Centuries of Service to Charitians in the Holy Land
Welcome to the website of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in Ireland. Ours is an ancient Catholic chivalric order of Knighthood with the Pope as sovereign who appoints the Grand Master, currently His Eminence Edwin Cardinal O'Brien. It has its headquarters in Vatican City and is under the unique protection of the Holy See. The 30,000 members of the Order worldwide are organized either within Lieutenancies or Magistral Delegations.
Recently published by our Lay Master is “An Irish Armorial - Heraldry in the Lieutenancy of Ireland” which indicates the coat of Arms of various members – living and dead.
Pope Francis, when he met members in Rome in 2013 spoke on three basic elements of Christian life: journeying, building, professing. “Your journey,” said the Holy Father to members of the Order “is in history - in a world where the boundaries are ever-expanding, many barriers fall, and our paths are tied ever more closely to that of others.” He encouraged the dames and knights to be true to their tradition of faithful, compassionate and loving service, as they work to build a brighter future for and with the struggling Christians of the Holy Land.
“Believe in the redemptive power of the Cross and the Resurrection,” said Pope Francis, “in order to offer hope and peace. In a particular way, the Land of Jesus has so much need of it! "
I hope you will take the opportunity to browse this site, which is in the course of re-construction, and familiarise yourself with our work, spiritual commitment and ceremonial. In 2019, over 50 members and friends will travel to the Holy Land on pilgrimage to meet "the living stones".
In this Lieutenancy our 200 members meet regularly in Knock, Belfast and other locations, to participate in the Eucharist, to update themselves with developments in the Holy Land and to witness to the Faith. Last year, August 2018, in which Ireland hosted the World Meeting of Families, the Lieutenancy sponsored the attendance of a group of Holy Land pilgrims to participate in the various events in the Dublin area.
In July eight Irish men and women were admitted to membership in a colourful ceremony in St Patrick’s College Maynooth. You will see some of these photographs of that event on the site. During the course of the annual Chapter meeting, Director of Caritas Jerusalem Sr Bridget Tighe spoke to us on the reality of living the Christian life in the Holy Land with its various joys and tribulations.
If you have any suggestions for changes in the content, appearance or structure of the site which you think would make it more attractive and/or more useful to you or to the browsing public, please contact us and we shall see what changes we can affect.
"Deus lo Vult - Mar is toil le Dia - God Wills It"
Fáilte go suíomh idirlín Oird Eachraigh Thuama Naofa Ierusalem in Éirinn. Ord ársa Ridireachta Caitlicí é seo, a bhfuil an Pápai gceannas air. Eisean a cheapann an tArd-Mháistir, a Onóir an Cairdinéal Edwin O' Brien faoi láthair Tá a cheanncheathrúi gCathair na Vatacáine, faoi chosaint uathúil na Cathaoireach Naofa. Tá 30,000 baill den Ord ar fud an domhain, eagraithe in Ionadachtaigh nó Toscaireachtaí Máistriúla, arbh iad na cinni Latvia agus Poblacht na Seice na cinn is óige.
Tá súil agam go nglacfaidh tú an deis an suíomh seo a iniúchadh agus eolas a chur ar ár n-obair, ár ngealltanas agus ár ndeasgnátha. I Meán Fómhair 2013, chuaigh 50 dár mbaill agus cairde leo ar oilithreacht chun na Róimhe chun a bheith páirteach le 3,500 baill ón domhan móri mBliain an Chreidimh. Nuair a bhuail an Pápa Proinsias le hoilithrigh labhair sé faoi thrí eilimintí bhunúsachaan tsaoil Chríostaí, mar atá, turasóireacht, tógáil agus admháil. "Tá bhur n-aistear trín stair," adúirt an tAthair Naofa, "san domhan seo ina bhfuil na teorainn de shíor ag leathnú, titeann bacanna iomadúla agus tá ár gcosáin snaidhmthe níos dlúithe de shíor le cosáin dhaoine eile." Spreag sé na dámaí agus na ridirí bheith dílis dá dtraidisiúin de sheirbhís dhílis, thruach agus ghrámhar, fad is atá said ag saothrú chun todhchaí níos gile a bhunú do Chríostaíthe faoi leatrom san Talamh Naofa." Cuirigí bhur gcreideamhi gcumhacht slánaithe na Croise agus an Aiséirithe," adúirt an Pápa Proinsias, "chun dóchas agus síothcháin a thabhairt do Chríostaithe na Talún Naofa. I slí cinnte tá Talamh Íosa go mór inár ngá."
