Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar
Degree of Knight of Redemption
Compiler's Note: This Order of Masonic Knighthood meets in a
Council of the
Order. The presiding Knight is known as the Most Venerable Grand
Master and he
is assisted by the Ven. Knight Constable, the Ven. Knight
Prefect, the Ven.
Knight Marshall, the Ven. Knight Herald and a Knight Warder.
admission as a Kt. of Redemption must be Knights of one of the
Orders of St.
John i.e. Malta, Palestine or Torphichan. All Knights are
dressed as in the
Hospitaller Order but in addition wear a sprig of Lily of the
Valley pinned in
the middle of the Cross of St. John.
There is a central altar on which is placed a crucifix, a vase
of lily of the
valley and the Gospel of St. John. The MVGM, the VK Constable
and the VK Prefect
are all seated in the East, the Constable to the right of the GM
and the Prefect
to his left. The Marshall is placed in the West in a central
Herald sits within the door of the Council chamber. Any other
Knight of the
Order may be present but these are the only officers.
The VK Marshall stands in the middle of the Council Chamber and
VKM: Knights, attend
Master that this Council may be opened.
All stand and salute as the MVGM enters and stands by his seat
in the East.
MVGM, returns the salute, sits and says: Venerable
Knights, I declare the Council open. Gives
** * **.
The VKM walks to the door and repeats the knocks which are again
the KW outside the door.
MVGM: Venerable Knights, this Council is now open,
be constant in
your observance of the Lord's will and also of our Laws. *.
VKC: Venerable Knights,
is now open, be constant in your charity. *.
VKP: Venerable Knights,
is now open, be constant in your duty. *.
All now sheath their swords and assume their stalls.
MVGM: Venerable Knights, since this Council meets
for no other
purpose than to admit deserving aspirants into our number, let us
task. V. Kt. Marshall, you will present before the Council, the
Knight of St.
John who awaits without and who seeks to join our Order.
VKM gives a short bow and retires, returning without alarm to
Aspirant to the West of the altar.
VKM, gives a short bow: MVGM,
my pleasure to present to you and the Venerable Knights here
Knight …, who has received the accolade of Knighthood and the silver
a Hospitaller Knight in one of the Orders of St. John of Jerusalem
and I now
commit him to your hands and his spiritual being to the care of the
MVGM: Ven. Kt. Marshall, has this Knight satisfied
you as to the
regularity of his Knighthood?
VKM: He has proved to
in all his qualifications.
MVGM: Then Sir Knight, you will give close attention
Ven. Kt. Prefect relates the history of this Grade of Knighthood.
VKP, stands, gives a short bow to the MVGM and directs his voice
In the year 1411, a squadron of galleys of the Order of St. John,
by the Grand Admiral, Ugo de Pescara, set sail from Rhodes under a
from the Kingdom of Naples. During the voyage a great squall arose
the vessels. Three of the ships, including that of Ugo de Pescara,
onto the shores of Sicilia, near the Port of Catania. The Knights
were near to
death from exhaustion and exposure when the keels of the vessels
onto the foreshore. As the Knights and their men-at-arms waded
waters to attain dry land, they clasped their hands together in this
gave their thanks to God for their salvation from a watery grave.
good fortune was short lived for, having clambered up onto higher
found themselves surrounded by armed men under the captaincy of the
of the Duke of Calabria, who was a sworn enemy of the Kings of
Naples. In their
weakened state they could not offer a viable resistance against
capture and de
Pescara offered up his sword to the Duke's captain, known as Messer
Baron in our language) Olivero di Fermi. The captain accepted the
promised that if de Pescara would give an undertaking that he and
his men would
not attempt to escape, they would be taken to Calabria but would be
arrest and could walk anywhere within the confines of the town,
parole. The Admiral gladly gave such an undertaking and he and his
escorted back to the town where they were received with due respect
care and had their needs attended to.
