Military order (monastic society)

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14th century seal of the Teutonic Knights.
Indications of presence of military orders associated with the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Holy Land during the Crusades (in German).
Reconquista of the main towns (per year) (in Spanish).
Extent of the Teutonic Order in 1410.

A military order (Latin: Militaris ordinis) is a confraternity of knights, originally established as Catholic religious societies during the medieval Crusades for protection of Christians in response to the aggression and persecution of the Islamic conquests (623–1050) in the Holy Land and the Iberian Peninsula, as well as by Baltic paganism in Eastern Europe. Most members, often referred to as knights, were laymen, not priests, but sometimes cooperated with the clergy, taking vows such as poverty, chastity, and obedience according to monastic religious vows.

It was in the military orders, in fusion of religious and military spirit, that chivalry reached its apogee. Its traditions eventually influenced many subsequent secular Western fraternities, or brotherhoods, and most importantly the honour systems of honourfic orders of today.

Prominent examples include the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar in Outremer, as well as the Teutonic Knights in the Baltics.[1]

Many were suppressed by the Pope before 1500 with few establishments afterwards, while others evolved into Roman Catholic ceremonial, missionary, charitable organisations. Some persisted longer in its original functions, while growing into honorific chivalric orders with charitable aims in modern times, such as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, both Papal orders of knighthood conferred still today.

Parallell institutions of unilateral Roman Catholic adherence exist in continuous or revived forms among current and former European royal houses.


Already in 1053, for the Battle of Civitate the Knights of Saint Peter (Milites Sancti Petri) was founded as a militia by Pope Leo IX to counter the Normands.[2]

The larger threat that would definitively establish the tradition, however, came from the east. In response to the Islamic conquests of the former Byzantine Empire and Christianity in the Holy Land, numerous Catholic military orders were set up following the First Crusade. The founding of such orders suited the Catholic church's plan of channelising the devotion of the European nobility, and also complemented the Peace and Truce of God.[1] The foundation of the Knights Templar in 1118 provided the first in a series of tightly organised military forces for the purpose of fighting invading Islamic conquests in the Holy Land and in the Iberian Peninsula — see the Reconquista — as well as Islamic invaders and pagan tribes in Eastern Europe.

The first secularised military order was the Order of Saint George, founded in 1326 by the King Charles I of Hungary, on which he made all the Hungarian nobility swear loyalty to him. The next secular order which is known to appear was the Order of the "Knights of the Band", founded in 1332 by the King Alfonso XI of Castile. Both orders existed only for about a century.[3]


The original features of the military orders were the combination of religious and military ways of life. Some of them, like the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights of Saint Thomas, also had charitable purposes and cared for the sick and poor. However, they were not purely male institutions, as nuns could attach themselves as convents of the orders. One significant feature of the military orders is that clerical brothers could be, and indeed often were, subordinate to non-ordained brethren.

In 1818, the orientalist Joseph von Hammer compared the Catholic military orders, in particular the Knights Templar, with certain Islamic models such as the Shia Islamic sect of Assassins. In 1820, José Antonio Conde suggested they were modeled on the ribat, a fortified religious institution which brought together a religious or hospital way of life with fighting the enemies of Islam. However popular such views may have become, others have criticised this view, suggesting there were no such ribats around the Outremer until after the military orders had been founded.

Yet, the innovation of the role and function of the military orders has sometimes been obscured by the concentration on their military exploits in the Holy Land, Prussia, and the Baltics. In fact, they had extensive holdings and staff throughout Western Europe. The majority were laymen. They provided a conduit for cultural and technical innovation, for example the introduction of fulling into England by the Order of Saint John, or the banking facilities of the Knights Templars.

Because of the necessity to have a standing army, the military orders were founded, being adopted as the fourth monastic religious vows.

List of military orders

These are military orders listed chronologically according to their dates of foundation and extinction, sometimes approximate due to scarce sources, and/or repeated suppressions by Papal or royal authourities. Their militarisation may vary from case to case, the foundation of an order, its ecclesiastical approval, and occurring on different times and for different purposes. Presently active institutions are listed in consideration with their legitimacy according to the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry.

