Campaign of the Month: May 2021
Baghdad on the Bayou
Malchus, The fourth Sword of the Cross
After the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea recovered the nails from the cross, two from his hands, and two from his feet. Those nails were divided among the apostles, who decided that they needed to prepare for Christ’s return by preparing for war. Peter was the first to forge his nail into his sword. Over the years, the other nails each were welded into a weapon. These swords were carefully guarded by the Church and entrusted to four different organizations. They represented the cornerstones of the four cardinal virtues: Justice, Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude. Peter’s sword—the Sword of Justice, was nicknamed Malchus, after the solider whose ear Peter severed. That sword eventually landed in the hands of the Templar Knights to protect.
After the Knights were disbanded, the sword disappeared with its guardian. The Catholic Church, only able to account for three nails in the Swords of the Cross, pressured artists of the thirteenth century to represent the crucifixion with only three nails. The virtues associated with the remaining nails were reassigned to honor the words of Paul in 1st Corinthians 13:13: Faith, Hope, and Love. This effort to revise history came to be known as Triclavianism.
To this day, even the most faithful Knights of the Cross, do not recognize Malchus, the sword of Justice, as one of the Swords of the Cross.