Saturday, October 11, 2014

Insignia of the Ordo Equestris Sancti Sepulcri Hierosolymitani

An Ecclesiastical Order of Knighthood.

The only Order of Chivalry under the protection of the Holy See.

Membership is considered one of the highest honors conferred upon clergy and laity alike.

The Order was established in AD 1099 by Godfrey de Bouillon, leader of the First Crusade.  He called for members from among his knights to spend their lives guarding the newly liberated tomb of Christ in Jerusalem.   

In addition to being a great honor, membership carries with it certain spiritual and temporal responsibilities first among them being daily prayer for peace in the Holy Land.  The Holy See has given the Order the two-fold modern day mission of fostering the practice of the Christian life in the modern world, and, the preservation of the faith in the Holy Land. 


  1. I'm one myself, just got invested last week. Malta is also protected by the Holy See.

  2. The Order of Malta is an independent sovereign Order of Knighthood. It is not under the protection of the Holy See. The members of the Order who are professed religious fall under the supervision of the Congregation for Consecrated Life because they are vowed religious. But, the Order itself is sovereign and independent. The Order sends an Ambassador to the Holy See and the Holy See reciprocates. Malta sends ambassadors to several countries and is recognised as a sovereign entity. But, unlike the Order of the Holy Sepulcher it is not a juridical personality in Canon Law nor is its seat at the Vatican as is the Holy Sepulcher. It is not under the protection of the Holy See and the pope is not sovereign of the Order of Malta as is the case with Sepulcher. Both Orders are restricted to Catholics. But each is very different in its character and in its relationship to the Holy See.
    Both Orders are high honors but a knighthood from Malta comes from the Grand Master of Malta who is a sovereign prince and a recoginsed "fount of honors". A Holy Sepulcher knighthood comes from their Cardinal Grand Master but each knighthood is further approved by the Secretariat of State in the pope's name.
    Both Orders do good work. Thank God for them and for their members.