They are divided into international and national according the their adherence, mission, and enrolment, disregarding the extent of eventual gradual geographical distribution outside of their region of concern.


Symbol Name Founded Founder Origin Recognition Protection Extinction Notes
Malteserkreuz.svg Knights Hospitaller/
Sovereign Military Order of Malta
(1048?) 1113
Gerard Thom Jerusalem, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem 1113 by Pope Paschal II Grand Master, Souvereign since 1113,
Reichsfürst (Prince of the Holy Roman Empire) since 1607,
Cardinal since 1630
Today known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Regional part continuity claimed by Protestant chivalric orders of the Alliance of the Orders of Saint John of Jerusalem.
Croix de l Ordre du Saint-Sepulcre.svg Order of the Holy Sepulchre c.1099
(1084?) 1113
Godfrey of Bouillon Jerusalem, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem 1113 (Pope Paschal II)
1122 (Pope Calistus II)
Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: to 1291,
Holy See (Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land: 1230-1489, Pope: 1489-)
Awarded to prominent pilgrims. Reorganised as Sacred and Military Order of the Holy Sepulchre in 1496 by Pope Alexander VI. Reorganised by Pope Pius IX with the residential restoration of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 1847.[4] Known as the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem since 1931. The term Equestrian refers to the chivalric and knightly nature of order - conferring knighthood on members - derived from the Equestrians (Latin: Equites), a social class in ancient Rome.
Cross of the Knights Templar.svg Knights Templar 1118 Bernard of Clairvaux,
Hugues de Payens
Jerusalem, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem 1129 1312 By papal decree, the property of the Templars was transferred to the Knights Hospitaller, which also absorbed many of the Templars' members. In effect, the dissolution of the Templars could be seen as the merger of the two rival orders. Templar organisations in Portugal simply changed their name, from Knights Templar to Knights of Christ, founding the Order of Christ (Portugal).
Lazarus cross.svg Order of Saint Lazarus 1119
Gerard Thom Jerusalem, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem 1255 by Pope Alexander IV
until 1489 by Pope Innocent VIII
King Fulk of Jerusalem: 1142
House of Savoy: 1572-
House of France: 1609
In 1489, Pope Innocent VIII attempted to merge the order and its land holdings with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. This was resisted by the order in most countries where it still retained its premises.

Italian branch merged 1572 with the Order of Saint Maurice to form the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus under the Royal House of Savoy, still extant.

In 1609, linked administratively to the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to form the Royal Military and Hospitaller Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem united, listed under royal protection in the French Royal Almanac until 1830,[5] with last member admitted before the French Revolution died in 1856.[5][6][7]

Notwithstanding, the Order of Saint Lazarus (statuted 1910), under spiritual protection of the Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, claims legacy from the suppressed French branch,[8] with an additional obedience under the Orléanist branch of the House of Bourbon.


