The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (Gibraltar Lieutenancy)
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (EOHSJ), one of the oldest chivalric orders of the Catholic Church, can trace its history back to the First Crusade when Godfrey de Bouillion reclaimed the Holy Land and Jerusalem in 1099. Godfrey instituted a guard of honour to protect the Holy Sepulchre, hence the name and role of the Order. Since then the EOHSJ has gone through numerous changes, best seen in the different constitutions promulgated by various Popes, the difference in their uniforms and vestments (over the centuries) and their mandate. Serving members of the Order no longer bare arms. However, they are still called to serve the Church in the Holy Land and help look after the Holy sites.
As a lay institution, placed under the protection of the Holy See and governed under Canon Law, the Order’s primary focus is to help support the Latin Patriarchate and its Christian Community. As such the EOHSJ is responsible for the funding and maintenance of Churches, Hospitals, Seminaries, Schools, a University and all the Christians (and non-Christians) who receive help, education and support via the EOHSJ. The Order also helps develop its members’ practice of the Christian life and, as such, holds retreats, organises various Liturgies and fosters a vibrant prayer life.
Today the Equestrian Order is made up of approximately 30,000 members spread throughout the world. There are numerous Lieutenancies and Magisterial Delegations, all of which come under the Grand Magisterium, currently led by the Grand Master, Edwin Cardinal O’Brien.
The Gibraltar Lieutenancy is responsible for the Order’s organisation and activities on the Rock.
Please click on the photograph for a link to Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa’s video message on the Order.