Statute

Statute

 

STATUTE

CONTENTS

CHAPTER  I

Art.   1             TITLE
Art.   2             GENESIS
Art.   3             CHARACTERISTICS
Art.   4             SEAT
Art.   5             AIMS
Art.   6             MOTTO
Art.   7             EMBLEM
Art.   8             SEAL
Art.   9             COAT OF ARMS
Art. 10             LABARUM
Art. 11             BANNER
Art. 12             FESTIVITIES

CHAPTER  II

Art. 13             PRINCE GRAND MASTER
Art. 14             VICAR GRAND MASTER
Art. 15             LIEUTENANT GRAND MASTER
Art. 16             LIEUTENANTS

CHAPTER  III

Art. 17             GRAND CHANCELLOR
Art. 18             DEFENSOR FIDEI
Art. 19             GRAND HOSPITALLER
Art. 20             GRAND CEREMONIST
Art. 21             GRAND HERALD
Art. 22             GRAND BAILIFF
Art. 23             GRAND DAME
Art. 24             GRAND PRELATE
Art. 25             GRAND PRIOR
Art. 26             BAILIFF
Art. 27             PRIOR

CHAPTER  IV

Art. 28             MAGISTRAL COUNCIL
Art. 29             EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Art. 30             NATIONAL COUNCIL
Art. 31             REGIONAL COUNCIL
Art. 32             PRIORY COUNCIL
Art. 33             NATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

CHAPTER  V

Art. 34             MEMBERS
Art. 35             APPLICATION
Art. 36             INVESTITURE
Art. 37             INSIGNIA
Art. 38             MANTLE
Art. 39             CATEGORY
Art. 40             GRADE
Art. 41             RANK
Art. 42             USE

CHAPTER  VI

Art. 43             TITLES OF NOBILITY
Art. 44             HERALDIC COUNCIL
Art. 45             COLLEGE OF NOBLES

CHAPTER  VII

Art. 46             COLLEGE OF DAMES
Art. 47             DIPLOMATIC CORPS
Art. 48             GUARD OF HONOUR
Art. 49             COUNCIL OF HONOUR

CHAPTER VIII

Art. 50             PROTECTORS
Art. 51             ECCLESIASTICAL COLLEGE

CHAPTER  IX

Art. 52             MAGISTRAL POSTS & MINT
Art. 53             PATRIMONY

CHAPTER  X

Art. 54             AMENDMENTS
Art. 55             PROMULGATION

 

STATUTE

CHAPTER I

Art.1         TITLE

The Title of the Order is:

Ordo Byzantinus Sancti Sepulchri

Byzantine Order of the Holy Sepulchre

hereinafter called “OBSS”.

 

Art.2         GENESIS

OBSS forms part of the historical heritage of religious-chivalric Orders, particularly the Greek-Orthodox Order of the Holy Sepulchre, the first Order of the Byzantine Empire founded by Constantine the Great in A.D. 325.

The present dynastic character of OBSS was acquired in 1669 from the Head of the Name and Arms of the Grand Ducal House of Moscow, Rjurik Dynasty, which has never renounced to its prerogatives nor suffered the debellatio, and which was subsequently recognised by Sultans, Emperors and Kings.

Art.3         CHARACTERISTICS

OBSS is a Sovereign Dynastic Military Order of Chivalry, enjoying the qualities and prerogatives of a Subject of international law.

OBSS has an endowment of Titles of Nobility and Chivalry, forming part of the fons honorum.

Art.4         SEAT

The Magistral Seat of OBSS is established in MALTA, at the official residence of the Prince Grand Master.

Art.5         AIMS

The aims of OBSS are:

  • the promotion of humanitarian and philanthropic activities, in the chivalric spirit of OBSS;
  • the development of scientific and cultural activities, in the cultural spirit of OBSS;
  • the unification of all religions, in the ecumenical spirit of OBSS;
  • the organisation of pilgrimages to the Holy Land, to promote the Holy Sepulchre as an international center of worship and unity.

Art.6         MOTTO

The Motto of OBSS is:  In Hoc Signo Vinces.

Art.7         EMBLEM

The Emblem of OBSS is the double-headed eagle of Byzantium with lowered wings, each head crowned with the royal crown, surmounted by the imperial crown of Byzantium, all in gold, the eagle’s breast bearing a shield in silver with a Cross in red.

Art.8         SEAL

The Seal of the Grand Magisterium of OBSS consists of the Emblem of OBSS encircled by the text:

Ordo Byzantinus Sancti SepulchriMagnum Magisterium.

