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Mere pilgrims or the first members of the order?Edit

There is no record or suggestion in the order's documentation that enoblement at the tomb was regarded by the Church as nothing more than a "souvenir" which was contingent upon financial support of the Holy Sepulchre. This statement insults the many pilgrims of virtue who were admitted into the confraternity for centuries before it was elevated to the status of an order. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:06, June 24, 2006 (UTC)

Does this actually have anything to do with the First Crusade? I think it should be clearer that there was no chivalric order in 1099 and attempts to connect it that far back are wishful thinking. Adam Bishop (talk) 06:18, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
If you are asking whether the present day Order of the Holy Sepulchre relates in some fashion to the First Crusade, the answer is yes. If your question is whether it was an established Order of the Church in 1099, with a written Constitution and a formal structure, the answer is that no such documentation from that immediate era has been made available for examination by reliable sources in Jerusalem or the Vatican. Given the complicated history of the region, that's not unusual. What is undeniable is that the Order is a product of the well established Christian pilgrimage tradition that pre-dated the Crusades for over six hundred years.
The First Crusade was successful in capturing Jerusalem. Frankish knights and laymen re-constructed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which had been the focal point of pilgrimages to the Holy Land, mainly by those faithful from western Europe. Qualified male pilgrims who sought enoblement at the "tomb" located within the confines of a shelter over three of the holiest sites in Christendom, were knighted by the guardians at this site. The guardians consisted both of clergy and lay knights. That continued through the two centuries following the first Crusade whereupon the Franciscans assumed responsibility for the site. By the year 1336, under Franciscan authority repeatedly affirmed by the Pope, regular and detailed records were maintained of knights invested at the Holy Sepulchre. They can be found at the Vatican.
The comment that triggered your "wishful thinking" remark was made because a previous iteration of this article suggested the only purpose for enoblement and hence the only reason for the existence of the Holy Sepulchre Order was to generate income for the Canons of the church. That was simply not the case. As was the custom during pilgrimages in the middle ages, contributions were sought by the local clergy to support their ministries and maintain church premises. The standards for investiture in the Order may have varied over time depending upon the Lieutenant or Bailiff in charge, but the process and intent to confer knightly status was real, regulated, documented, and approved by the Pope. It was not merely a souvenir for which a monetary contribution was expected. Grandcross (talk) 03:04, 22 June 2008 (UTC)grandcross


Some anon pushed here curious list of hereditary Grandmasters of the Order. He make references to Vatican article, but his view in incorrect. In this article is: "According to accounts of the Crusades, in 1103 the first King of Jerusalem, Baldwin I, assumed the leadership of this canonical order, and reserved the right for himself and his successors (as agents of the Patriarch of Jerusalem) to appoint Knights to it, should the Patriarch be absent or unable to do so." Of course, this right to appoint knights (in case of Patriarch absentia), is not "grandmastership". In the same cited article is :"Throughout the whole period of the Latin Patriarchate’s suppression, the right to create new Knights was the prerogative of the representative of the highest Catholic authority in the Holy Land: the Custos."These custods were Franciscan friars (not monarchs). --Yopie 18:51, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

  • I agree with Yopie. I recently came across a wonder acticle (with citations) that appeared in the Equestrian Yearbook. I will try and get the documented lineage up this week. Some of it was a surprise. Royalhistorian (talk) 03:25, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Dame v LadyEdit

While usually a dame is a member of a chivalric order in her own right whereas a lady is the wife of a kinght, this is not always the case. A female member of the Order of the Garter in England or the Order of the Thistle on Scotland is a lady, not a dame. Thus, there is nothing unusual in some lieutenancies using the term lady rather than dame. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:24, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

The title of a female recipient of the Order is "Domina," which should be translated as "Dame" since she is a member of the Order and not the consort (wife) of a member of the Order. One should not compare this Order to British Orders and British usage for Orders of the British Empire, which has nothing to do with this Order. JustTryintobeJust (talk) 20:05, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

The new web site of the order,, identifies female recipients as "Ladies." The whole section on Ranks needs to be cleaned up to fit the current usage. The rank given here as "Grand Officer" is listed on the new web site as Knight Commander with Star or Lady Commander with Star. (talk) 04:21, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

A woman Invested into the Order receives the rank of Dame, what you are seeing i think is just a direct translation from the Italian version of the website (Dama). If comparing to others Orders, all Orders awarded by the pope, grant women the title of Dame when invested into their order. If the woman or Lieutenancy prefer to call their female members ladies that is up to them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chefgervasio (talkcontribs) 00:23, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

A State Order and not a Roman Catholic Order as suchEdit

Since this Order is an Order of Knighthood conferred by the Holy See as a Sovereign State, this Order should not be listed as a "Roman Catholic" order, but as "an Order of Knighthood conferred by the State of the City of the Vatican." Further, there is also an Order of Merit of this Order that is conferred upon non-Roman Catholics as well. JustTryintobeJust (talk) 20:08, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

While the Supreme Pontiff personalises its fons honorum, the order does maintain a spiritual mission and activites, well covered in the sources. It is also true that while this order like similar ones have bestowed non-Catholics themselves and its definition as "Roman Catholic" could so be deemed gradual in this aspect, I would be surprised to see convincing arguments that this would thus disqualify it altogether from the epithet. Chicbyaccident (talk) 20:41, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
It is not an Order of Merit, but a Cross of Merit. I believe that it was once instituted as an Order of Merit with the regular Knight etc grades, but it was turned into a cross of merit with 1st Class etc to avoid confusion. Jonar242 (talk) 08:27, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
If a non-Catholic is awarded the Cross of Merit, that does not grant the person membership into the Order. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chefgervasio (talkcontribs) 11:40, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

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