After some days, Alfonzo, the Duke of Calabria returned to his seat
counselors and his army. On hearing that the Knights of St. John had
captured, he demanded that their leader be brought before him
steward however, had to advise him that this was impossible as de
about the town and could not be immediately located. The Duke flew
into a great
rage and demanded to know why his enemies were not held in chains
prison and when it was explained to him that the Knights had given a
to his Captain for their conduct, his mood grew even darker and
his Captain be brought to him at once.
When di Fermi arrived the Duke demanded of him as to why he had
such a bargain with his sworn enemies. His Captain explained that
since he had
been admitted to Knighthood it was incumbent upon him to accept the
members of any chivalric Order since he knew well that once given, a
would rather die than break such an oath. The Duke knew that he
countermand the parole which had been accepted in his name without
loss of both
dignity among his equals and the respect of his followers. He
his rage and frustration upon his unfortunate Captain. He removed
Captain his baton, the emblem of his authority, and commanded that
be held in chains as he should have held his captives. Additionally,
decreed, that should any Hospitaller be found outside the town
limits then the
Captain was to suffer immediate execution.
On hearing of the contemptible actions of the Duke, Admiral de
his Knights and men-at-arms together and related to them the parlous
of the brave knight who had treated them with courtesy and warned
them all that
should they ever trespass beyond the limits laid down by the Duke,
result in the death of the Captain. All swore by the Cross of St.
John that each
would do nothing to endanger the life of di Fermi.
Some weeks passed and on a certain day, two knights of the Order
by the walls of the town when they heard a cry of terror. They
climbed up upon a
buttress and from this vantage point they espied a young maiden who
apparently been picking the lilies of the valley that grew along the
stretches of the cliffs, and who had evidently lost her footing and
and was now in imminent danger of falling to her death being so
due to the fact that her smock had been caught up on a thicket which
halted her downward plunge.
Without giving thought to their oath, both the knights raced to the
taking off their tabards, knotted them together. Then one set
himself as an
anchor white the other lowered himself down and took hold of the
maid and lifted
her back to safety. On being set upon safe ground the maid fled
before a word
could be said.
However, as the two regained the gate within the wall they were
by one of the Duke's men who had been appointed in place of the
Captain and now
wished to secure for himself that post on a permanent basis, and he
before the Duke straight with. The Duke demanded of the
Hospitallers, on their
word as Knights, if they had indeed gone beyond the boundaries of
the town as
had been reported to him.
Both knights tried to explain the circumstances to the Duke but he
allow any answer other than a Yeah or a Nay to his question. The
not deny that had taken the action of which they were accused and
Duke sent for his erstwhile Captain.
The Captain was brought before the Duke and was derided for the
of his life which had been brought about by misplaced trust in the
the Court. The Captain was asked why he should be spared and he
lied that if indeed his judgment of the Hospitallers had been at
fault then he
could, in all conscience, not make any plea that his life be spared.
Once again the two Hospital Knights tried to intercede on his behalf
were rudely silenced by the acting Captain who could now vision that
of preferment would come to fruition. The Duke then called for his
to step forward and to take the gallant Captain to the courtyard and
out the sentence of death.
Just as the Court was about to disperse, the wife of the Duke
hall, bringing with her their only child, a young maid of tender age
Duke loved dearly. The Duchess called upon her husband to stay and
words of his daughter, for she was the maid whose life had been
saved by the two
When the maid had finished her account, the Duke who although fitted
uncontrollable tempers, was at heart a fair and just man, took his
into his arms and called that the two Hospitallers be placed on
either side of
his Captain, when this was occasioned, the Duke knelt before them
and said a
prayer of thanks for the life of his daughter, and in a loud voice
all to hear, O gracious Knights, Thou are all Redeemed, thou are
example of chivalrous deportment and I have been blinded to justice
by an unjust
Thereafter, di Fermi was confirmed once again as the Commander of
armies and the Hospitallers were exercised of all parole and could
anywhere in Sicilia only under the single condition that they would
not use the
force of arms against the local populace. Admiral de Pescara then
Assembly of the Knights of St. John and it was decided that a new
Order would be
established. This Order would be called the Order of Knights of
reference to the circumstances surrounding the events just related.
held that only those of their own Order, that of St. John of
Jerusalem would be
admitted to the new Order, that as a badge or emblem, the Lily of
would be chosen and a floret of that flower would be pinned on the
Amalfi which adorns the mantle of a Hospitaller Knight. As a
memorial of the
just treatment offered by the de Fermi, aspirants for the new Order
represent him during the ceremony.
