Holy Sepulcher (2)
Holy Sepulcher Orders of.
1. A religious order in the Roman Catholic Church according to the rule of St. Augustine, founded in 1114 by the archdeacon (subsequently patriarch of Jerusalem) Arnold; according to others, it was founded in 1099 by Godfrey of Bouillon. It embraced regular canons and canonesses, was at one time established all through Europe, and received a new rule under Urban VIII. The canons became extinct soon after the renewal of their rule, but the canonesses still have a number of houses in France, Germany (Baden), and the Netherlands, and, living in strict seclusion, occupy themselves with the instruction and education of young girls.
2. The Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulcher in England, established in 1174; extinct since the 16th century. The knights were obliged to guard, at least during two years, the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.
3. Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, an order founded very likely by pope Alexander VI to guard the Holy Sepulcher, and at the same time to afford relief and protection to pilgrims to the Holy Land. Originally the pope was the grand master of the order, but he finally ceded this right to the "guardian father of the Holy Sepulcher." The knights must be, according to the rules of the order, of noble descent, hear mass daily, fight, live, and die for the Roman Catholic faith, etc. But they enjoyed also extraordinary privileges, as exemption from taxation, permission to marry, possession of Church property, etc. When Jerusalem was recaptured by the Turks, the knights of the Holy Sepulcher went to Perugia, in Italy. "After a temporary union with the Hospitallers, the order was reconstructed in 1814 both in France and in Poland, and is still in existence within a very small circle of knights elected by the guardian father from the most respectable pilgrims who come to Jerusalem."