To receive a Pilgrim Shell, the most treasured decoration of the Order, please submit a letter to the Lieutenant with the following information:
If you have a brochure describing your pilgrimage, please submit a copy.
This information will allow the Lieutenant to evaluate your application and determine if your trip meets the requirements of an Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem pilgrimage.
Upon review by the Lieutenant, and once approved by the Grand Master of the Order, a certificate of pilgrimage and a pilgrim shell will be mailed to you.
Please include an honorarium of $100.00 per Pilgrim Shell requested and mail to:
H. E. Lois K. Folger, DGCHS
Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
Southwestern USA Lieutenancy
2001 Kirby Drive, Suite 902
Houston, Texas 77019
2025 • Sept 5-8
San Antonio, Texas
2026 • Oct 16-19
2027 • Oct 15-18
Our thanks to Sir Steve and Lady Linda Pinion, Sir Michael and Lady Regina Lodes and Msgr Gregory Gier and the photographer Cathy Nelson
Please send an email:
Section Reps please email newsletters and other documents for your area
We encourage you to nominate anyone who is a Catholic in good standing who you feel actively participates in his or her diocese and parish. The three forms below will aid you in your nomination
First, read Nominating New Members. Nomination form will familiarize you with the nomination process and the timeline for nominations
A priest may only be nominated by a bishop or the superior of his order. Please use the priest recommendation form to request a priest to be considered for nomination
When you wish to nominate a member, begin by visiting with them to gauge their interest and to explain our Order to them. The most common reason for declining an invitation to join is a lack of understanding of who we are and what we do. You may leave a copy of An Introduction to the Order (see link below) with them
*** It is important that you do not invite the candidates to join! Each candidate must be approved by the local pastor and bishop and then by the Vatican. ***
The purpose of visiting is to help potential members increase their interest in joining our order. Finally, fill out an application form (see link below) and submit it to your section representative. Thank you for your support of our Order!
The origins of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem date back to the First Crusade, when its leader, Godfrey de Bouillon, liberated Jerusalem. As part of his operations to organise the religious, military and public bodies of the territories newly freed from Muslim control, he founded the Order of Canons of the Holy Sepulchre. According to accounts of the Crusades, in 1103 the first King of Jerusalem, Baldwin I, assumed the leadership of this canonical order, and reserved the right for himself and his successors (as agents of the Patriarch of Jerusalem) to appoint Knights to it, should the Patriarch be absent or unable to do so.
The Order's members included not only the Regular Canons (Fratres) but also the Secular Canons (Confratres) and the Sergentes. The latter were armed knights chosen from the crusader troops for their qualities of valour and dedication; they vowed to obey Augustinian Rule of poverty and obedience and undertook specifically, under the command of the King of Jerusalem, to defend the Holy Sepulchre and the Holy Places
Very soon after the First Crusade the troops, including the Knights of the Order of Canons of the Holy Sepulchre, began to return to their homelands. This led to the creation of priories all over Europe, which were part of the Order as they came under the jurisdiction of the noble knights or prelates who had been invested on the Holy Sepulchre itself and who, although they were no longer in the direct service of the King of Jerusalem, continued to belong to the Order of Canons.
The Order first began to fail as a cohesive military body of knights after Saladin regained Jerusalem in 1182, and completely ceased to exist in that format after the defeat of Acre in 1291. The passing of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem left the Order without a leader, though it continued to survive in the European priories thanks to the protection of sovereigns, princes, bishops and the Holy See. The priories kept alive the ideals of the Crusader Knights: propagation of the Faith, defence of the weak, charity towards other human beings. With the exception of events in Spain, it was only rarely that the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre ever took part again in military action to defend Christianity.
In the 14th century, the Holy See made an extremely high payment to the Egyptian Sultan so that he would grant the right to protect the Christian Sanctuaries to the Franciscan Friars Minor. Throughout the whole period of the Latin Patriarchate's suppression, the right to create new Knights was the prerogative of the representative of the highest Catholic authority in the Holy Land: the Custos.
In 1847 the Patriarchate was restored and Pope Pius IX modernised the Order, issuing a new Constitution which placed it under the direct protection of the Holy See and conferred its government to the Latin Patriarch. The Order's fundamental role was also defined: to uphold the works of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, whilst preserving the spiritual duty of propagating the Faith.
In 1949, Pius XII decreed that the Grand Master of the Order should be a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church and assigned the position of Grand Prior to the Patriarch of Jerusalem. In 1962 Pope John XXIII and, in 1967, Pope Paul VI reorganised and revitalised the Order by adding more specific regulations to the Constitution with the intention of making the Order's activities more co-ordinated and more effective.
In February 1996, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II enhanced the Order's status. Today it is a Public Association of faithful with a legal canonical and public personality, constituted by the Holy See under Canon Law 312, paragraph 1:1.
Over and above its historic connotations and its eventful progress in times gone by, the valuable and interesting aspects of the Order today lie in the role assigned to it, which it pursues within the sphere of the Catholic Church and through its administrative structure and its local organisations in various communities.
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To you, Virgin Mother Mary, Queen of the Land of Christ we come to praise you, to thank you and entrust to you all your children, inhabitants and pilgrims of this Land.
Virgin, Daughter of Zion, teach us the love you have for everyone, without distinction. Show us your merciful heart, give us your clarity of vision. As in the days of Nazareth teach us to listen attentively to the voice of God and to his Word of life. Teach us fidelity in our daily work and silence capable of creating profound communion.
Like in Cana watch over families, so that there is no lack of joy and unity. As on the streets of Galilee and Judea, precede us on the path of discipleship in the footsteps of your beloved Son to the supreme offering at the foot of Calvary. As in the Upper Room, intercede with the gift of the Spirit that cries in us: “Abba”.
The One Father for Jews, Christians and Muslims, Help us all to walk on the paths of forgiveness and reconciliation so the walls that divide may fall. Mother of the Prince of Peace, also gift us the taste of Heaven that supports our hope, so that soon “justice and peace will kiss” this Holy Land and the entire earth.
Our Lady, Queen of Palestine, Pray for us and all the peoples of the Lands made sacred by your Son’s Life, Death, and Resurrection.
Brought to us by Most Rev. Eusebius Beltran, KC*HS
Archbishop Emeritus, Oklahoma City
Lieutenancy Meeting, October 19, 2014
Lord, God of Peace, hear our prayer!
We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How Many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; How much blood has ben shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried . . . But our efforts have been in vain.
Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts and give us the courage to say: Never again war! Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.
Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, You created us and You call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister.
We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the
Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
“Lord teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples
He said to them, When you pray, say:”
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
O Lord Jesus Christ, for Your five wounds that we carry on our insignis we pray to You
Give us the strength to love all whom your Father has created and, more so, our enemies
Free our soul and heart from sin, from partiality, from egoism and from cowardice so that we can be worthy of Your sacrifice
Let Your Spirit fall upon us all, the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, so that it may render us as convinced and sincere ambassadors of peace and love among our brothers and sisters and, especially, among all those who think they do not believe in You
Give us Faith
to face all the problems of everyday life
and to deserve, one day, to approach,
humbly but without fear,
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary:
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
R. Be it done unto me according to Thy word
V. And the Word was made flesh:
R. And dwelt among us
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God:
R. that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.
I BELIEVE in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made,consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale, of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus;
O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant
From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name
He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty
He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end
Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord
Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Benignity, Goodness, Longanimity, Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continence, Chasitity