We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,685 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD

Certain religious and secular confraternities that arose during the Middle Ages. Religious (regular) orders of knighthood were brotherhoods that combined the insignia of knighthood with the privileges of monks, and received this recognition from both Church and State. Of these the first were purely military such as the Knights Templars, Orders of Christ, Montesa, Aviz, Calatrava, and Alcántara. Second were military and hospitaler, as the Knights of Malta, Knights of Rhodes, the Teutonic Order, and the Order of St. James of Compostela. A third group was purely hospitaler, e.g., Orders of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, of the Holy Ghost, and Our Lady of Ransom. Among lesser regular orders, the Knights of Livonia were the most important. Secular orders were fraternities of lay knights patterned on the regular orders of knighthood. In Great Britain they are all now Protestant, including the Orders of Bath, Garter, and Thistle as well as St. Patrick, St. Michael, and St. George. In Austria and Spain there is the Order of the Golden Fleece, and in Piedmont the Order of the Annunziata. there are many modern religious or fraternal organizations whose titles denote knighthood, such as the Knights of Columbus, Knights of St. John, Knights of the Cross, Knights of Father Mathew, and Knights of the Blessed Sacrament. Pontifical knighthoods are honors conferred by the papal court on laymen who are of irreproachable character, who have promoted the welfare of society, the Church, and the Holy See. These decorations are bestowed by motu proprio and forwarded by the Secretary of State, or when petitioned by a bishop expedited through his chancery. The papal orders of knighthood are: 1. Supreme Order of Christ; 2. Order of Pius IX; 3. Order of St. gregory the Great; 4. Order of St. Sylvester; 5. Order of the Golden Militia or Spur; 6. Order of the Holy Sepulcher. The last may be conferred on clerics and women.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21