The Knights of St. John International was formed in 1873 in Buffalo, New York with the chartering of two Local Commanderies under the 2nd Regiment of Buffalo. Incorporated in 1886 under the laws of New York State the Order took as its mission: " a filial, devotion to and respect for the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, a sense of honor, love of truth, courage, respect for womanhood and a indiscriminating charity motivated by love of GOD". With the blessed worldwide spreading of the Order the Knights of St. John International encompasses 22 countries numbering over 19,000 Knights.
Uniformed and Non-Uniformed Knights are organized under chartered Local Commanderies within a Roman Catholic parish, governed by the Knights of St. John International Constitution its own By-Laws and Robert's Rules of Order. A Local Commandery contains both a Civil Order and Military Order. The Civil Order contains all the Uniformed and Non-Uniformed Knights who elect a Board of Directors that conducts the Commandery's day to day operations such as organizing faith events, fundraising events, charitable beneficence and social events. The Military Order contains all the Uniformed Knights who are outfitted in the 1880 or 1998 Knights of St. John International uniform. The Uniformed Knights are commanded by their elected Commander and Vice Commander(s). The Commander is responsbile for training the Knights during quarterly scheduled "Schools of the Knight". During the "Schools of the Knight" a Knight will learn close order drill, formation drill and the manual of the sword. The Commander, working in close harmony with the parish pastor, will organize processional turnouts for the uniformed Knights during scheduled liturgical events.