- Based on the legend of Xerxes.
- Founded in in the late 19th Century in Canada.
- Recognized by Sovereign Grand Lodge as the “Playground of Odd Fellowship” in 1950.
- Sanctorums operating in the US and Canada (and growing!)
It is said that Xerxes, a haughty Persian king, who ruled in 456 B.A., while wandering unattended through his royal domain, met one of his subjects, who according to custom prostrated himself on the earth with his head in his hands. On being commanded to rise, the humble subject told the king that there would be imparted to him a secret of incalculable value. The King complied and was instructed. From that day onward the King’s insufferable pride and haughty manner disappeared and he became more concerned over humanity. From this unique story we believe that our illustrious Order of today originated.
In the Spring of 1901 several far-seeing members felt there should be a governing body, to be known as the Supreme Orient, to perform functions usual to grand bodies. It was also deemed advisable to add a higher or a Grand Lodge Degree. The suggestion met with unanimous approval and Abner Fraser was asked to draft the new ritual. The name of the order was changed to the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection. All were obligated in the new degree, the members being designated as Sheiks. John A. MacDonald became the first Supreme Monarchos, and Abner Fraser was elected as Supreme Clericus.
Some of the controlling authorities of the Odd Fellows did not approve of the conduct displayed by members of the Order and did everything they could to stop then. Others objected because it was not a recognized body under the Sovereign Grand Lodge. One authority of the I.O.O.F. threatened to have those taking part in the Fun Orders expelled from Odd Fellows if they continued with the institution of the Supreme Orient! Despite the controversy, the installation was held on August 13th of 1901. Three Canadian Sanctorums were present, Xerxes Sanctorum No. 1 of Toronto, Yezidee Sanctorum No. 2 of Hamilton, and Gotno Sanctorum No. 3 of Ottowa. The occasion of the birth of the Supreme Orient was royally celebrated by a torchlight parade. Sheiks and Tribesmen wore colorful Eastern robes, and elephants, camels, and zebras were secured from a circus then playing in town.
In 1948, it was proposed that the Order request the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the IOOF to recognize the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans. The Soveregin Grand Lodge wanted A.M.O.S. to become another branch and be subject to the supervision and laws of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
But in 1950 the Soveregin Grand Lodge gave its blessings to use the words ” Playground for Odd Fellows” as the Motto of the Ancient, Mystic Order of Samaritans. Additionally the Samaritans and Sheiks would always sponsor and participate in only events that would best reflect the loyalty of the A.M.O.S. to the principals and teachings of the Independant Order of Odd Fellows of the world.
Recently there has been a great resurgence of interest in AMOS, and new Sanctorums are being chartered in various locations around the United States. AMOS also continues to support various worthy charities and non-profit organizations.