Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests
Degree of Knight of Redemption

1995/2015


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. Those seeking 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 position. The Herald sits within the door of the Council chamber. Any other Knight of the Order may be present but these are the only officers.


 

Opening

The VK Marshall stands in the middle of the Council Chamber and says:
VKM:
Knights, attend your Grand 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 repeated by 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, this Council is now open, be constant in your charity. *.
VKP:
Venerable Knights, this Council 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 perform that 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 place the Aspirant to the West of the altar.
VKM, gives a short bow:
MVGM, it is my pleasure to present to you and the Venerable Knights here assembled, Sir Knight , who has received the accolade of Knighthood and the silver spurs of 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 Trinity.
MVGM:
Ven. Kt. Marshall, has this Knight satisfied you as to the regularity of his Knighthood?
VKM:
He has proved to me satisfactory in all his qualifications.
MVGM:
Then Sir Knight, you will give close attention while the Ven. Kt. Prefect relates the history of this Grade of Knighthood.
VKP, stands, gives a short bow to the MVGM and directs his voice to the Aspirant:

 

History

In the year 1411, a squadron of galleys of the Order of St. John, commanded by the Grand Admiral, Ugo de Pescara, set sail from Rhodes under a commission from the Kingdom of Naples. During the voyage a great squall arose and scattered the vessels. Three of the ships, including that of Ugo de Pescara, were driven 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 were driven onto the foreshore. As the Knights and their men-at-arms waded through the waters to attain dry land, they clasped their hands together in this fashion and gave their thanks to God for their salvation from a watery grave. However, their good fortune was short lived for, having clambered up onto higher ground, they found themselves surrounded by armed men under the captaincy of the Chief Guard 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 (meaning Baron in our language) Olivero di Fermi. The captain accepted the sword and 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 free from arrest and could walk anywhere within the confines of the town, under that parole. The Admiral gladly gave such an undertaking and he and his men were escorted back to the town where they were received with due respect and given care and had their needs attended to.
After some days, Alfonzo, the Duke of Calabria returned to his seat with his counselors and his army. On hearing that the Knights of St. John had been captured, he demanded that their leader be brought before him immediately. His steward however, had to advise him that this was impossible as de Pescara were 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 within his prison and when it was explained to him that the Knights had given a true parole to his Captain for their conduct, his mood grew even darker and demanded that his Captain be brought to him at once.
When di Fermi arrived the Duke demanded of him as to why he had entered into 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 word of members of any chivalric Order since he knew well that once given, a Knight would rather die than break such an oath. The Duke knew that he could not 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 therefore vented his rage and frustration upon his unfortunate Captain. He removed from the Captain his baton, the emblem of his authority, and commanded that the Captain be held in chains as he should have held his captives. Additionally, the Duke 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 Pescara called his Knights and men-at-arms together and related to them the parlous situation 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, this would 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 were walking 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 had apparently been picking the lilies of the valley that grew along the top most stretches of the cliffs, and who had evidently lost her footing and had fallen and was now in imminent danger of falling to her death being so prevented only due to the fact that her smock had been caught up on a thicket which temporarily halted her downward plunge.
Without giving thought to their oath, both the knights raced to the spot and 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 apprehended 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 took them 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 would not allow any answer other than a Yeah or a Nay to his question. The knights could not deny that had taken the action of which they were accused and forthwith the Duke sent for his erstwhile Captain.
The Captain was brought before the Duke and was derided for the imminent loss of his life which had been brought about by misplaced trust in the enemies of the Court. The Captain was asked why he should be spared and he courageously rep 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 but they were rudely silenced by the acting Captain who could now vision that his hopes of preferment would come to fruition. The Duke then called for his executioner to step forward and to take the gallant Captain to the courtyard and there carry out the sentence of death.
Just as the Court was about to disperse, the wife of the Duke entered the hall, bringing with her their only child, a young maid of tender age who the Duke loved dearly. The Duchess called upon her husband to stay and hear the words of his daughter, for she was the maid whose life had been saved by the two Knights.
When the maid had finished her account, the Duke who although fitted with uncontrollable tempers, was at heart a fair and just man, took his daughter up 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 called for all to hear, O gracious Knights, Thou are all Redeemed, thou are indeed the example of chivalrous deportment and I have been blinded to justice by an unjust rage.
Thereafter, di Fermi was confirmed once again as the Commander of the Duke's armies and the Hospitallers were exercised of all parole and could travel 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 called an 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 Redemption in reference to the circumstances surrounding the events just related. The Knights 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 the Valley would be chosen and a floret of that flower would be pinned on the Cross of 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 would 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 Knights of the Orders of Palestine and Torphichan as well as those of the Malta Order.
The lesson that may be learned from the words related to you is that courage and truth can never be suborned by power or fury and in the actions of that brave Knight di Fermi we see all the characteristics expected of a Christian Knight, loyalty, fidelity and gallantry.
You stand before us representing that Knight and we have no doubt that you will similarly exhibit all those same characteristics, therefore you will now advance before me and kneel on your right knee.
VKM:
Knights to Order. All 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 my office, create and establish you, dubs twice on the right shoulder a Knight of Redemption. Do you swear every to uphold the values and honour of those who have gone before you 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 your swords, 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 Brother Knight of this Order and the duty falls to me to enlighten you as to the methods employed by Knights of Redemption in recognising each other and the salutations 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 of you, WHAT DO YOU SEEK?, in order to gain admission you must reply: I SEEK REDEMPTION. On giving this correct response you will be admitted within the Council where 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 the Knights when they reached the safety of dry land. You will then repair to a vacant stall. When the Ven. Knight Marshal calls us to Order, you will stand upright, 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 the sword until it is a few inches from the floor, pause and return to the carry.
The token of a Knight of Redemption is given by clasping your right wrist 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 EST, meaning 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 Marshall will 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.



Closing

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 this Council be closed. ** * **.
VKC:
Knights be constant in your charity and hear that it is the MVGM's will that this Council be closed. ** * **.
MVGM:
Knights, be constant in your observance of the Lord's will and also of our Laws, this Council is closed. ** * **.
NKM:
Knights you will remain upstanding while the Most Venerable Grand Master retires. Thereafter the assembled Knights retire.


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