Statuto – English Version
Count Federico Abbate de Castello Orleans, Prince and Grand Master General of the Military Order of S. Bridget of Sweden:
– seeing the art. 52 of the statute in force dated October 8 1974
– Listening to the proposals of the Council of the Order
– Founding it necessary to make some changes to the statutes that do not alter in any way purposes, traditions, structure, belief and rules, which are those wanted by the founder in 1367;
– Respecting the spirit, substance and forms of earlier drafts of the statutes;
– By virtue of our Supreme Magistral Authority
the following Statute of the Military Order of the Holy Saviour and St. Bridget of Sweden fully replaces, while fully preserving the spirit and form, the one promulgated on 8 October 1974 with subsequent modifications and integrations and becomes effective today, February 1, 2010
signed count Federico Abbate de Castello Orléans
GENERAL AND OBJECTIVES OF THE ORDER
The Military Order of the Most Holy Saviour of St. Bridget of Sweden is a noble chivalry international institution founded on religious, humanitarian and welfare purposes, it retains a traditional Pan-American character in homage to the great Eloy Alfaro, an apostle of democracy and martyr of freedom, the first Grand Honorary Master of the Order, and is placed under the High Patronage of the Heads of State “pro tempore” of the Republic of Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, who are also Generals and Honorary Grand Masters “in perpetuo”.
The Order pursues the following purposes:
1 – defence and propagation of the Catholic Faith all over the world;
2 – propaganda of the cult of St. Bridget of Sweden, founder and Patron of the Order;
3 – propaganda and action for the meeting of all the Christian Churches under the guidance of the Roman Pontiff;
4 – propaganda and action for the realization of universal peace and brotherhood among all peoples;
5 – care of the Catholic Missions, widows, orphans, the sick and needy in all parts of the world.
The Order, re-enacted again in1859 by my grandfather of blessed memory, Count Vincenzo Abbate de Castello Orleans senior, with the accession of the last ruler of the kingdom of the Two Scillies, Francis II of Bourbon, is the legitimate and historical continuation of that new knightly order founded by St. Bridget of Sweden in 1366, approved by Pope Urbano V in 1367, confirmed by the Pope himself in Montefiascone in October 5, 1370 and never abolished.
Its full legitimacy, as dynastic rather than national Order, was finally recognized by the Supreme Court of Cassation of the Italian Republic with the sentence n. 1624 June 23, 1959. As such, the Order’s highest honour refer to the strict observance of the knightly rules of the Old Militia members not to lapse into a stupor of time the sacred heart that inspired the ancients “Equites Bricciani” true champions of the Militia of Christ and the Church.
Patron and Protector of the Order is St Bridget of Sweden; we celebrate Her anniversary on October 8.
The arms of the Order are: the golden Cross bifurcated in blue, in the lower leg is attached to a red flame, a symbol of faith and Christian charity. The shield is surrounded by the Supreme Grand Collar of the Order with the Cross surmounted by a crown and a military trophy.
The standard of the Order is white, indicating purity of purpose, with the blue Cross, which affirm the infinite greatness of God, with the red flame to the lower leg, symbol of the ardent faith of the knights.
Each National chapter has a standard like the officer of the Order one.
The Order notes its ritual and ceremonial observed at the meetings and feasts.
