What is our purpose?

Written by Communications

May 08, 2024

The Lieutenancy of England & Wales was established in 1954. This year we celebrate our 70th anniversary.

Over the course of the next few months we will publish a series of articles about Our Order, its members and the work that we do.

In this brief post we outline the purpose of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and what it entails to be a member.

The Order’s Provenance and Status Today

The origins of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre is somewhat obscure and by way of tradition they can be traced back to the First Crusade.

The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem has always benefited from the protection of the Popes who, over the centuries, have reorganized it, augmenting and enriching its privileges.

In 1996 Pope John Paull II made the Order a legal canonical and public personality, constituted by the Holy See under Canon Law 312, paragraph 1:1

The Order’s importance as a part of the life of the Catholic Church

The following purpose and aims of the Order clearly outline the role it plays in the Catholic Church, and by extension the role each of its members plays.

The Order’s Purpose and Aims are:

• To strengthen in its members the practice of Christian life, in absolute fidelity to the Supreme Pontiff and according to the teachings of the Church, observing as its foundation the principles of charity which make the Order a fundamental means of assistance to the Holy Land;

• To sustain and aid the charitable, cultural and social works and institutions of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, particularly those of and in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, with which the Order maintains traditional ties;

• To support the preservation and propagation of the Faith in those lands, and promote interest in this work not only among Catholics scattered throughout the world, who are united in charity by the symbol of the Order, but also among all other Christians;

• To uphold the rights of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.

The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem is the only lay institution of the Vatican State charged with the task of providing for the needs of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and of all the activities and initiatives to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land. The contributions made by its members are therefore the Patriarchal institutions’ main source of funding.

What it means to be a Member of the Order

Joining the Order is a lifelong commitment. “The purpose of joining the Order is to serve the Catholic Church and to carry out acts of charity to make the operations to maintain the Christian presence in the Holy Land possible. The purpose of joining the Order is not to become a member of a prestigious organisation in order to boast of one’s status or acquire personal benefits and advantages.

From: History – Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem – Vatican.va


Do you want to know more?

To find out more about our Order download our leaflet here.

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