Spiritual Activities

The Order s spiritual activities are directed by the Grand Prior, the Vice-Grand Priors and the Chaplains of the National Commissions or Delegations. The principal feast days of the Order are the Feast of the Martyr Saint George, 23 April, and the Exaltation of the Cross, 14 September, which commemorates the recovery of the True Cross from the Persians by Emperor Heraclius (in some early histories of the Order, its legendary founder) and its return to Jerusalem.

Members of the Order are expected to live their lives as perfect Christians and contribute to the increase of religious principles both by action and example. They must be faithful to the traditional teachings of the Church and regularly participate in the solemn celebration of the Liturgy according to the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms and, when appropriate, the particular local forms (notably the Ambrosian, Latin-Byzantine or Mozarabic Rites).

Historically the Order celebrated the Feast of the Invention of the Cross, on 3 May, which commemorates the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great. The 1705 Statutes of the Order also required the knights to recite each day the office of the Holy Cross, meditate on the five Holy Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Stigmata of Saint Francis, and join to this the Office of the Blessed Virgin in a pious and devout manner. Before placing the cross on their person, the members were required to recite quietly the prayer: "Per signum S. Crucis de inimicis nostris libera nos Deus noster Jesus, Crux, et Maria sint nihi salus, custodia ex via".

The feast of Saint George is generally celebrated in the Basilica of Santa Croce al Flaminio in Rome (Masses calendar), which incorporates the Constantinian Chapel dedicated by His Holiness Pope Benedict XV in 1915; this church has within it the reconstructed Labarum of Constantine that is put on display for the Order s principal ceremonies.

The other religious obligations of the Order and pilgrimages are organised by the national commissions or delegations or the local delegations and notices of them will appear on the individual pages of each. Members who are able to do so are encouraged to participate with their confreres in other commissions or delegations than their own.

Individual delegations organize monthly Masses, Lenten spiritual retreats and provide, through the Chaplains of the delegations, for the formation of Postulants and the spiritual guidance and growth of the knights and Dames of the Order.

The Constantinian Chapel of the Visitation in Barcelona Cathedral

Go to the national Commissions

 

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