San Ionadacht seo tagann ár 200 baill le chéilei gCnoc Mhuire,i mBéal Feirste agus in áiteacha eile chun páirt a ghlacadh le chéile san Eocairist , chun iad féin a thabhairt suas chun data faoi imeachtaí san Talamh Naofa agus chun fianaise a dhéanamh leis an gcreideamh. I Mí Dheireadh Fómhair 2016, rachaimid ar Oilithreacht don Talamh Naofa chun teagmháil leis"na clocha beo".
"Deus lo Vult - Mar is toil le Dia - God Wills It"
Promoted members with Jean-Pierre de Glutz-Ruchti, Vice Governor General in St Patrick’s College Maynooth, July 2019
H.E. Peter Durnin, Lieutenant, with Grand Prior HE Sean Cardinal Brady with guests in Maynooth: Bart McGettrick OBE, President of the Holy Land Commission; Sr Bridget Tighe, Director Carital Jerusalem and Vice Governor General, Jean-Pierre de Glutz-Ruchti
- Newsletter - May 2019
Read the full newsletter here
- Admission of Archbishop Eamon Martin as a member of the Lieutenancy
On Thursday 8 September H.E. Sean Cardinal Brady invested the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All ireland, Dr Eamon Martin, as Knight Grand Officer. His admission as a member was witnessed by His Excellency Charles Kelly, the currently serving Lieutenant in the presence of two of his predecessors H.E. Joseph McDonnell and Nicholas McKenna.
During the course of the homily Vy Revd Derek Darby said:
"In many ways the Order has an important role in ensuring the plight of our brothers and sisters does not fall silent, that they can remain in the land of Our Lord. As Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem we have to understand the plight of refugees, of migrants, of our fellow Christians in the Holy Land who face daily challenges we know little about.
How do we go about this? This is the difference between philanthropy and charity. Philanthropy is essentially a desire to improve the welfare of others, usually by the generous donation of money. In and of itself, it sounds ok! But where Christian charity differs is that it comes to the aid of the needy as a result of understanding their misery and suffering – it’s a much deeper and lasting response to the plight of others. We apply it to our fellow Christians, but it also applies to the homeless, the poor, the exploited, the trafficked etc. For us as Christians, this only makes sense because of a personal relationship with Jesus – seeing our fellow Christians and their circumstances through Jesus’ eyes. As St. Paul reminds us in the second reading today ‘we know that by turning everything to their good, God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those he has called according to his purpose.’ Joseph, in today’s gospel is a perfect example of this: a man of deep holiness who abandoning himself to the will of God, makes courageous choices, so that his plans do not get in the way of God’s plans. He tries to understand Mary’s circumstances in the context of God’s plan, not his. "
|Admission of Archbishop Eamon Martin. L to R
Archbishop Martin, grand Prior Sean Cardinal Brady
and Vy Rev Derek Darby
|Fr Derek Darby, preaching his Homily|
Extract from the Homily, Maynooth Admission Ceremony – 20 July 2019
Archbishop Jude Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland
“And you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord would give”. (Isaiah 62:2)
What is in a name? What is in a title? Does it make a difference to be a knight? Is there a difference between a knight and a non-knight?
A new name marks the end of an epoch and is an indicator of a real change which may have started already. When God changes a name, it indicates that something new has happened or is already happening to the individual — a new relationship is forged, a new character quality is created, or a new phase of life begins. We pray for this renewal amongst all the baptised.”