The VKP gives the short bow and resumes his stall.
MVGM: Brother Knight, thus you have heard the
history of this
Order. We have made no changes save the one that permits us to admit
the Orders of Palestine and Torphichan as well as those of the Malta
The lesson that may be learned from the words related to you is that
and truth can never be suborned by power or fury and in the actions
brave Knight di Fermi we see all the characteristics expected of a
Knight, loyalty, fidelity and gallantry.
You stand before us representing that Knight and we have no doubt
will similarly exhibit all those same characteristics, therefore you
advance before me and kneel on your right knee.
VKM: Knights to Order.
stand and draw their swords which are held at the carry, except
for the MVGM who
holds his lying across his arms.
MVGM: Knight .... In the name of our All Seeing God
on High and
his One True Son, Jesus Christ, thus do I, by the powers reposing in
create and establish you, dubs twice on
shoulder a Knight of
Redemption. Do you
swear every to uphold the values and honour of those who have gone
and never to repeat what has now been divulged to you except within
a Council of
the Order. Aspiranr assents.
Then you may rise for further instruction.
VKM: Knights, sheath
resume your stalls. The MVGM returns to
his station and
the VKC approaches the aspirant, before speaking he gives a
short bow to the GM.
VKC: I greet you as a
of this Order and the duty falls to me to enlighten you as to the
employed by Knights of Redemption in recognising each other and the
given within this Council. On approaching the door of this Council
or another of
the Order, the Knight Warder, should you be unknown to him, will ask
WHAT DO YOU SEEK?, in order to gain admission you must reply: I SEEK
On giving this correct response you will be admitted within the
the venerable Knight Marshall will require of you, the Passing In
Sign, which is
given by clasping your hands together in front of your chest, as did
when they reached the safety of dry land. You will then repair to a
stall. When the Ven. Knight Marshal calls us to Order, you will
draw your sword and hold it at the carry. If the VKM calls us to
salute the MVGM
or a distinguished member of the Order, you will lower the point of
until it is a few inches from the floor, pause and return to the
The token of a Knight of Redemption is given by clasping your right
with your left hand and then taking the right hand of your
colleague. This grip
is the way in which the knights who saved the maiden strengthened
their arms to
hold each other. Finally, the Word of this Order is VIRTUTE OMNIA
Virtue is All.
VKN gives a short bow and returns to his stall.
MVGM, rises and approaches the aspiramt: As
a mark of your entry into this Order I now declare you with this
sprig of Lily
of the Valley which is the emblem of our Order. The Ven. Knight
now conduct you to your stall.
The Marshal conducts the newly admitted Knight around the
Council, as they
pass the sitting Knights, the Knights arise and salute the new
Knight and then
return their swords and take their seats. After the MVGM salutes
the new Knight,
the Marshall instructs him to return the salutation and
thereafter conducts him
to a vacant stall. The VKM then resumes his own stall.
MVGM: Since we have completed our duties of the day,
I will now
close this Council of Knights of Redemption.
VKP: Knights, be
constant in your
duty and hear that it is the Most Venerable Grand Master's will that
Council be closed. ** * **.
VKC: Knights be
constant in your
charity and hear that it is the MVGM's will that this Council be
MVGM: Knights, be constant in your observance of the
and also of our Laws, this Council is closed. ** * **.
NKM: Knights you will
upstanding while the Most Venerable Grand Master retires. Thereafter
the assembled Knights retire.