Art.9         COAT OF ARMS

The Coat of Arms of OBSS consists of a shield in red, bearing the Emblem of OBSS; the shield carries a suspended ribbon in gold bearing the Motto of OBSS in black, and is encircled by the Grand Collar of OBSS; the whole enclosed in an ermine mantle bordered in red, surmounted by the imperial crown of Rjurik in gold.

Art.10       LABARUM

The Labarum of OBSS is of red silk.  Mounted in the center is the Emblem of OBSS, encircled by the text in gold:

Ordo Byzantinus Sancti Sepulchri.

Art.11       BANNER

  • Prince Grand Master

The Banner of the Prince Grand Master is of red silk, bearing in the centre the Emblem of OBSS.

  • OBSS

The Banner of OBSS is of white silk, bearing a Cross in red, with the Emblem of OBSS in the superior dexter canton.

Art.12       FESTIVITIES

OBSS celebrates the following religious festivities:

  • Saint Basil, Patron Saint of OBSS [2nd January];
  • the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14th September];
  • the ritual Festivities of the Grand Priories.

 

CHAPTER II

Art.13       PRINCE GRAND MASTER

The hereditary Prince Grand Master of OBSS is His Imperial and Royal Highness Grand Duke Alfred Josef Baldacchino, Head of the Name and Arms of the Rjurik Dynasty, Supreme Head and Legal Representative of OBSS.

He presides over the Magistral Council and the Executive Council.

As sole holder of the fons honorum He confers Titles of Nobility and Chivalry.

He decrees the appointment of Knights and Dames of OBSS to the various Ranks and Grades.

Art.14       VICAR GRAND MASTER

The Vicar Grand Master is His Royal Highness Prince Frederick Baldacchino, first born male of the Prince Grand Master, appointed on attaining the age of twenty five.

He assists the Prince Grand Master in His Magistral duties, occupying the Vice Presidency of the Magistral Council.

Art.15       LIEUTENANT GRAND MASTER

The Lieutenant Grand Master assists the Prince Grand Master in His Magistral duties, occupying the Vice-Presidency of the Executive Council. He coordinates and monitors the institutional activities of all Grand Priories, in conformity with the international development program formulated by the Magistral Council.

He presides over the College of Nobles.

Art.16       LIEUTENANTS

The three Lieutenants shall perform the following duties:

  • Lieutenant – Humanitarian and Philanthropic activities

Evaluates and reports on requests presented by the Grand Priories for Humanitarian and Philanthropic assistance.

  • Lieutenant – Scientific and Cultural Activities

Examines Scientific and Cultural projects before assigning them to Universitas Sancti Cyrilli – A.D.1669, cultural branch of OBSS.

  • Lieutenant – International and Diplomatic Relations

Responsible for the expansion of International Relations between OBSS and other Nations. He presides over the Diplomatic Corps of OBSS.

CHAPTER III

Art.17       GRAND CHANCELLOR

The Grand Chancellor is the Custodian of the Seal and of the historic Archives of OBSS.

He presides over the International Chancery and convenes meetings of the Magistral Council and of the Executive Council, keeping a written record of proceedings.

He examines all applications from Aspirants before referring them to the Prince Grand Master for the Placet.

Art.18       DEFENSOR FIDEI

The Defensor Fidei assists the Prince Grand Master in the interpretation and application of the aims of OBSS and of the Statute which regulates it.

He advises the Magistral Council and the Executive Council on matters of an institutional nature.

Art.19       GRAND HOSPITALLER

The Grand Hospitaller is the Custodian of the patrimony of OBSS.

He examines all reports presented each year by the National Councils of all Grand Priories.

He prepares a Consolidated Statement of Affairs of OBSS for presentation to the Executive Council.

He presides over the Posts and Mint Commission.

Art.20       GRAND CEREMONIST

The Grand Ceremonist is the Custodian of the Insignia of OBSS.

He organises the official Ceremonies and, in particular, controls the appropriate use of uniforms by all Members according to Rank and Grade.

He presides over the Guard of Honour.

Art.21       GRAND HERALD

The Grand Herald is the Custodian of the heraldic integrity of OBSS and safeguards the noble dignity of Knights and Dames of Justice.

He presides over the Heraldic Council.

Art.22       GRAND BAILIFF

The Grand Bailiff is responsible for discipline among Members of OBSS and for implementing eventual disciplinary measures which may be imposed on them.

He presides over the Council of Honour.

Art.23       GRAND DAME

The Grand Dame coordinates and monitors the socio-cultural activities of OBSS, in conformity with the international development program formulated by the Magistral Council.

