The Order of the Orthodox Hospitallers (Deputati) is an historic, International, Indepentend, Legitimate and self governed Panorthodox Order, honored in the name of St. John the Baptist.
It was founded by the Byzantine Emperor Mauricius (582 - 602 a.D.) as a military, nursing Order of Knights (Kavallarii) and as an Imperial Class of dignitaries, High rank Officers (Scribons) of the Imperial Excubitors.
Their goal was - according to the Emperor Leo VI the Wise - to carry out confidential duties, to follow and guard the Emperor, to save and nurse the wounded of war, the refugees and the sufferers.
The Depotati - Hospitallers as a secular class were Noblemen of the Palatine Glass and as an Ecclesiastical Class were Lords Officials of the Church.
The Class in compliance to its Institutions survived the fall of the Byzantine Empire without any interruption in the framework of the ecclesiastical practice, in the practices of the enslaved Nation to the Ottomans, and those of the free Orthodox Nations as well.
In these areas it worked in the social, the spiritual and the military sector struggling against the conquerors and the prevention of Orthodoxy.
The Byzantine Chivalry, expressed in the person of St. George,( Patron Saint of the Byzantine Army ) served as model for the Christian Chivalry and Orders.
The Order in its contemporary form as a Secular and Religious Order was consecrated, according to the tradition and the Internationally accepted standards, in the year 1972 by the late Ethnarch, Archbishop and President of the Republic of Cyprus Macarios III., as a non State but as an International, Independent Sovereign and Panorthodox Order
Having been instituted by a ruling Head of State who was also Head of the Orthodox Church in the country of foundation, is legitimately qualify under the prerequisites of International Law to be recognized as a lawful Order of Chivalry.
It is significant the participation in the consecrating and administrating procedure of the Order, of H.I.H. the Prince Dimitri Alexandrovich of Russia (Romanoff), Baron Sergei von Bennigsen and other Russian Noblemen, and hereditary Commanders of the Orthodox Grand Priory of Russia of the Order of St. John and the Byzantine Imperial House of Laskaris - Comnenos.
The Order was accredited - according to the traditions - and honored with the secular protection and patronage of Heads of States, International Organizations and with the canonical Benediction and spiritual patronage of Orthodox Patriarchs and Prelates.
The Order as a Sovereign and International entity is governed
by the provisions of the International Law.
The Order and the Brotherhood function upon a Constitution which defines the functioning of the administrative units and their Organs.
The highest authority of the Order consists of 3 Grand Lords, the one of whom - the Lord Grand Prior - governs together with the 4 member Grand Council through the Executive Body and other Organs of the Order.
Spiritual and Sacramental rights are carried out by the Orthodox Hierachs and Priests of the Brotherhood.
The Order has a great activity and presence in the Society, through its Dependencies, Institutions and representatives, that exist in many countries of Western and Eastern Europe, as well as in North and South America, Africa and Middle East.
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This is, however, not the case with the other Orthodox decorations and orders.
The Order of the Orthodox Hospitallers is not a self styled order, nor is it in any way attempting to imitate other lawful Order of St. John of Jerusalem or of Malta. É have found nothing in the documentation to support such a claim.
The Order of the Orthodox Hospitallers was founded by Archbishop Macarios III when he was Head of State of the Republic of Cyprus, and domiciled by him in Cyprus. Thus the Order meets the required prerequisites for any Order to be recognized under international law.
There is, to the best of my knowledge, no other Order extant which enjoys a similar status. It gave me pleasure to be able to include the Order of Orthodox Hospitallers in ÔÇÅ CROSS ÏÍ ÔÇÅ SWORD, and also add some photographs in this authoritative work which, like ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD, AWARDS ÁÍD ÔÇÅ HOLY SEE, reflects the Holy See' s views and attitudes. However, having said that, É stress that neither recognition nor approval by the Holy See are necessary for the continued existence of the Order of the Orthodox Hospitallers which does not fall within the sphere of interest or influence of the Holy See.
But is must be a matter of great pride and satisfaction to yourself, and even more to the Orthodox Church in the Diaspora, that the Order of Orthodox Hospitallers is now listed and, indeed, well documented among the legitimate Orders of Hospitallers and those of Knighthood.