Symbol Name Founded Founder Origin Recognition Protection Extinction Notes
Sigillo Altopascio.gif Order of Saint James of Altopascio 1075
Matilda of Tuscany Altopascio, Tuscany, Holy Roman Empire 1239-1459,
but mentioned in a Papal bull 1198 of Pope Innocent III
Properties of the hospice of "Altopassus" in Italy confirmed in 1244 by Emperor Frederick II 1459,
Perhaps one of the earliest military orders as such, its primary purposes was the safety of pilgrims going to the Holy Land through Italy, and although they extended their mission to Camino de Santiago, Italians remained the main point of concern. The order retained some Italian property until, on 14 March 1587, Sixtus V, at the request of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, merged the Order of Saint James of Altopascio with the Order of Saint Stephen. In France it was finally absorbed into the Order of Saint Lazarus in 1672.
Ordem Avis.svg Order of Aviz 1146
Avis, Portugal Received a grant in 1129 by Theresa, Countess of Portugal
House of Aviz: 1385-1580
1789 Secularised 1789. The Military Order of Aviz, together with the other Portuguese Orders of Merit, had its statutes revised on several occasions, during the First Republic (1910–1926), then in 1962, and again in 1986.
Cross wing saint michael.png Order of Saint Michael of the Wing 1147
King Afonso I of Portugal Santarém, Portugal First statutes approved in 1171 by Pope Alexander III House of Braganza: 2001- 1732 Abandoned by 1732,[9] restored[10] by King Miguel I in 1828[11] during his brief rule before losing the Liberal Wars to his brother King Pedro IV,[12] revived 1848[10]/1986 [13]
Cross Calatrava.svg Order of Calatrava 1158 Raymond of Fitero Calatrava la Vieja, Kingdom of Castile, Spain 1164 by Pope Alexander III House of Bourbon 1838 by secularisation When the Bourbon dynasty occupied the throne, Charles III, having founded the personal order of his name, levied upon the old orders a contribution of a million reals to pension 200 knights of the new order (1775). Their revenues being the only remaining raison d'être of the order, confiscation necessarily led to dissolution. Confiscated by King Joseph (1808), re-established by Ferdinand VII at the Restoration (1814), the possessions of Calatrava were finally dissipated in the general secularization of 1838.
Croix de l'Ordre Hospitalier du Saint-Esprit.svg Order of the Holy Ghost 1161 Guy de Montpellier Provence, France ca. 1161–June 16, 1216 by Pope Innocent III in Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome 20th century Several popes made efforts to protect the order as a purely religious body, but Pope Pius V in 1619 re-created the Knights and again diverted the Order's assets into their hands. In 1692 Louis XIV reapplied the property in the possession of the Knights for the benefit of his own Order of Our Lady of Carmel, in effect a pension fund for his own retired soldiers. The remaining religious members of the order were successful in obtaining an edict in 1700 which again confirmed the purely religious nature of the order and regaining the use of the funds for religious and charitable purposes.[14]

Offshoots of the order in France survived into the 20th century.

Aubrac sceau.jpg Order of Aubrac 1162 Aubrac, France 18th century Disappeared during the French Revolution in late in the 18th century.
Cross Santiago.svg Order of Santiago 1170 León or Uclés in Castile, Spain By Papal bull 5 July 1175 by Pope Alexander III House of Bourbon
Badge of the Order of Alcantara.svg Order of Alcántara 1177 Alcántara, Extremadura, Spain
Cross of order of mountjoy.svg Order of Mountjoy 1180 Holy Land 1221 Merged into the Order of Calatrava.
Crux Ordis Teutonicorum.svg Teutonic Knights 1190 Acre, Israel Converted into a purely Catholic religious order since 1929.
Cross saint thomas 1236.png Hospitallers of Saint Thomas of Canterbury at Acre 1191 1538
Cross of order of mountjoy.svg Order of Monfragüe 1196 1221 Merged into the Order of Calatrava.
Croix Gueules.png Order of Sant Jordi d'Alfama 1201 15th century Early 15th century, merged into the Order of Montesa.
SwordBrothers.svg Livonian Brothers of the Sword 1202 1236 Merged into the Teutonic Order as the Order of Livonia, disbanded 1561.
Dobrzynski braty.svg Order of Dobrzyń 1216 Dobrzyń Land, Poland 1250s In the face of the order's lack of success in battle against the Prussians, as well as their small number (at its highest, 35 knights), in around 1235 the majority of the Knights joined the Teutonic Order, as allowed by a papal document, the Golden Bull of Rieti.

In 1237 the rest of the Brothers were moved by Konrad to Drohiczyn to increase the military strength of that outpost. The Brothers of Dobrin were last mentioned when Drohiczyn was captured by Prince Daniel of Kiev in 1240.