She presides over the College of Dames.

Art.24       GRAND PRELATE

The Grand Prelate assists the Prince Grand Master in spiritual and ecumenical activities and promotes the organization of pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

He presides over the Ecclesiastical College.

Art.25       GRAND PRIOR

The Prince Grand Master nominates a Grand Prior for every Grand Priory [Nation] where OBSS has a national structure.

The Grand Prior represents OBSS and is responsible for the Bailiffs in that Grand Priory.

Art.26       BAILIFF

The Prince Grand Master nominates a Bailiff for every Bailiwick [Region], establishing its territorial boundaries.

The Bailiff represents OBSS and is responsible for all the Priors in that Bailiwick.

Art.27       PRIOR

The Prince Grand Master nominates a Prior for every Priory [Province], establishing its territorial boundaries.

The Prior represents OBSS and is responsible for the Knights and Dames in that Priory.

CHAPTER IV

Art.28       MAGISTRAL COUNCIL

The Supreme Organ of OBSS is the Magistral Council, presided over by the Prince Grand Master.  The Vicar Grand Master is the Vice President.

Members of the Magistral Council, who as Dignitaries of OBSS are addressed as Excellency, are chosen from among Professed Knights and Dames.  The Members are the following:

  • Lieutenant Grand Master;
  • Lieutenants (3);
  • Grand Chancellor;
  • Defensor Fidei;
  • Grand Hospitaller;
  • Grand Ceremonist;
  • Grand Herald;
  • Grand Bailiff;
  • Grand Dame;
  • Grand Prelate;
  • Grand Priors.

The Magistral Council meets in the Magistral Seat of OBSS at least once every two years, when convened by the Prince Grand Master, to review the institutional, moral, social and financial state of OBSS and to formulate the international development program.

Art.29       EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

The Administrative Organ of OBSS is the Executive Council, presided over by the Prince Grand Master.  The Lieutenant Grand Master is the Vice President.

The Members of the Executive Council are the following:

  • Vicar Grand Master;
  • Lieutenants (3);
  • Grand Chancellor;
  • Defensor Fidei;
  • Grand Hospitaller;
  • Grand Ceremonist;
  • Grand Herald;
  • Grand Bailiff;
  • Grand Dame.

The Executive Council meets every six months, when convened by the Prince Grand Master, to assist Him in the administration of OBSS.

Art.30       NATIONAL COUNCIL

Each Grand Priory is administered by a National Council, presided over by the Grand Prior and composed of the following:

  • National Chancellor;
  • National Hospitaller;
  • National Ceremonist;
  • Bailiffs holding office in the Grand Priory.

The Prelate is ex officio Member.

The National Council meets every four months to promote the aims of OBSS and to coordinate the activities of the Bailiwicks.

The National Council holds an annual Conference to draw up a report on the previous year’s activities of all Bailiwicks and to formulate a national program for submission to the Executive Council of OBSS.

Art.31       REGIONAL COUNCIL

Each Bailiwick is administered by a Regional Council, presided over by the Bailiff and composed of the following:

  • Regional Chancellor;
  • Regional Hospitaller;
  • Regional Ceremonist
  • Cross Bearer
  • Sword Bearer
  • Standard Bearer
  • Priors holding office in the Bailiwick.

The Chaplain is ex officio Member.

The Regional Council meets every two months, to coordinate the activities of the Priories in the Bailiwick, in accordance with the national program drawn up by the National Council.

Art.32       PRIORY COUNCIL

Each Priory is administered by a Priory Council, presided over by the Prior and composed of the following:

  • Deputy Prior;
  • Chancellor;
  • Two Councillors

The Priory Council meets every month, to promote the aims of OBSS in the Priory, organize socio-cultural activities and propose new Members.

Art.33       NATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

The Prince Grand Master sets up National Associations in Grand Priories, in accordance with the laws prevailing in the Nations where they are located, to promote the aims and expansion of OBSS.

A Magistral Delegate convenes the National Council of the Grand Priory and delivers the Statute of the Association as approved by the Magistral Seat.  The Statute is registered by Notarial Deed.

All Members of OBSS, residing in the respective territories of the National Associations, are de jure Members of these Associations.

CHAPTER V

Art.34       MEMBERS

Membership of OBSS is open to:

  • Male (Knight) and female (Dame) candidates who have reached the age of twenty five, without distinction of nationality or race, provided they are of impeccable moral and civic conduct;
  • Ecclesiastical Members of any religion.

