Monday, December 22, 2008
All knights in the religious orders are monks as well as warriors. All land is held in common in accordance with a vow of Poverty and every manor and Abbey gives directly to the central treasury of the brotherhood. In addition to the overriding mission to give both defense and succor to Christians, they must also meet obligations as monks, laid out in the rule of the great St Augustine. All members of the order, whether they fight, care for souls of others or maintain our holdings, must also read the offices (or pray the proscribed amount of Paters if they are not lettered) at the ordained hours every day unless prevented by great need. Dress, food and days of feast and abstinence are all laid down in the rule of the order and this rule must be conformed to as the central part of the discipline of religious life. As confirmed by his holiness the Pope, the orders are independent of all authority, both religious and secular, except that of the Pope himself.
The orders maintain four ranks, two of combatants: “Men at Arms” and “Knights”; and two non-combatant: “Chaplains” and “Casaliers”. It is laid out in the rule of each order that only those of suitable station can be admitted to the rank of knights, in accordance with the natural order here on earth and only those of better lineage may aspire to hold high offices. Accordingly, those who join the combatants of each order will join either the Knights or Men at Arms according to their birth. They will receive similar training and will differ only in their outfit and position in the hierarchy of command. Those of sufficient lineage and exceptional deed may be Knighted by the order but will remain ineligible for senior offices.