Coat of Arms of the Mercedarians.svg Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy 1218 Converted to a Clerical Order in 1398 with Knights readmitted in 1926 and reaffirmed in 2002.
Cross of MJC.svg Militia of the Faith of Jesus Christ 1221 1285 Note: Symbol that of the Dominican Order. Merged into the Third Order of Saint Dominic.
Cross monreal.svg Military Order of Monreal 1231 King Alfonso the Battler Monreal del Campo, Aragon 1143
Order of the Faith and Peace 1231 1273
Cross with red star.svg Knights of the Cross with the Red Star 1233 Agnes von Böhmen Bohemia 1237 by Pope Gregor IX
Confirmed in 1292 by an ambassador of Pope Nicholas IV
Mainly hospitals. Still existing.
Militia of Jesus Christ 1233 1250s Disappeared mid-13th century.
Cross frati gaudenti.png Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary 1261 1556
File:Emblema OrdendSantaMariadEspaña.svg Order of Saint Mary of Spain 1270 1280 Merged into the Order of Santiago.
Cross montessa.svg Order of Montesa 1317
OrderOfCristCross.svg Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1318 Portugal 1789 Secularized 1789.
Insignia Hungary Order Ordo Draconum History.svg Order of the Dragon 1408 1475s Disappeared late 15th century.
Cross of saint Maurice.png Order of Saint Maurice 1434 Amedeo VIII of Savoy Château de Ripaille, Thonon-les-Bains, Savoy 1572 Evolved by merging with the Order of Saint Lazarus in Italy in 1572 by Pope Gregory XIII into Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus. The successor is widely considered the only legitimate successor the Order of Saint Lazarus, including by the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry.
File:Ordem Militar da Torre e Espada.svg Order of the Tower and Sword 1459 King Afonso V of Portugal Portugal The order was revived on 29 November 1808, by Prince Regent John, later John VI of Portugal. It commemorated the safe arrival of the Royal Family in the Portuguese colony of Brazil, after Napoleon had invaded Portugal. Its full title was “the Royal Order of the Tower and Sword”. It was available to both Portuguese and foreigners and for military, political or civilian achievement. Among the intended recipients were subjects of His Britannic Majesty, who had assisted the Royal Family to reach Brazil, but who were ineligible for the other Portuguese orders due to their religion.

In 1832, Peter, Duke of Braganza (who was then Regent for his daughter Queen Maria II), reformed the Order which now became the Ancient and Most Noble Military Order of the Tower and of the Sword, of Valour, Loyalty and Merit.

In 1896 the class of Grand Officer was inserted between Grand Cross and Commander.

On 15 October 1910, after the end of the monarchy, the new Republican government of Portugal abolished all military orders, with the exception of the Order of the Tower and Sword. Despite the fact that the order had not been abolished, on 26 September 1917 the order was revised for the third time. The order had four classes, the highest of which was confined to the President of the Republic of Portugal.

The President is ex officio the order’s Grand Master and a member of the Order, Grand Cross.

Order of Our Lady of Bethlehem 1459 Pope Pius II Lemnos, Byzantine Empire 18 January 1459 by Pope Pius II 1460 After the taking of Constantinople by the Turks (1453), Pope Pius II founded the Order of Our Lady of Bethlehem.[5] The purpose of these knights was to defend the Island of Lemnos which Cardinal Louis, Patriarch of Aquileia, had recaptured from Mohammed II. Pius II alluded in a Bull to this foundation and the bravery of its knights, but the second capture of Lemnos by the Turks rendered the institution useless. Thus the order of Our Lady of Bethlehem was suppressed almost as soon as founded and those orders whose goods the pope had transmitted to it were re-established.[15][16]
311St.Georgs Ritterorden Einsetzung durch Papst Paul II.jpg Order of Saint George of Carinthia 1469 Emperor Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor In 1469 by Pope Paul II Abolished 26 July 1598
In French: .
Croix constantinien.svg Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George 1522-1545
Angeli Comneni family Addressed in 1550 by Papal bull Quod Aliasla by Pope Julius III
In 1910, Pope Pius X appointed the first of three successive cardinal protectors and, in 1913, approved a series of privileges for the chaplains of the order.
Decrees by King Philip III of Spain, Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor on 7 November 1630, Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor on 25 June 1671, King John III Sobieski of Poland of 11 May 1681, and Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria on 8 July 1667 and 26 July 1669 The legendary origins trace its foundation to an apocryphal order founded by Emperor Constantine the Great.[17] In reality, the order appears to have been established between 1520 and 1545, with certains statutes dated 1522 by the Angeli Comneni family. Its Grand Master Andrea Angelo Flavio Comneno was addressed first in 1550 by Papal bull Quod Aliasla by Pope Julius III.
Cross of saint stephen.svg Order of Saint Stephen Pope and Martyr 15 March 1561 Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany Tuscany The order was founded by Cosimo I de' Medici,[18] first Grand Duke of Tuscany, with the approbation of Pope Pius IV on 1 October 1561.[19] The rule chosen was that of the Benedictine Order.[19][20] The first grand master was Cosimo himself and he was followed in that role by his successors as grand duke.[21] The dedication to the martyred Pope Stephen I, whose feast day is 2 August, derives from the date of Cosimo's victories at the Battle of Montemurlo on 1 August 1537 and the Battle of Marciano(Scannagallo) on 2 August 1554.[19]