Art.35       APPLICATION

The Application for Admission, duly endorsed by a proposing Knight, is presented to the Priory where the applicant resides, accompanied by the following documents:

  • curriculum vitae;
  • certificate of birth;
  • three colour photographs.

The Application, bearing the nulla osta of the Grand Prior, is transmitted to the International Chancery for final vetting and approval.

The Prince Grand Master may confer motu proprio a Knighthood of Merit on exceptionally worthy persons, of any religion, who endorse the aims of OBSS.

Art.36       INVESTITURE

In accordance with the ancient rites of Chivalry, the solemn Investiture Ceremony is presided over by the Prince Grand Master, assisted by the Grand Ceremonist, the Ecclesiastical Authorities and Dignitaries of OBSS.

During the Ceremony the Candidates take the Oath of loyalty to the Prince Grand Master, of fidelity to OBSS and of dedication to its aims, and of solidarity with the Members of OBSS.

Art.37       INSIGNIA

The Insignia of OBSS consists of a Cross potent, enamelled in red with gold border, with four small Crosses enamelled in silver with gold border adjoining the four sides.  The Cross is surmounted by the Emblem of OBSS.

The Insignia is worn suspended from a red ribbon with gold borders.

Dames wear the Insignia attached to a red bow with gold borders.

Art.38       MANTLE

The Mantle of OBSS is black with red lining, the collar bordered in gold.  On the left side is a Cross potent in red with gold border, with four small Crosses in silver with gold border adjoining the four sides. Mounted on the Cross is the double – headed eagle of Byzantium.

The Mantle is worn over evening wear.  Knights Grand Cross wear tail-coats.

Art.39       CATEGORY

Knights and Dames of OBSS are divided into five categories:

  • Professed, reserved for Knights and Dames Grand Cross of Justice who take the Vow of Obedience to the Prince Grand Master and of Devotion to OBSS;
  • Obedience and Devotion, reserved for Knights and Dames Grand Cross who take the Vow of Obedience to the Prince Grand Master and of Devotion to OBSS;
  • Justice, reserved for holders of Titles of Nobility, proven and confirmed by the Heraldic Council of OBSS, and who are enrolled in the College of Nobles;
  • Merit, conferred motu proprio by the Prince Grand Master;
  • Magistral Grace.

Art.40       GRADE

  • The Grand Collar of OBSS is reserved for the hereditary Prince Grand Master and Members of His House, Protectors of OBSS and Heads of State;
  • The Collar of OBSS is reserved for Dignitaries of OBSS, Heads of Churches and of Government;
  • The Cordon of OBSS is reserved for Knights and Dames Grand Cross of Obedience and Devotion.

OBSS also confers the following Grades:

Knight Grand Cross                                    Dame Grand Cross

Knight Grand Officer                                   Dame Grand Officer

Knight Commander                                     Dame Commander

Knight Officer                                             Dame Officer

Knight                                                       Dame

All Grades are conferred by Magistral Decree.

Art.41       RANK

All Ranks, which are honorary and granted by Magistral Decree, are valid for three years from nomination. They may be renewed and/or revoked earlier by Magistral Decree.

Members holding a Rank in OBSS shall not accept a Rank in other Orders of Chivalry without the Placet of the Prince Grand Master.

Art.42       USE

Titles, Ranks, Grades, Insigne and Mantles of OBSS are used by Members in accordance with the laws applicable in their respective countries.

The designation “OBSS” is added to all Ranks and Grades.

CHAPTER VI

Art.43       TITLES OF NOBILITY

The hereditary Prince Grand Master, as sole holder of the fons honorum, confers the following Titles of Nobility:

  • Noble;
  • Hereditary Knight;
  • Baron;
  • Viscount;
  • Count;
  • Marquis.

Art.44       HERALDIC COUNCIL

The Prince Grand Master nominates the Heraldic Council of OBSS, presided over by the Grand Herald and composed of the following:

  • Grand Chancellor;
  • Grand Ceremonist;
  • Two Councillors chosen from among Professed Knights.

The Heraldic Council examines proposals of Candidates who have been singled out for exceptional merit and qualities, recommending to the Prince Grand Master their elevation to the Nobility with the conferment of a Title of Nobility, ad personam or in hereditary form.

The Heraldic Council shall adjudicate on the validity of Titles of Nobility not conferred by OBSS.

Art.45       COLLEGE OF NOBLES

The College of Nobles of OBSS is administered by a Council nominated by the Prince Grand Master. The Council is presided over by the Lieutenant Grand Master and composed of four Professed Knights.

