The MSM and its mission was fully supported by His Excellency Archbishop Lefebvre and continues to enjoy the strong support of the FSSPX bishops and the FSSPX as a whole. It was founded in 1945 by Dom Gérard Lafond, OSB, who was inspired by three great Marian saints: St. Bernard de Clairvaux, St Louis de Montfort and Fr. Maximilian Kolbe.
While Fr. Maximilian founded the Militia Immaculatae for priests originally, the Militia Sanctae Mariae was instituted to fully restore the Church institutions of Knighthood and Military Orders, with the Liturgical dubbing or sacramental of the Benedictio Novi Militis of the Roman Pontifical.
All members are required to make the Holy Slavery Consecration to Our Lady according to St Louis de Montfort (at the latest at the beginning of the ceremony in which they receive the habit as Squires (i.e. novices)). They later make their temporary profession as Donates and their final profession as Knights.
So that you may gauge the positive impact of consecrated knights operating in the world, you may find it interesting to know that, indeed, it was some of our Swiss members, who, having purchased Ecône in 1968, later, in 1970, donated it to His Excellency Archbishop Lefebvre. Since that time the Archbishop himself began dubbing many of our Knights.
Today, our new knights are dubbed by His Excellency Bishop de Galarreta (who is our Bishop Protector) or by His Excellency Bishop Tissier de Mallerais (who participates in almost all our yearly General Chapters). Both Their Excellencies Bishop Fellay and Bishop Williamson also know of, and are favorably disposed to the Order and its goals.
Also, the MSM has a worldwide membership with members in Western and Central Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
The Order's aim is the restoration of the Social Reign of Jesus Christ the King over temporal society and its institutions, according to the Political and Social Doctrine of the Church, which His Excellency Archibishop Lefebvre emphasized so many times as the core of the matter that constitutes the crisis in the Church today. To quote His Excellency Archbishop Lefebvre:
"Voilà ce qui fait notre opposition, et c’est pourquoi l’on ne peut pas s’entendre. Ce n’est pas d’abord la question de la messe, car la messe est justement une des conséquences du fait que l’on a voulu se rapprocher du Protestantisme et donc transformer le culte, les sacrements, le catéchisme, etc. La vraie opposition fondamentale est le Règne de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ. Opportet Illum regnare, nous dit saint Paul. Notre Seigneur est venu pour régner. Eux disent non, nous disons oui, avec tous les papes. (L’Église infiltrée par le Modernisme, le ver est dans le fruit, chapitre Le fondement de notre position, p. 70)"
[Translation; "Therein lies our opposition, and this is why we cannot agree. It is not primarily the question of the Mass, for the Mass is merely one of the consequences of the fact that they wish to reconcile with Protestantism and so to transform worship, the sacraments, the Catechism, etc. The real fundamental opposition is the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ Opportet Illum regnare, St Paul tells us. Our Lord came to reign. They say no, we say yes, with all the popes."]
Thus, in accordance with the Traditional Catholic Doctrine of the Two Swords, the MSM, through the actions of 'natural leaders' as defined by Holy Mother Church, and utilizing the Graces flowing from the sacramental of traditional Dubbing, and under the spiritual guidance of the Church, strives to affect changes in the social order, support and expand the Traditional institutions within the Church, and support and network among the Traditional Catholic laity, to effect the Restoration. We also undertake the other traditional missions of Knighthood such as the protection of Holy Mother Church, the weak, and the Remnant Faithful.
Here is a short introduction:
The Order of Knights of Our Lady
Observance of the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary
The Church and Christendom
In order to promote Christendom, i.e. the social and political reign of Our Lord, Holy Mother Church has established two main institutions.
The first institution the Church established is the imperial or royal coronation (i.e., the anointing of an emperor or a king), a sacramental which gives a participation in the Kingship of Christ and graces in order to fulfil the corresponding mission. However, faced with the lack of central power after Charlemagne’s death, and the resulting social chaos, the Church reminded princes, barons and knights that they had, at their own level, the same mission and duties as an emperor or a king.
Consequently, the Church Christianised the rite of military dubbing and added to it a liturgical version (IXth century) today known as the Roman Pontifical’s Benedictio Novi Militis and modelled on the coronation rite. It is also a sacramental conferred by a bishop, and thus gives an official mission and the necessary graces. It is mainly thanks to these institutions that Christendom reached its full development.
However, in order to defend and protect this flourishing Christendom and Christian civilization, the Church also founded two other institutions: the Crusades, with the temporary vow of the Cross; and the Military Orders, or Orders of Chivalry, permanent by nature, with religious vows for religious knights and private vows for secular knights.
So, how could the social and political reign of Christ be restored today? Probably through the institutions the Church has established for that very purpose. By definition, they are the best means to reach the goals they were given: they are excellent, perennial and universal, i.e. good for all times and everywhere.
The Order of Knights of Our Lady
It is upon two of these institutions -- the liturgical dubbing and orders of knighthood -- that the Order of Knights of Our Lady (OKOL) was founded.
