Logo for Knights of Pythias.
Logo for Knights of Pythias.

The Knights of Pythias is a social brotherhood founded on February 19, 1864 in Washington DC. By Justuce Henry Rathbone and four others to promote the principles of friendship, charity and benevolence (FCB). It was inspired by the legend of the friendship of Damon and Pythias .

It was the first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an act of the United States Congress (approved May 5, 1870 [16 Stat. at L. 98, chap. 80]). .

The Legend of Damon and Pythias illustrates the ideals of loyalty, honor and friendship that are central to the order.

Some of the more famous Pythians have been:

The order has over two-thousand lodges in the United States and around the world, with a total membership of over 50,000 in 2003.

The Knights of Pythias sponsors a youth organization: The Junior Order, Knights of Pythias for boys.

The Pythian Sisters are an independent auxiliary who also have a youth organization: the Pythian Sunshine Girls.

Another associated organization is the Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan.

Membership requires “belief in a personal Supreme Being”.

If you are interested, call one of the contact persons listed on the individual lodge page.