Molans, Philibert De

Molans, Philibert De founder of the Order of St. George, was born at Molans, France, and flourished m the 14th century. He belonged to one of the oldest families in the country. The duke of Burgundy, Philip the Bold, took him into his service as equerry. Molans followed his master to the Holy Land, and was very useful to him. In return for his efficiency, the. duke appointed him general inspector of the ducal arsenals. Molans afterwards went again to Palestine, and is said to have brought back the remains of one St. George, presenting these relics to the church at Rougemont, which instituted special services in honor of them. In 1390 Molans established an order under the inspiration of the alleged martyr. In order to become a member of this association one had to be a native of the duchy or county of Burgundy, and show not less than sixteen quarterings on his shield. Each chevalier of St. George had to take a vow to devote his life and fortune to the vindication of the Roman Catholic religion, and the protection of the oppressed, the virgins, and the orphans. The distinctive badge of the order was a gold image, suspended from a blue ribbon, and representing St. George smiting a dragon to the ground. Although this society had a purely moral aim, the Besanon Parliament persistently declined to legalize it. The Order of St. George continued in France until the Revolution. Historians are riot agreed as to the place and date of Molans's death. The latter part of his life was shrouded in obscurity. Great Britain, Bavaria, Spain, and Russia have each, in turn, created an Order of St. George. See Thomas Varin, Etat de l'illustre Confrerie de Saint-Georges en 1663; Pointier de Gouhelans, Statuts de l'Ordre de Saint-Georges, avec la liste des Chevaliers depuis 1390 (Besangon, 1768, 8vo); John Milner, Historical and Critical Inquiry into the Existence and Character of St. George; Heylin, History of St. George.

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