Orden Caballeros de
domingo, 6 de noviembre de 2011
Caballeros del Papa en América. Los Caballeros de la Orden, soldados de Dios, somos jesuitas laicos, somos hombres y mujeres de frontera, dispuestos a estar en aquellos lugares donde hay situaciones de injusticia.
Orden Caballeros de
La Orden Militar de Caballería Ligera del Papa, es jesuita laica, bajo la Bendición del General de la Compañía de Jesús, Padre Adolfo Nicolás, colaboradores en la obra de Dios y de los Jesuitas en la misión de Cristo, en obras inspiradas en el desarrollo, la justicia social, los derechos humanos de los pueblos , el cuidado del medio ambiente y en la espiritualidad ignaciana, sean o no sus dignatarios de la Compañía de Jesús) click..
Los Caballeros de
la Orden, soldados de Dios, somos jesuitas laicos, somos hombres y mujeres de frontera, dispuestos a estar en aquellos lugares donde hay situaciones de injusticia, donde otros no pueden o no quieren estar, donde se puede tener un efecto multiplicador en bien de la misión. Hombres preparados para responder a las necesidades de nuestro mundo, solidarizándonos con las víctimas de esta historia y así acompañar a Jesús rumbo a la cruz. Somos Compañeros de Jesús, amigos para la misión, y estamos al servicio de la Mayor Gloria de Dios.
(dijo Lord Maculay)
The Holy See has awarded the distinction of knighthood since the early medieval period. Such honors originally conferred nobility, personal or hereditary according to the rank, but today the Papal Orders are a means by which the Holy Father might personally distinguish those who have particularly served the Church and society. The crosses of the Papal Orders are visible marks of recognition and mirror the awards made by most states to their citizens and others for public and private services. The present Pontiff, Pope John Paul II, has extended membership in the Pian Order, Saint Gregory the Great and Saint Sylvester to ladies as well as gentlemen. Suggestions for appointment to the Papal Orders are generally made by parish priests to the local Ordinary who, after due consideration, may forward the recommendation to the Papal Secretariat of State. Recommendations are also made by Apostolic Nuncios in post and by senior members of the Papal Curia. A tax is charged in respect of each nomination to cover the expenses thereof, which is the liability of the nominator but normally payable by the recipient.
As Sovereigns the Papacy maintained a substantial Court. The principal lay posts were given originally to members of the Roman nobility but, over the centuries, honorific posts were accorded to noblemen from the other Italian states and eventually non-Italians. With the loss of the Papal States, the number of laymen in high positions gradually declined. The Popes continued to retain such ancient offices as Prince Assistants of the Papal Thrones (alternating between two families ), the Participating Secret Chamberlains of the Cape and Sword (namely the Foriere Maggiore, the Cavallerizzo Maggiore, and the Sopraintendente Generale delle Poste), the Secret Chamberlains of the Cape and Sword (divided into numerary and supernumerary Chamberlains), and Honorary Chamberlains of the Cape and Sword. By the Papal Motu Proprio Pontificalis Domus of 28 March 1968, the Court was reformed to reflect the changed position of the Papacy and the decline in the power of the old nobility who had hitherto dominated it. The post of Assistants to the Throne was maintained,  while the three categories of Chamberlains were substituted with the single post of Gentlemen of His Holiness. The hereditary positions were not abolished, but their functions suppressed, with many of their holders being appointed Gentlemen of His Holiness or put in other positions of responsibility within the Vatican.  The reform also abolished the Patrician Guard, and the Noble Guard,  composed of members of the Roman Nobility, and other ancient institutions. Today the post of Gentleman of his Holiness with the duty and privilege of personal attendance on the person of the Supreme Pontiff is one of the greatest honors the Church can confer.