Structure of the Order
The members of the Order are divided into four categories:
1 – Category of Justice
2 – Category of Magistral Grace
3 – Category of Merit
4 – Category of Honour
The members belonging to the category of Justice are divided into eight classes
1 – Knights of the Supreme Grand Collar
2 – Knights Grand Cross with Collar
3 – Bailiff Grand Cross of Justice
4 – Knights Grand Cross of Justice
5 – Knights Great Officer of Justice
6 – Knights Commanders of Justice
7 – Knights Officers of Justice
8 – Knights of Justice
Members belonging to the category of Magistral Grace are divided into six classes:
1 – Bali Grand Cross of Magistral Grace
2 – Knight Grand Cross of Magistral Grace
3 – Knights Grand Officer of Magistral Grace
4 – Commanders Knights of Magistral Grace
5 – Knights of Magistral Grace Officers
6 – Knights of Magistral Grace
The members of the category of substance can be divided into five classes
1 – Knights Grand Cross of merit
2 – Knights Grand Officer responsible
3 – Knights Commanders of merit
4 – Knights Officers responsible
5 – Knights of merit
The members of the class of Honour are divided into seven classes
1 – Knights of the Supreme Grand Collar of Honour
2 – Knights Grand Cross with Collar of Honour
3 – Knights Grand Cross of Honour
4 – Great officer Knights of Honour
5 – Knights Commanders of Honour
6 – Official Knights of Honour
7 – Knights of Honour
Also Women are acceptable in the Order with the title of Dame. Thanks to the possession of the requirements prescribed by this Statute for the Knights, and because it requires the female line, Dames join the Order in all categories, in the allowed classes
Ladies of the category of Justice is divided into five classes:
1 – Dame Grand Collar of the Supreme
2 – Dame Grand Cross with Collar
3 – Dame Grand Cross of Justice
4 – Dame of Commander with Badge of Justice
5 – Dame Commander Justice
6 – Dame of Justice
Dame of Magistral Grace of the category are divided into four classes
1 – Dame Grand Cross of Magistral Grace
2 – Dame of Commander with Badge of Magistral Grace
3 – Commander Dame of Magistral Grace
4 – Dame of Magistral Grace
The Dames belonging to the category of substance can be divided into four classes
1 – Dames Grand Cross of merit
2 – Dames Commanders with Badge of merit
3 – Dames Commanders of merit
4 – Dames of merit
The Dames of honour in the category are divided into six classes:
1 – Dames Grand Collar of the Supreme honour
2 – Dames Grand Cross with Collar of honour
3 – Dames Grand Cross of Honour
4 – Dames Commanders with Badge of Honour
5 – Dames Commander of Honour
6 – Dames of Honour
The Knights of the Grand Collar of the Supreme are chosen exclusively by the Heads of State; the Prince and Grand Master General is Supreme Knight of the Grand Collar de jure.
The Knights Grand Cross with Collar are chosen among the Princes of Sovereign Houses, the Cardinals and the Heads of Government with particular merit. The General Lieutenant, the members of the Supreme Council, the Lieutenants of the various nations, the Governors of Provinces of the Order, and persons of high rank are exceptionally honoured to hold this high distinction, on particular merit, with “motu proprio” of the Prince and General Grand Master.
As a rule, the General Lieutenant and Lieutenants of the various nations are of the rank of Balì Grand Cross; the rank of Balì can be given also to the Governors of provinces that are already awarded of the Grand Cross.
The Balì Grand Cross and the Knights Grand Cross of Magistral Grace may be appointed Knights of Grand Cross with Collar for exceptional service rendered to the Order.
The granting of the Supreme Grand Collar of the Order is limited to 72 knights, in memory of the 72 Disciples of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The number of appointments in the high ranks is unlimited.
To ensure the perpetuity of the Order, the ranks Knight Commander and those of Knight of Justice and of Magistral Grace may be hereditary. The heirs join the Order in the category and grade inherited as long as they make a request to the Prince and Grand Master General and be eligible by the requirements for acceptance into the Knightly Institution.
The children may be received into the Order of the Knights at the age of 10 years as a “pageboy” and from 14 to 18 years as a “squire.”
Admission into the Order
All persons professing the Divinity of Christ, which are distinguished by special moral qualities and renown in the Order itself, are willing to pursue the goals with absolute respect and at the same absolute loyalty of the Statutes and the provisions of the Prince and Grand Master General of the Order may be admitted into the Order.
Candidates who are in possession of the nobility paternal and maternal can be accepted into the category of Justice; candidates who belong to families of nobility newer or that are not in possession of all requirements for the category of justice, but who have played or have important positions in public life, or whose activities carried out in the political, military, religious, professional, artistic, industrial or business is of such importance as to make it worthy to be received into the Order can be admitted in the category of Magistral Grace; the candidates who have not meet the above requirements, those who possess the qualities of moral, civil and religious indispensable to belong to the Order, to which they have acquired special merits are accepted in category of substance; in the category of honour can be accepted non-Catholic candidates, but not anti-Catholic bias, in possession of exceptional merit in the political, cultural and humanitarian fields.
The rank of Knight of Supreme Grand Collar of the honour is allowed only for non-Catholics heads of State and that of Knight of Grand Cross with Collar of honour to the Princes of Sovereign Houses and non-Catholics Heads of Government.
