The Orthodox Knights
STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATION, PURPOSE, AND DUTIES
The Order has a Constitution and By-Laws and is a non-profit, charitable
organization incorporated in the state of New York. It is governed by a grand
prior, His Excellency Count Nicholas Bobrinskoy, and is sanctioned by His
Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. The International Headquarters
and Secretariat are located in Mount Vernon, New York.
Aims of the Order in America:
Following the precepts of the Blessed Gérard, the Order in America
encourages its membership to do good and charitable works, especially for
the ill, children, the old, and the destitute. It also serves as an educational
source, maintains and preserves hospitals and Christian institutions. The
Order will promote the continued improvement and understanding among Christian
churches, while preserving and sharing the traditions of Orthodoxy. It will
also actively to seek to enter into an understanding and coöperation
with other legitimate branches of the Order of Saint John.
Aims of the Order in Russia:
In the immediate future, the Order will re-establish itself in Russia,
particularly in St. Petersburg and Moscow. It will seek permission to use
the ancestral chapels of the Worontzov Palace in St. Petersburg, the Order's
original seat. As interest is expressed in other suitable locations, the
Order will establish Commanderies and Priories. The Order seeks outstanding
individuals with proper qualifications from all strata of Russian society.
Aside from its hospitaller work, the Order will pursue a fourfold program:
To support the Church and its undertakings;
To help the youth of Russia seek meaning to their lives through Christian
education and moral virtues;
To inculcate in all people the true ideals of Christian chivalry and the
nobility of spirit;
To promote the cause of peace and goodwill among all the people of Russia.
All persons of good faith and exemplary life are permitted to join the Order
in one of its categories of membership. There are four types of membership:
serving brothers and sisters; donats; serving clergy; and knights and dames.
Each type has further divisions into classes. They are Honor, Merit, Grace,
and Justice. Membership is by recommendation and invitation. After nomination
and the submission of proper credentials, a review is made by the Sovereign
Council and submitted for approval to the Grand Prior.
The Order is an active organization. Membership requires individuals to support
actively to the best of their ability in word and deed, both actual and
financial, the good and charitable work of the Order. Individual members
are responsible for the cost and upkeep of all properly recognized insignia
and mantles (cloaks) and are also required to contribute a small annual fee
for the maintenance of the Order.
The Order's knights and dames may wear for suitable occasions the traditional
black cloak or mantle emblazoned with an eight-pointed white cross (the Maltese
Cross). The neck decorations, miniatures, plaques, and rosettes are those
approved by the Order.