The Prefect of the Papal Household combines the functions of the former posts of Master of the Household, the former Heraldic Commission of the Pontifical Court, the Ceremonial offices, the Majordomo and Master of the Chamber. He enjoys usually the rank of titular Bishop and has authority over those in attendance upon the Holy Father, in the Papal apartments and at official audiences. He determines all matters connected with precedence and protocol and is a key official in the smooth running of the everyday business of the Papacy. His responsibilities also include direction of the Papal Chapel, and of the Assistants to the Papal Throne, both lay and ecclesiastical, the former being the two Princes Assistant and the latter those Patriarchs, Archbishops and Bishops on whom have been conferred the honorary title of Assistant. The Papal Chapel includes the “Clerics of the Papal Chapel”, until the reforms of 1968 known as Secret Chaplains, Secret Chaplains of Honor, Secret Clerics, etc, who together composed the Papal Chapel as it was then constituted.
The “Pontifical Family” is headed by the Theologian of the Papal Household, formerly the Master of the Sacred Palace. He is automatically councilor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Official Prelate of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints and, usually, Councilor of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. The highest ranks of the Pontifical Family (who may be categorized as Papal Honorees) are the two classes of Apostolic Protonotary, those “di numero” (numerary, of whom there are seven) and the supernumerary, who compose the first class of “Monsignors”. Until the reforms of 1968 they were entitled to wear the Episcopal Miter, but this privilege was revoked for those nominated after the reforms. The Canons of each of the three Roman Patriarchal Basilicas (Saint Peter, Saint John Lateran, and Santa Maria Maggiore) become supernumerary Apostolic Protonotaries for life, while the privilege of holding the title during their exercise of office is accorded Canons of a number of Italian Cathedrals and of those of Esztergom (Hungary) and Malta. The title of Apostolic Protonotary is usually given on the recommendation of a member of the Sacred College. The second rank of Monsignors is that of Prelate of Honor of His Holiness; before 1968 these were called Domestic prelates; those given this title include various Canons and other specific priests,  as well as those priests specially honored with the title for life. The third rank of Monsignors is that of Chaplain of His Holiness, who replace various categories of Honorary Chamberlain and Honorary Chaplains. This title is also given for life but may be held by certain priests during the exercise of their offices. The title of Monsignor has for centuries been accorded as a courtesy to some Diocesan officials, and others, but such courtesies cannot be regarded as “official” and these priests are not considered part of the Pontifical Family.
The superior authority of the Holy See as a source of honor was first acknowledged by the Crusader knights who formed the Templar and Hospitaller Orders, and other similar Orders, in the early twelfth century and sought Papal approval for their new institutions. There is no surviving documentary evidence of a precise foundation date of the earliest Papal Chivalric institution, the Golden Militia, now represented by the second of the Papal Orders, that of the Golden Spur. Awards of membership in the Golden Militia have been documented since the reign of Pope Paul III but may have been made much earlier.
The highest Papal Order, the Order of Christ, was last awarded in 1987 to the late Frà Angelo de Mojana, 77th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, to honor him on the 25th anniversary of his election. Instituted in 1318 by King Denis I of Portugal as a Military Religious Order, the then Pope, John XXII, is described in some histories as having reserved the right for him and his successors to appoint knights.  According to some versions of the history of the Order it was was effectively divided by 1522 and, while the Portuguese decoration became increasingly widely distributed, the Papal distinction gradually fell into disuse until being revived as the highest Order of Chivalry of the Roman Church in 1878. It is awarded exclusively to male Catholic Sovereigns or Heads of State. There are presently no living members. 
The second highest Order, that of the Golden Spur, was reformed into a high award of Merit in 1841, as the Order of Saint Sylvester and the Golden Militia. The reforms of the Papal Orders in 1905 limited it to one hundred knights, as the Order of the Golden Militia, although it was commonly called the Golden Spur. A further reform of 1966, limiting it to Christian Sovereigns and Heads of State, still described it in the Papal Bull as the Order of the Golden Militia, while the Annuario Pontificio describes it as the Order of the Golden Spur (Golden Militia). 