The objective of the order was to fight the Ottoman Turks and the pirates that sailed Mediterranean Sea in the 16th century.

Abolished in 1859 by the annexation of Tuscany to the Kingdom of Sardinia.[22] The former Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) did not and the current Italian Republic also does not recognise the order as a legal entity, but evidently tolerates it as a private body.[23]

Today, Archduke Sigismund, Grand Duke of Tuscany awards an Order of Saint Stephen which he claims to be a continuation of the order founded by Grand Duke Cosimo I.[24] Approximately 80 individuals are currently associated with this order. All members must be Roman Catholic, although exceptions are made for Heads of State and members of royal families who are members of the other Christian denominations.[25]


Chivalric and/or military orders that could qualify depending on definition.

Modern development

A few of the institutions survived into honorific and/or charitable organisations, including the papal orders of knighthood.

While other contemporary Catholic societies may share some military organisational features and ideology, such as the Society of Jesus (1540),[26] they differ from the medieval military orders in absence of military purposes or potential.

As for several national, state and even dynastic military orders of merit, such as the Dutch Military Order of William and the Austrian Military Order of Maria Theresa, they are not military orders other than nominally.

Echoing the medieval institutions, however, it is possible for modern orders to be founded explicitly as a military order, for instance the Military Order of Loyalty (Spanish: Orden Militar de la Constancia), founded in 1946 by the Spanish protectorate in Morocco. Awarded to both Spanish and Moroccan military officers and soldiers, the single-class order was abolished in 1956.

In contrast, inspired by the legacy of the original military orders, besides legitimate chivalric orders, in addition, vast modern imitations florish, referred to as "self-styled orders".