Knights and Dames of Justice are enrolled in the College of Nobles with all the honours, rights and privileges pertaining to the Nobility.

CHAPTER VII

Art.46       COLLEGE OF DAMES

The College of Dames of OBSS is administered by a Council nominated by the Prince Grand Master. The Council is presided over by the Grand Dame and composed of four Dames Grand Cross.

The Council examines proposals for socio-cultural activities to be held in the various Regions, according to territorial needs.

Dames of Justice and of Magistral Grace of OBSS are de jure Members of the College of Dames.

Art.47       DIPLOMATIC CORPS

The Diplomatic Corps of OBSS, which provides active and passive representation for OBSS, operates under the jurisdiction of the Lieutenant – International and Diplomatic Relations.

The Diplomatic Corps is composed of Ambassadors, Envoys, Attachés and Consuls, who are accredited to those Nations with which OBSS maintains diplomatic relations.

OBSS issues Diplomatic Passports to Dignitaries of OBSS and to Members of the Diplomatic Corps, in accordance with the rules of international diplomacy.

Art.48       GUARD OF HONOUR

The Guard of Honour of OBSS is administered by a Council appointed by the Prince Grand Master. The Council is presided over by the Grand Ceremonist and composed of four Professed Knights.

The Guard of Honour, which is responsible for accompanying and protecting the Prince Grand Master during Ceremonies and official functions, is composed of fifty Knights proposed by the Council for Magistral appointment.

Art.49        COUNCIL OF HONOUR

The Prince Grand Master nominates the Council of Honour of OBSS, presided over by the Grand Bailiff and composed of the following:

  • Grand Chancellor;
  • Defensor Fidei;
  • Grand Hospitaller.
  • Grand Ceremonist;

The Council of Honour investigates charges of breach of discipline by Members of OBSS.   Each accused has the right to be heard in his defence.

The sanctions which may be imposed are censure, suspension or dismissal.

Dismissal, which requires the Placet of the Prince Grand Master, entails the immediate revocation and extinction of any Grade, Rank, Title and Honour previously conferred by the Prince Grand Master or by His predecessors.

The Prince Grand Master may decree directly the dismissal of the accused, if the accusations are evident and injurious towards His person.

Professed Knights and Dames of OBSS are accountable directly to the Prince Grand Master.

All decisions are final and not subject to appeal.

CHAPTER VIII

Art.50       PROTECTORS

The Prince Grand Master confers the most distinguished title of Protector of OBSS on Heads of recognized Churches who grant their protection to OBSS.

Art.51       ECCLESIASTICAL COLLEGE

The Ecclesiastical College of OBSS is administered by a Council nominated by the Prince Grand Master. The Council is presided over by the Grand Prelate and composed of four Prelates.

All Prelates and Chaplains of OBSS are de jure Members of the Ecclesiastical College. They dedicate themselves:

  • to the spiritual needs of the Members;
  • to the unification of all religions in an ecumenical spirit.

CHAPTER IX

Art.52       MAGISTRAL POSTS AND MINT

The Prince Grand Master nominates the Posts and Mint Commission, presided over by the Grand Hospitaller and composed of the following:

  • Lieutenant – International and Diplomatic Relations;
  • Grand Chancellor;
  • Two Councillors chosen from among Professed Knights.

The Commission administers the Magistral Posts and Mint of OBSS.

The Magistral Posts are responsible for the printing and distribution of postage stamps, essentially of a philatelic and commemorative nature.

The Mint is responsible for minting the following:

  • OBSS coins having essentially a numismatic value;
  • Commemorative medals to celebrate events of singular importance;
  • Medals of merit to reward both those who have distinguished themselves by special and exceptional services to OBSS, as well as those who have achieved particular merit in the Arts, Letters, Sciences, Industry, Commerce and Labour.

Art.53       PATRIMONY

The Grand Hospitaller is the Custodian of the Patrimony of the Grand Magisterium of OBSS which includes:

  • assets of the Grand Priories and National Associations;
  • movable and immovable properties;
  • legacies, donations and inheritances;
  • revenue from the Magistral Posts and the Mint;
  • Passage Fees and Annual Fees.

CHAPTER X

Art.54       AMENDMENTS

The Prince Grand Master, following mature and profound reflection and consultations, may decree necessary amendments to the present Statute and Regulations.

Art.55       PROMULGATION

The promulgation of the present Statute by Magistral Decree abrogates all other preceding Statutes, Decrees and Regulations regarding the Ordo Byzantinus Sancti Sepulchri.

Statuto

 

 

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