In 1945, Dom Marie Gérard Lafond founded the Order of Knights of Our Lady, or Militia Sanctae Mariae (M.S.M.) The aim of the founder was to create a new chivalry suitable for our times, regular and militant, adapted to the needs of the modem world, devoted to Mary, dedicated to the service of the Church and our neighbours, with a view to ‘enlarging on earth the frontiers of the Kingdom of God’. (Léon Gautier, Chivalry)
The M.S.M. was canonically established as a confraternity in the crypt of Notre Dame de Sous-Terre at Chartres Cathedral by His Excellency Monsigneur Roger Michon, Bishop of Chartres, on 24th December 1964. It was similarly established in Germany by Mgr. Graber, Bishop of Regensburg, in 1968; in Switzerland by Mgr. Adam, Bishop of Sion, in 1969; in Portugal by Mgr. da Silva, Archbishop of Braga, in 1975; and in Spain by Mgr. del Val, Bishop of Santander, in 1984. The Rule of the M.S.M. was published in 1958, subsequently receiving the imprimatur of Bp. Michon on the 22nd of August, 1965, feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
After the Second Vatican Council, the Magistry of the Order accepted the de facto new orientation of the Church theNovus Ordo Missae and various doctrinal innovations: ‘Religious Liberty’ and ‘Œcumenism’, in particular. The Magistry modified the Rule so as to leave out traditional concepts such as the union of Church and State, regardless of how essential this union had always been for the extension of the reign of Our Lord over civil society. In other words, by accepting the new orientation, the Magistry had compromised its ability to achieve the very purpose of Chivalry and, by extension, of the Order of Our Lady.
A number of brethren who wished to remain faithful to Catholic Tradition either left the Order or were expelled from it. In 1970, some of these traditional brethren, like Jacques de Moustier and Raoul de Beaunay, then set up, under the sign of the Cross and United Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the Catholic Fraternity of Secular Knights (CFSK), whose new members were knighted by His Excellency Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. That same year a few knights, who had purchased Ecône, had given it to him in order to open a seminary.
On the 18th of March, 1989, four senior knights of the Order (OKOL) and of the Fraternity (CFSK) decided to restore the Order to Catholic Tradition by consecrating it to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, reverting to its pre-conciliar Rule, and taking the title ‘Observance of the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary’, in order to place it under the protection of the Hearts of Our Lord and Our Lady, as well as to distinguish it from the original Order, which had adopted the conciliar orientation.
These knights were encouraged by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (SSPX), in the persons of Reverend Fathers Schmidberger and Aulagnier, as well as by Their Excellencies Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, who, as President of the Canonical Commission of the Society, approved the Order’s Rule and Constitutions, and Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta, who now serves as the Bishop-Protector of the Order. In 1994, Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta conferred the grace of knighthood upon new members, according to the rite of dubbing, Benedictio Novi Militis, found in the Roman Pontifical.
Today, the Order has members in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America.
If You Would Be a Knight
‘A knight who keeps the laws of his order is exceedingly dear to me. For if it is hard for a monk to wear his heavy habit, it is harder still for a knight to wear his heavy armour.’ --Our Lord Jesus Christ, in a vision to St. Bridget of Sweden
For those with the proper mental, physical, and spiritual dispositions, the knightly vocation is certainly the vocation par excellence for laymen. Archbishop Lefebvre himself solemnly called upon laymen during the Jubilee of his priesthood in 1979 when he said: ‘We must make a Crusade... in order to restore Christendom, as the Church desires it to be... with the same principles... You must act... You should organise yourselves...’
Of course, one does not join the Order as one would join a club or an association, and becoming a knight is neither easy nor guaranteed. The Order’s Rule is demanding: there is a postulancy and novitiate during which new members are evaluated for retention and promotion, and there is a modest financial obligation (one day's salary per annum) that must be met.
Each individual postulant is received as a squire after a minimum postulancy of six (6) months. After a two (2) year novitiate as a squire, a member can make his temporary profession as a squire-donate for a two-year period that is indefinitely renewable.
Then, at the call of the Master in Council, he may be admitted to final profession and dubbing as a knight. He receives the white mantle after taking the three private vows of Conversion of life (new life according to the Rule), Fidelity to the Order (obedience within the limits of this Rule and fraternal mutual aid), and Defence of the Church (similar to the vow of Crusade, to defend the Church and Christendom, even at the peril of one’s life). The next day, after the all-night vigil of arms and the Bishop’s Mass, the pontiff girds him with the sword.
The knights pledge to attend Mass once per week apart from Sunday, to visit the Blessed Sacrament on those days when they do not attend Mass, to recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Rosary every week, to set aside a certain time for daily mental prayer, to go on a yearly retreat, to continue their doctrinal and spiritual education, to train physically, to attend chaptres of the Order whenever they are required to do so by the competent authoroity, and to participate in the struggles of the Order for the reign of Christ the King.
Members’ sons may be prepared for knighthood by joining the Order as cadets (ages 8 through 12) and pages (ages 12 through 18), and may remain all their life in the Order without having to change orientation or spirituality. Members’ daughters can also be admitted as daughters (ages 8 through 12) and maidens (ages 12 through 18) of the Order. Finally, members’ wives may be admitted as sisters (for squires), sisters-donate (for squires-donate) and dames (for knights).
For More Information
'But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip; and he that hath not, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword.' --The Gospel according to St. Luke XXII:36
The Order of Knights of Our Lady is looking for a few, good men. If you would like to know more about pursuing a knightly vocation through the Order, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org