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Crawford, Paul (1996). "The Military Orders: Introduction". The ORB: On-line Reference Book for Medieval Studies. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Template:Ref-Demurger-Templiers
  3. Michael Jones ed., The New Cambridge Medieval History, vol. 6: c. 1300 - c. 1415, (Cambridge, 1998), p. 209.
  4. "Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem". Retrieved 24 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Moeller, Charles. "The Military Orders." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 22 Jun. 2015
  6. The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia, 1906
  7. "Almanach Royal pour l'anné 1770-1830 by MHOSLJ_Library". Retrieved 2015-12-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Declaration on the Ninth Centenary of the Royal Recognition of the Order St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, Kevekaer, Germany, 27 May 2012.
  9. Anderson, James (1732). Royal genealogies: or, The genealogical tables of emperors, kings and princes, from Adam to these times; in two parts. London: James Bettenham. pp. ix. Retrieved 9 December 2011. St Michael's Wing in Portugal founded by the said King Alphonse 1165 or 1171 after his obtaining a notable Victory over Moors and Alberto King of Seville in which Battle MICHAEL the Arch Angel is said to appear on the right Side of Alphonse and fight against them. This Order is now out of use. (1732)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 Almeida, Gomes Abrunhosa Marques de and Manuel Ângelo (2007). Precedentes histórico-teóricos dos regionalismos dos Açores e da Galiza. Santiago de Compostela: Univ Santiago de Compostela. p. 187.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Cheke, Marcus (1969). Carlota Joaquina, queen of Portugal (Reprinted. ed.). Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-8369-5040-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Jenks, George C (1911). Monarchs in Exile, The Bookman vol. 32. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co. p. 273.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Sainty, Guy Stair (2006-11-22). "Royal Order of Saint Michael of the Wing". rec.heraldry. Retrieved 2011-01-21. While the Duke of Braganza is the unquestioned heir and successor of Dom Miguel, the institution of the Royal Brotherhood of St Michael of the Wing is better seen as a modern memorial revival of the original institution than any kind of continuation of the Miguelist award.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Orders of the Holy Ghost - Catholic Encyclopedia article
  15. Besse, Jean. "Bethlehemites." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 23 Jun. 2015
  16. Trollope, Thomas Anthony. An encyclopædia ecclesiastica, 1834
  17. Constantinian Order, Hispano-Neapolitan
  18. Pasquale Villari, '"The Medici" (1911). Hugh Chisolm (ed.). The Encyclopaedia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information, Volume 18 (11 ed.). New York: Encyclopaedia Britannica. p. 36. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Davies
  20. Woodhouse, Frederick Charles (1879). The military religious orders of the Middle Ages: the Hospitallers, the Templars, the Teutonic knights, and others. With an appendix of other orders of knighthood: legendary, honorary, and modern. New York: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. p. 338. The members followed the rule of St Benedict and the Popes granted them the same privileges as those enjoyed by the Knights Hospitallers<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. de Montor, Artaud (1910). The Lives and Times of the Popes, Volume 7. New York: The Catholic publication society of America. p. 72. Retrieved 7 December 2011. The bull of the pope named Cosmo and his successors grand masters of the order<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Carmichael, Montgomery (1901). In Tuscany: Tuscan Towns, Tuscan Types and the Tuscan Tongue. New York: E P Dutton. p. 173. The Order was swept away by the French Revolution but was revived again in a modified form in 1817. The Italian Revolution once more swept it away beyond hope of revival on 16 November 1859 and its Church and property became the property of the State. Alas that modern Italy should not be a little more tender of the memories of her past glories.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Sacred Military Order of Saint Stephen Pope and Martyr". Granducato Toscano. Retrieved 7 December 2011. The Lorraine Dynasty having been declared fallen in 1859, the Interim Government of Tuscany led by Bettino Ricasoli on 16 November that year ordered that the Order of Saint Stephen be suppressed and its substantial property be expropriated, regardless of it having no jurisdiction on a religious institution of knighthood that had been sanctioned as dynastic by the Papal Bulls. However, no resolutions of the Interim Government was acknowledged by the Grand Duke, Ferdinand IV, who raised a formal protest against this decision from Dresden on 24 March 1860. Since the Holy See, the repository and supreme guardian of the Military Religions, has never declared the Order of Saint Stephen extinct, such suppression has no value under the canon law. Because of this, the descendants of the last ruling Grand Duke have retained the title and the privileges of their ancestor, so they have kept putting together, although to a very small extent, more Knights of the Order of Saint Stephen.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Cardinale, Hyginus Eugene (1983). Orders of knighthood awards and the Holy See. Gerrards Cross: Van Duren. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-905715-13-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Bernardini, Rodolfo (1990). Il Sacro Militare Ordine di Santo Stefano Papa e Martire (in Italian). Pisa: Familiare della Casa Asburgo Lorena.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. Harro Höpfl (2004), Jesuit Political Thought: The Society of Jesus and the State, c. 1540–1630, Cambridge; p. 25

Further reading

  • "Military Orders" in Catholic Encyclopedia (1911)
  • Nicholson, Helen J. The Knights Hospitaller (2001).
  • Riley-Smith, Jonathan. Hospitallers: The History of the Order of St John (1999).
  • Morten, Nicholas Edward. The Teutonic Knights in the Holy Land 1190-1291 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2009)
  • Burman, Edward (1988). The Templars: Knights of God. Inner Traditions/Bear.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Forey, Alan John. The Military Orders: From the Twelfth to the Early Fourteenth Centuries. *(Basingstoke: Macmillan Education, 1992)