I have contributed a preface to the book “L’Ordine Equestre del Santo Sepolcro di Gerusalemme” by Prof. Dr. Luca Scotto Tella de’ Douglas di Castel di Ripa in collaboration with Maurizio Cancelli, published by Aracne Editrice in Rome.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (in Latin: Ordo Equestris Sancti Sepulcri Hierosolymitani, OESSH), also called the Order of the Holy Sepulchre or of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, is a Roman Catholic Knightly Order placed under the protection of the Holy See. Its main mission is to “support the Christian presence in the Holy Land”. According to ancient tradition, the Knights had the power to create other Knights, thus obtaining even the privilege of making even those Knights who were not nobles from birth become nobles. In addition, the acquisition of nobility also came from belonging to the Order. Among the privileges of the Order, registered by its Guardian in 1553 and approved by subsequent Popes, were included some of the greatest granted to any Order. Among these we should remember the ancient papal tradition, never repealed, which gives the Knights of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem the title, granted by the Holy Father as Head of the Vatican State, of Count Palatine “Comes Palatii” (ad personam) of the Sacred Lateran Palace. The Order takes precedence in ceremonies and Apostolic Palaces over any other Religious-Chivalric Order and, according to experts and historians, in the hierarchy of the Pontifical Orders it would come immediately after the Order of the Golden Spur (currently quiescent), according to the ancient custom, although this rule is currently under discussion.
This study of the Order is undertaken from a perspective independent of the Vatican, and considers the Order in its historic, religious and nobiliary context.
The book is of 860 pages. It is available from Amazon and other booksellers.