Candidates who wish to join the Order, must declare to know the statutes and comply with their provisions while submitting the application to SA Prince and Grand Master General of the Order.
The application shall be accompanied by the following documents:
1 – birth certificate
2 – certificate of baptism
3 – whether the marriage certificate (if any)
4 – general certificate of criminal records
5 – Certificate of Good Conduct
6 – three passport size photographs
7 – Parish’s certificate
For candidates who aspire to admission into the category of Justice must also submit all the documents proving the nobility.
To the application form has to be attached an offering for charities, maintenance and propaganda of Chivalry Institution.
Applications should be addressed to SA The Prince and Grand Master General, through the structures of the Order, which may, in exceptional cases, grant exemption from submission of the documents referred to in the preceding article.
Dressing and profession of knights and dames
Knights and Dames of the categories of Justice, Magistral Grace and Merit, after admission into the Order, are required to ask the Prince and the Grand Master General the ritual of the solemn investiture.
Knights and Dames who have not complied with this requirement will not participate in the working life of the Order or achieve further promotions, while retaining rank, and prerogatives at a personal level; they will be regarded as members admitted to the Order, though obliged to observe faithfully the Statutes, in the common spirit of obedience to the Order and its dignitaries, to maintain good civil and religious moral, to defend in every way the Catholic faith and to lend themselves to all works of charity towards our neighbour.
The investiture is the solemn imposition of grey cruciform mantel of Saint Bridget, in the oath of allegiance to the Prince and Grand Master General and in the acceptance of the Statutes of Knightly Institution and may also be followed immediately by the profession of faith, which takes place at will and request of the Knights and Dames.
The profession of faith determines the imposition of the scapular with the arms of the Order to the Knight or the Dame who has delivered the votes in accordance with the ritual.
The Induction ceremony is performed by S.A. the Prince and by the Grand Master General or by a duly agent authorized in writing
Vows are perpetual and will not be renewed. The dissolution from them, for serious reasons, is granted only by Grand Prior of the Order.
The Ceremony of the Investitures will take place in one of the churches or public oratory, semi-private or private of the Order. For the Ceremony has to be followed the rules set out in the ritual of the Order.
Even the Ecclesiastical Knights, although they are exempted, may request to submit to the solemn profession for the edification of the other fellow Knights.
Ecclesiastical Knights are Order Chaplains by law; Prelates have the title of Major Chaplain. Both the others have the right to wear a grey mozzetta (poppy) lined with blue silk with the cross of the Order on the left side.
DUTIES OF THE KNIGHTS AND THE DAME
All Knights and Dames of the Order, in addition to the duties provided in Title IV, Art. 24 of this Statute, are required to say every day a Lord’s Prayer, a Hail Mary and a Glory to the honour and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and in honour of St. Bridget of Sweden and a De Profundis for the repose of the souls of all Knights and Dames.
ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION ORDER
The Supreme Head of the is, by hereditary right, the legitimate heir and descendant of Count Vincenzo Abbate de Castello Orleans, restorer of the Order in 1859.
He takes the lifelong echelon of Prince and Grand Master General of the Order, with all the prerogatives and treatments due to the rank itself.
The Prince and Grand Master General is Supreme Knight of the Grand Collar by law.
The legitimate successor, if unable to attend, may appoint a Grand Master Regent determining the duration; the Regent can’t change the Statute.
The Grand Master, in exceptional cases and by special decree may suspend the activities of the Order of the offices for a specified lapse of time.
The Prince and Grand Master General in the event of withdrawal from the Grand Magisterium appoints himself a Grand Master regent, even outside the family Abbate de Castello Orleans, it being understood the following law of inheritance mentioned in the paragraph one of this article (also in this circumstance, the Regent can not change the statute). In case of death of the Regent, the Grand Master who renounces may choose to appoint another Regent or take on the rank.
In the absence of legitimate heirs of the Highest Office of the Order until the 4th degree, the Supreme Council, on the death of the Prince and Grand Master General, assumes full powers and delegate them to the Lieutenant General and, within three months, will appoint the new Head of the Order, which will be chosen among the Knights of the Supreme Grand Collar and those of the Grand Cross with Collar.