The third, and more commonly awarded Order (although generally fewer than seventy awards are made annually world-wide), is the Order of Pius IX. An Order of Pian knights was founded by Pius IV in about 1560, but this fell into disuse and the present Order, instituted by Pius IX in 1847, may be regarded as a new foundation. There have been several reforms of the Statutes and today the highest rank is the gold Collar of the Order, the most common award to Heads of State on the occasion of official visits to the Holy See. The Grand Cross, the highest Papal award given to lay men and women, is also given to Ambassadors accredited to the Holy See after two years in post and, exceptionally, to leading Catholics in the wider world for particular services, mainly in the international field and for outstanding deeds for Church and society. The next rank is that of Knight (and now Dame) Commander, to whom the Star (the same as worn by the Grand Crosses) may be given as a higher distinction. The lowest rank is that of Knight or Dame. It is awarded to Catholics and non-Catholics and, on occasion, to non-Christians.
The fourth Order but, of those now awarded, effectively the second, is that of Saint Gregory the Great. Founded in 1831, its grades now mirror those of the Pian Order but without the rank of Collar, while since 1834 it has had civil and military divisions. Like all the Papal Orders, it was reformed in 1905, and is given for conspicuous service to the Church and society, regardless of religious allegiance. The fifth Order is that of Pope Saint Sylvester, separated from that of the Golden Militia in 1905, and established with the same ranks as Saint Gregory. It is intended to award laymen who are active in the Apostolate, particularly in the exercise of their professional duties and mastership of the different arts. It is also conferred on non-Catholics, and is more rarely awarded than Saint Gregory.
Each of these Orders have their own particular decorations. In the three Orders presently awarded, the Pian Order, Saint Gregory and Saint Sylvester, knights and dames wear the badge suspended from a ribbon on the left breast. Knight Commanders wear the badge on a ribbon around the neck, while Dames wear it from a bow on the left breast. Those decorated with the Star wear it on the lower left breast, and Knights and Dames Grand Cross wear the badge suspended from a broad ribbon over the right shoulder across to the left hip along with the breast star. The ribbon of the Pian Order is a dark blue with two scarlet stripes on each side; that of Saint Gregory is a red ribbon with a broad orange stripe at either side; that of Saint Sylvester is black with three narrow red stripes, two on each side and one in the center. The cross of the Pian Order is a gold star with eight blue enameled rays and the words ORDO PIANO on a white enamel and gold medallion ensigned in the center. The cross of Saint Gregory is an eight pointed “Maltese” cross in gold with red enamel and gold balls on the end of each point, ensigned with a gold medallion bearing the image of Saint Gregory and the words Pro Deo et Principe on the reverse; the badge of the civil division is surmounted by a green enamel laurel wreath, the military division by a trophy of arms in gold. The cross of Saint Sylvester is similar to Saint Gregory but with white enamel, and the image of Saint Sylvester on a gold medallion surrounded by gold rays between the arms of the cross. Each also have their own military style uniforms, whose design was regulated in the 1905 reforms. That of the Pian Order is dark blue, with a red collar and cuffs decorated with gold braid; that of Saint Gregory is dark green, with silver buttons and braiding; that of Saint Sylvester is black, with gold buttons and braiding.
Papal knights and dames do not have any specific obligations by virtue of their having been given the personal honor of membership in these Orders. It is customary, however, for them to be invited to participate in major events of their diocese, such as the consecration of Bishops, the ordination of Priests, and the introduction of a new Bishop into his diocese. On such occasions it is recommended that they wear the uniform of their respective Order.
This Association parallels similar associations of Papal Honorees which exist in France, in the United Kingdom and in various Italian and German dioceses. As Papal Honorees, no specific obligations are required of those who receive these titles other than the Gentlemen of His Holiness, who are required to serve His Holiness in person. Nonetheless, they imply special devotion and obedience to His Holiness on the part of all Catholic recipients of Papal Honors.