Knights of the Maccabees

St. Boniface Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois

The metal marker above marks the grave of a member of The Knights of the Maccabees of the World (KOTM OTW).  The marker displays a circle within a circle, with a tent in the inner circle.  The term “tent” signified the post or lodge.

The marker below marks the grave of a member of The Knights of the Maccabees which was formed in 1878 in London, Ontario, Canada. The Knights of the Maccabees was a fraternal organization that provided low-cost insurance to members, as well as, funeral expenses.

The Maccabees of the World was a related but separate organization which merged with The Knights of the Maccabees in 1914 under a shortened title, the Maccabees.  The organization takes its name from the Jewish leader and military genius, Judas Maccabeau, who led his tribe in revolt against Antiochus IV of Syria in the second century B.C.  The founding members of the organization admired Maccabeau’s qualities of steadfastness and perserverence, as well as, his admonition to his soldiers to reserve some of their spoils to be used on behalf of the widows and children of their fallen comrades.

Lakeside Cemetery, Erie, Pennsylvania

The the markers above and below have similar designs, both with a cross in the center of a circle with a cross surrounded by the Latin phrase, in hoc signo vinces, meaning “in this sign you will conquer” which was derived from Constantine I who used the phrase “in this, win” as a motto.

The early Christians adopted it as a symbol consisting of a monogram composed of the Greek letters chi (X) and rho (P), the first two letters in the name Christ. “In later periods the christogram “IHS” both stood for the first three letters of “Jesus” in Latinized Greek and “in hoc signo” from the legend.”

New Oxford Cemetery, New Oxford, Pennsylvania

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