Cross on the Sword
The Cross on the Sword

The Cross on the Sword


A Supplement to 'Orders of Knighthood, Awards and the Holy See'

ISBN: 978-0-905715-32-2

23.5 x 15.5 cm.        196 pp.    illus.  Van Duren 1987

With an Introduction by Archbishop, later Cardinal, Jacques Martin

This book attests to the fact that there is nothing more ancient, more venerable, more diversified than the Orders of Chivalry that have existed or still exist, and more desired, more sought after by certain people, than a papal decoration. It is always necessary to underline the essential differences between temporal decorations and those that are conferred by the sovereign Pontiff. A papal knighthood is not to be viewed solely as an honour, as a reward: it also incorporates a duty and a mission, that of serving and protecting the person of the Vicar of Christ. Papal Knights form a sort of army, on the devotion of which the Pope must be able to rely. To the Knight it is not the honour that matters but his obligations and services.    + Jacques Cardinal Martin

Peter Bander van Duren's The Cross on the Sword is a supplement to his edition of the late Archbishop H.E. Cardinale's Orders of Knighthood, Awards and the Holy See (1985), and consolidates his revisions and additions that appeared in that work.

The first part deals with the statutes and regulations concerning the Pontifical Equestrian Orders of Pius IX, St. Gregory the Great and Pope St. Sylvester, the privileges granted to Papal Knights and their juridical position. As His Excellency Archbishop Jacques Martin writes in his introduction the author had to rely, for the information in this section, on ‘the Papal Briefs of the Orders' founders and the provisions made for the Papal Knights by Pope St. Pius X, many of which were contained in personal directives. It was left to Peter Bander van Duren to interpret them in the light of today's need as the Holy Father wrote them over eighty years ago.’

For the first time in the history of the Papal Knights, guidelines have been devised for an investiture ceremony, and the question of precedence has been examined in the light of the privileges granted to Papal Knights by Pope St. Pius X.

Part II deals with general juridical questions arising from Archbishop Cardinale's work, particularly the position of Catholic Orders of Knighthood that he stated were ‘extinct’, ‘abolished’, ‘suppressed’ or ‘in abeyance’. The author also examines the degree of importance that should be attached to the Bullarium Romanum when establishing the status of an Order.

Part III contains addenda to the 1985 edition of Orders of Knighthood, Awards and the Holy See concerning Catholic and Catholic-founded Orders of Knighthood, and Part IV introduces two Christian but not Catholic Orders, each unique in their nature.

The Cross on the Sword is a most useful work, not only for Papal Knights and everyone who may at one time or another be connected with their investiture ceremonies — Parish Priests, Masters of Ceremonies, diocesan and parochial administrations, for example — but also for everyone who is interested in Orders of Chivalry, and their continuing role in the world today. The illustrations not only show insignia — medals and uniforms — of the Orders examined in this book, but also illustrate the ceremonies themselves, adding a further dimension to the help that this work provides for the reader.

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