The Supreme Head of the Order, the Prince and Grand Master General, directs and manages the Order in accordance with the cooperation of the Statutes of the Supreme Council of the General Chapter of the dignitaries, officers and employees of the Order. the admission of candidates into the Order, the appointments and promotions in various grades and any other decision concerning the Knightly institution depends on its approval.
The High Order Patrons are Grand Masters by law and may confer honorary appointments and promotions in the Order, giving participation to the Prince and Grand Master General, to persons belonging to the States which are respectively Heads.
The Prince and Grand Master General approves and promulgates the decisions of the Supreme Council and the General Chapter. No decree is valid and enforceable if it doesn’t bring the Prince and Grand Master General signature and the Seal of the Order.
The Lieutenant General and Lieutenants for Europe, the Americas and Africa can be delegated, in exceptional cases, by the Prince and Grand Master General to sign the decrees on the admissions in the Order.
The Grand Master issues an appropriate decree in this regard.
The Prince and Grand Master General appoints a Lieutenant General to be assisted in the management and administration of the Order and to be replaced in his absence. He is, after the Grand Master, the highest dignitary of the Order, when existing one is designated the legitimate heir to the office of Grand Master.
He takes part to Ceremonies and meetings of the Supreme Council and the General Chapter, sitting on the right of the Grand Master. Prolonged absence of these, with a proxy, it completely replaces the Prince and Grand Master General and its decisions can not be lifted at the beginning is the General Grand Master.
The Supreme Council, purely consultative body, gives its opinion on the admission of candidates on the establishment of works of the Order and about all the issues brought by the Grand Master or the Lieutenant General.
The meetings of the Grand Council shall be established and convened by the Prince and Grand Master General or, in his absence, by the Lieutenant General. The decisions are not valid if the meeting was not presided over by the Grand Master or other dignitary of the Order expressly delegated by decree.
The Supreme Council consists of ten dignitaries in addition to the Head of the Order, appointed to their respective offices by the Grand Master with a two year renewable term by a special decree. The same ranks can be also assumed by the Dames of Grand Cross
1 – Lieutenant General
2 – The Great Legal
3 – The Chancellor
4 – The Grand National
5 – The Grand Prior
6 – The Grand Treasurer
7 – The Grand Master of Ceremonies
8 – The General Master of Novices
9 – The Grand Gonfaloner
10 – The Grand Secretary
Each high dignitary has specific functions, which are:
1 – The Lieutenant General represents and substitutes, if unable to attend, the Prince and Grand Master General, and he is the Vicar General of the Grand Magisterium for all practical purposes. The legitimate heir of the house of the Counts Abbate de Castello Orleans, when becomes twenty-sixth, can be Lieutenant-General by law.
2 – The Great Legal is responsible for internal discipline of the Order. He advises and assists the Prince and Grand Master General or Lieutenant General in their functions and ensure the organization of meetings of the Supreme Council. He’s the highest dignitary after the Grand Master and the Lieutenant General.
3 – The Great Chancellor has the custody of the Seal of the Order and puts his countersignature to the decrees, has also looks after the relations with foreign states.
4 – The Great Judge shall supervise the strict observance of the Statutes and Regulations of the Order. He must be aware of any issues that may arise between the Institutions and Members of the Order, trying to reconcile them. He controls the activity of the subordinate Institutions and submit to the Prince and Grand Master General his comments about, and then update the Institutions with the decisions of the Head of the Order.
5 – the Grand Prior, a high dignitary of the Church Hierarchy, oversees the spiritual life of the Order, supervise the faithful observance of the requirements of the Church and promotes the religious ceremonies of the Order. He represents the Order in its relations with the Holy See, and he keeps in touch with all of the Priori of the foreign Chapters, supervising their activities. He is also supported by a Grand Prior added, which is chosen as the Grand Prior iol, among the Excellent Archbishops or Bishops belonging to the Order;
6 – Grand Treasurer has the consignment of the Order’s treasure, collect admission fees and voluntary donations for charities, support and propaganda and make payments by written provision of the Grand Master. He is responsible to the Head of the Order of all administrative activities accounting;
7 – Grand Master of Ceremonies is responsible for the organization and direction of all ceremonies, demonstrations and assemblies and take charge of the Diplomatic Protocol of the Order, by supervising the reception of Heads of State, government members, etc..,
8 – the Master General of Novices guide and assist the new Knights and Dames in the first two years of their admission into the Order, directing them along the paths of perfection;
9 – the Great Gonfaloner has over the Banner of the Order. Oversees the propaganda in favour of works and institutions of the Order;
10 – The Grand Secretary shall supervise all correspondence, to Secretaryship, attend meetings, assemblies, etc.., by preparing the minutes.
