in acknowledging the Order's efforts, which it confirms now and again. The Order preserved the privilege of the direct submission to the Chair of Peter until today. We owe obedience to the Holy Father as highest Superior, also by virtue of the vow.
The German Order today acts charitably in nursing the ill, the old, the poor and the needy in the ever changing forms of social care, in works of Christian upbringing and education for children, juveniles and adults. The Order's efforts for the kingdom of Christ is no longer the temporary battle with the sword, but - according to the sound tradition of the Order - rather the fight in the mental dispute, the protection of the defenceless, the pastoral care of people. This is why also today the Order dedicates itself to the protection and creation of the Kingdom of God, serving the universal church and the local churches.
Brothers, sisters and associates strive for this goal in close cooperation. They are thus followers of Christ in order to participate in His work of salvation.
Rules of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary’s house in Jerusalem, No. 3 - 7.