Since its founding, the Order and its members have had many names. The official name of the Order of Malta's Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.
Certain abbreviations are often used for legal, diplomatic or communication such as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Sovereign Order of Malta or, most often, Order of Malta. Initially, its members were called Knights Hospitaller (or Hospitallers), Like Knights of St. John, religion and Giovannitio Gerosolimitani, referring respectively to its patron saint, in his capacity as religious brotherhood, and Jerusalem, where the Order was founded.
After the conquest of the island of Rhodes, its members became the Knights of Rhodes and after the transfer of the Maltese archipelago, the Knights of Malta.