[FR] The Latin Patriarchal Seminary congratulates the Jerusalemite Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher.
The priests, nuns, deacons and seminarians of the Latin Patriarch Seminary present their warmest congratulations and best wishes to the newly installed Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, Rev. Fr. Emil Salaitah, Mr. Samir Zoomot, Mrs Janice Louis Zo’mot, Mr. Tawfik Habash and Mrs. Ghada Hanna Habash.
We also celebrated the elevation of three members of the order to the rank of Commander, Rev. Fr. Emile Salaitah, Mr. Issa Habash and his wife, Mrs Claudette Habash. This celebration took place on Sunday, Dec. 19th at the Co-Cathedral of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem during the novena of Christmas.
Patriarch Fouad Twal was the celebrant and homilist on the occasion as he spoke directly to the newly installed knights and ladies. In his homily he began by expressing his great appreciation to the generous service of the order of the Holy Sepulcher. He continued by saying that the work of the order which is at the service of Holy Land and its inhabitants is in need today to justice and peace. Currently, the inhabitants of the Holy Land suffer from political, social and economic difficulty. He urged the new cavalry to work in this direction, asking the Lord to make them “ambassadors of peace and love between brothers”
He then expressed the importance of their faith in the light of this service in that they are called to live a true and deep faith, and to be witnesses to the Word which once walked this Holy Land. He continued by saying that the human family which is a testament to life in the midst of a culture of death is built on the foundations of evangelical virtues, the virtues of Justice, love and peace.
His Beatitude then continued the right of investiture by blessing the vestments of the new knights after they declared their allegiance to the Order and its precepts. The Patriarch then handed the sword and new Knights and vested them with the Jerusalem cross which they will wear as a testament to their dedication to the service of the Holy Land and to the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. The sword which they are handed represents the just and true cause which they will work for in their service to the Order.
The order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem is rooted in the service of Duke Godfrey de Bouillon (1060-1100) who participated in the first Crusade and became the first King of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Although the duke did not take the title of King and rather was satisfied with the title protector of the Holy Sepulcher, after the end of the first crusade he formed an organization with the same purpose. The order was then formally recognized by the Pope in 1113. In 1496 Pope Alexander VI, moved the central body of the Order from Jerusalem to Rome where he took the title of Grand Master of the Order. In 1949, the Pope no longer retained his title as Grand Master of the Order but rather delegated the title to a member of the Vatican Curia under the supervision of the Holy Father and in conjunction with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
As we prepare to receive the divine child of the manger our attention is moved towards children of Bethlehem the word was born in poor and humble cave, we ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Palestine, and patroness of the Equestrian Order of Jerusalem to strengthen the efforts of the new Knights and Ladies who are committed to building a better world.