Components of the Supreme Council of the Order, both actual and added, are legal Knights of Grand Cross. They are part of the Supreme Council of the hereditary Grand Priors of the Order by law, namely the descendants of the Knights appointed to that office in 1859.
The High Dignitaries of the Order who give over the rank retain the title “ad honorem”. In the Order of precedence they are following the High Dignitaries and members of the Order.
All magistral measures are reported in special books kept by the Grand Secretary. Such measures shall be signed by the Grand Master and countersigned by the Great Chancellor or by the Great Secretary.
These books represent the historical files of the Order.
The General Chapter of the Order is called by the Grand Master or the Lieutenant-General, if delegated, to hear reports of the Supreme Council about the management of the Order and to give its vote and comments,
The General Chapter is chaired by the Grand Master and, if unable to attend, by the Lieutenant General.
It consists of all the Dignitaries and at least one third of the members of the Order belonging to the state in which the General Chapter takes place.
The Chapters founded in other States may send three delegates chosen by their respective Lieutenants.
The members of the Order of the same nationality are grouped in National Chapters, constituting a Province or Lieutenancy of the Order. The Head of it and its Chapter is a Master with the title of Lieutenant, and the degree of Grand Cross.
He takes care of the affairs of the Order in his province, presides over meetings and ceremonies, and is attended by dignitaries who have the title of:
6. Master of Ceremonies
7. Novice master
National Chapters are divided into Sections, the head of which is chosen among the Knights Great Officers.
Sections are divided into Magistral Delegations; the head of these is a Knight Commander.
The Prince and Grand Master General may accredit a Representative to the functions of Minister Plenipotentiary at each government with which the Order maintains official relations, choosing among the Knights Grand Cross with Collar and Knights Grand Cross of Justice, or Magistral Grace.
All these Dignitaries are appointed by the Prince and Grand Master General.
The Lieutenant General (heir to the Magisterium) is rightful entitled Knight Grand Cross with Collar.
All charges, except the Lieutenant-General, must be renewed every two years by decree of the Grand Master and published in the Bulletin of the Order.
Those members who hold important ranks in other chivalry institutions are ineligible for appointments to the positions mentioned in these Statute.
Also Dames may hold these charges.
DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS AND RADIATIONS
The Grand Master may decide disciplinary sanctions and, in severe cases, the radiation of the members of the order who violated their duties of Christian Knights, or who have not honoured the oath.
The Chief Judge shall forward the request to the Supreme Council as per the evidences collected.
The accused is asked to produce their excuses
All actions against the Church and its representatives and against the Order and its Dignitaries implies radiation immediately.
The Grand Master may invite to sessions of the Supreme Council any Member of the Order by consultative vote as well as persons outside the Order on matters of a technical nature.
In the current issues, the Grand Master relies on the collaboration of an Ordinary Council which consists of seven or more members of the Order regardless of the rank covered.
The Ordinary Council shall be appointed by the Grand Master and is in charge for six months renewable.
All special charges debarre to the date of entry into force of this Statute.
The new appointments or reaffirmations will be made by special decree of the Grand Master.
The Order always retains the international and Pan-American character and enjoys functional sovereignty.
The Legal Office of the Order remains in effect in the Principality of Andorra. The Grand Master, when it thinks fit, may order the transfer, from the Office itself in any other State.
If the Grand Master did not reside in this office, he is represented by a Magistral Vicar, chosen among the knights residing there.
This constitution may be amended only by the Grand Master who is a descendant of Count Vincenzo Abbate de Castello Orleans senior restorer of the Order in 1859.
This Statute is force since today and will be published in different languages in all branches of the Lieutenancy, Sections and Delegations masterful Order by respective aides, principals, and Delegates.
See Grand Master from them February 1st 2010
Signed: Count Federico Abbate de Castello Orleans