A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Catholic church, especially in a military capacity. Examples of some orders include; Knights of Columbus, Knights of St. Malumba, Knights of St. John, Knights of the Cross and Knights of the Blessed Sacrament.
Pontifical knighthoods are honors conferred by the papal court on laymen who are of irreproachable (fine) character, who have promoted the welfare of society, the Church, and the Holy See (office of the pope). These decorations are bestowed by motu proprio (without any formal request from another person) and forwarded by the Secretary of State, or when petitioned by a bishop expedited through his chancery.
The papal orders of knighthood are:
- Supreme Order of Christ;
- Order of Pius IX;
- Order of St. Gregory the Great;
- Order of St. Sylvester;
- Order of the Golden Militia or Spur;
- Order of the Holy Sepulcher, which may be conferred on clerics and women.
5 requirements to become a Knight of the Catholic Church
Be a role model:
St. Francis of Assisi was a “knight errant” figure, and he is the model for the new Knights. Francis wandered the countryside defending truth and preaching love for the King of kings. St. Francis lived an itinerant lifestyle of poverty. He chose to be a “lesser brother” preaching repentance and conversion. His simple rule for the life of his followers was to “imitate Christ”. In this same vein of virtue and simplicity, the Knights of the Holy Eucharist teach and give witness to their adoration for the Lord of hosts.
Be Evidently charitable:
The Knights are one of the largest charitable organizations in the world. Through a variety of fundraisers throughout the year, the Knights raise financial support for many charities, including the Special Olympics and the Global Wheelchair Mission. The service aspect of the Knights encompasses the Church, Community, Council, Family, Pro-Life, and Youth.
Be supportive of the Church’s functions and activities:
The Knights have been a foundation of support for the Catholic Church. In recent years, the Knights have performed a variety of projects for the Universal Church as well as worked with Bishops of the particular churches here in Rome and also in home countries where the Knights reside.
Since the traditional family is composed of the husband, wife, and children, the Knights see them as the core, foundation, and fabric for all of society. Although the council meetings are for the members, many councils sponsor activities with the family in mind. It’s a great time to gather together as Catholic Christians and members of the Mystical Body of Christ. Asking for the intercession of the Holy Family is at the center of prayer for the Knights when it comes to family life.
Be Faithful to the Catholic Church:
Knights are faithful by being obedient to the teachings of the Church, its Bishops, and Priests, and showing fidelity to the See of Peter. As faithful Catholics, the Knights foster and develop Vocations to the Priesthood, Religious Life, and Holy Matrimony. Standing with the Catholic Church, the Knights also fight for Religious Liberty, which is being threatened across the globe still to this day.