Open doors at the Beit Jala seminary, one of the important Latin Patriarchate institutions supported by the Order
The Annual Vigil at Arms , Chapter and admission of postulants took place in St Patrick’s College Maynooth on 19 and 20 July 2013. During the course of the week-end, 12 postulants were admitted as members by the Cardinal Grand Master, H.E. Edwin O’Brien. In addition to members of the Lieutenancy, the ceremonies were graced by the attendance of the Grand Prior, H.E. Sean Cardinal Brady, and His Eminence John Cardinal Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi, Kenya. There were official representatives present from the Grand Magisterium in the person of Professor Bartholomew McGettrick, His Excellency Dr David Smith the Lieutenant of England & Wales, Her Excellency Helene Lund, Magistral Delegate of Norway (see photograph above), His Excellency Enric Mas Lopez Lieutenant of Eastern Spain and Prof. Donata Krethlow-Benziger the Chancellor of the Swiss Lieutenancy.
In the course of his visit, H.E. Knight of the Collar Edwin Cardinal O’Brien looked forward to the Consulta of the Order which will take place in September in Rome. To enhance the spiritual dimension of the Order and its members in the 63 jurisdictions of the Order, he indicated that a spiritual director will prepare a spiritual programme. He announced that those members of the Order proceeding on Pilgrimage to Rome during this Year of Faith will be received in audience by Pope Francis. In the context of the overall Order, they are seeking to encourage the admission of more lady members. To enhance the knowledge and message of the Order a communications director has been appointed. In the course of his Report to Chapter, H.E. Nicholas McKenna noted the admission in May 2013 of His Excellency Archbishop Charles Brown as a member.
Noting that the Order pays a significant portion of the Institutional Expenses of Latin Patriarch he remarked that many of the Westbank Mayors were educated in Latin Patriarch Schools. Stating that the purpose of the Order is strictly religious and charitable, he reported that the Irish Lieutenancy has sent approximately €175,000 to date to the Holy Land in 2013, which since the establishment of the Lieutenancy totals approx. €3m.
To keep up to date with developments in the Holy Land, please access the following websites:
Purposes of the Order
- To strengthen in its members the practice of Christian life, in absolute fidelity to the Supreme Pontiff and according to the teachings of the Church, observing as its foundation the principle of charity of which the Order is a fundamental means for assistance to the Holy Land.
- To sustain and aid the charitable, cultural and social works and institutions of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, particularly those of and in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, with which the Order maintains traditional ties.
- To support the preservation and propagation of the Faith in those lands, interesting in this work the Catholics scattered throughout the world, united in charity by the symbol of the Order, and also all Christian brothers.
- To sustain the rights of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
Aqaba on the shores of the Red Sea, Southern Jordan, see Mission in the Holy Land
Preamble to the Constitution
"You are to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1.8.)
Knighthood is defined as self-discipline, generosity and courage. Whosoever does not have the firm willingness to develop and deepen these traits in his life will never be able to become a True Knight. The zeal for self-renunciation, in the midst of this society of abundance, generous aid to the weak and those without protection, courageous struggle for justice and peace are the characteristic virtues of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.
The tie with Jerusalem which is manifested in the Order and exacts responsibility for the Holy Places orients our desires toward the heavenly Jerusalem (Gal. 4.26)
The Holy Sepulchre is the symbol of the Passion shared with Jesus and also our hope in the Resurrection (Phil. 3.10.)
The Cross which we wear is not just jewellery but a testimony of our submission to the Cross of Christ. The form of the Cross which is the symbol of the Order brings to our minds the five wounds of our Lord as well as the suffering in the Holy Land with the loss of its own blood.
"The Pilgrim Shell" reminds us of the reality that we are all pilgrims on this earth, and recalls also our pledge to aid the needy.
Exemplary moral conduct and true Christian feeling are the prime requisites for admission to the Order. The practice of Christian faith must be shown in the heart of one's family, at work, in obedience to the Holy Father, and in involvement in Christian activities both in one's own parish and in one's Diocese.
This distinction of the affiliation with the Order requires of its members:
- Religious devotion.
- Participation in the activities of the Church.
- A lay apostolate, placed at the service of the Church.
- Diligence of the ecumenical spirit, above all by means of active interest in the well-recognized problems in Palestine.
The characteristic feature of the Order consists of its pledge to the Holy Places of Jerusalem and its obligations toward the Church in Palestine. It is not possible to stress sufficiently that the charitable work of the Order must have its roots in the spirituality of its members.
Here is the latest version of the video recording of the Investiture Ceremony 2013