New Knights and Dames were dubbed this past weekend in the Commandery of Sintra of the Priory of Iberia (OSMTHU) in Portugal. We wish to congratulate them all, welcoming them in a brotherhood of service, spirituality and pursuit of knowledge. Let there be known their names: Dame Anabela Melão, DTJ; Dame Ana Tavares de Mello, DTJ; Dame Susana Ferreira, DTJ; Dame Isabel Passos, DTJ; Knight Bruno Judas, KTJ; Knight Michel Rodrigues, KTJ; Knight Paulo Cristóvão, KCTJ; Knight Paulo Valente, KTJ; Knight Rui Herdadinha, Knight Vitor Barata, KTJ and Knight Vitorino Batalim, KTJ.
The Priori of Iberia and the Magisterial Council wish to congratulate the new Knights and Dames, hoping that they will find a meaningful pathway for their spiritual quest in this new stage of their lives, in the certainty that they can now see Chivalry as a living force, instead of dead letters in the pages of a dusty old book.
As the sun was setting in the distant horizon of the Roca Cape, the westernmost extent of mainland in continental Europe, the very place where land abruptly ends and the vast ocean begins, the Squires contemplated how the light of the world cyclically hides and how fragile the last few rays seem to be, distant from the mighty golden shine of noon. Soon darkness covered the land. It was time to return to the safety of the Commandery.
A light meal followed. Right after that all were called to the Chapter Room for the last instructions and examination before the Vigil. The Prior General read from some of the main traditional text sources, exploring a few of the most basic and central themes that should be considered before undertaking the Vigil and join the Order. All Squires were examined.
The Vigil started after the darkest hour of night. The Latin Rule of the Order of the Temple was read. Then the Apocalypse and the Gospel of Marc were read aloud in its entirety by the group of Squires, taking turns. Each was taken individually to a private room, for spiritual consolamentum.
Just before dawn, the Squires were taken to open field, near the ocean again, to testify of the return of the light. Like John, they were able to testify that the light returns in its full glory and that all the land and the creatures of the earth and sky rejoice in its presence. Soon the almighty Sun was shining in full force, casting away morning fog and every dark shadow.
It was turn to go to the Chapel. There, the Chapter work was resumed. The ritual was performed in the strict observance of its rules and all Squires were dubbed, Knight and Dame they were dubbed. The Eucharist was celebrated by the Apostolic Prefect of the Priory and all Brothers and Sisters sat at the holy table of bread and wine, body and soul of the Lord.
In this joyous occasion three new Commanders were sworn, with three Commanderies created. Knight Olivier de Brito, KCTJ became the Commander of Arrabida; Dame Ana Brum, DCTJ became Commander of Lisbon – Sant’Ana Hill and Knight Paulo Cristóvão, KCTJ became Commander of Lisbon- Sain Vicent Hill.
They all departed after noon, rejoining their families and their secular life, carrying in their hearts the living presence of what they had just lived.
Note: It should be noted that Paulo Pereira Cristóvão, reported as Commander of Lisbon, hasn’t been a member of the Order since December 13, 2014. The recent criminal cahrges faced by Paulo Pereira Crisóvão pertain only to his private life and do not commit the Order or its members in any way. The Order regrets to have been misslead for his previous clean criminal record and will duly add his name, according to statutes, to the public record of those revoked from the Order.
Once again the Pentecost was the magical occasion for the reception of new members in the Iberian Priory, this time in a beautiful ceremony conducted by the Commandry of Sintra in a secluded place in the middle of the Alentejo plains.
The ceremonies took two days. In the first day the new Squires were given their last instructions before committing themselves to the Order. It spoke of service, of the role the Squire had in the old Chivalric Orders and how it translates symbolically to today.
After each of the Squires was admitted to the service of the Order, the ceremonies were halted so that the chapel could be re-arranged in order to start the Pentecost Vigil, during which two Squires that had been admitted last year became a new Knight and Dame of the Order.
Guarding the Tower during the Pentecost Vigil
The Vigil took place, as it is traditional, throughout the course of the night. The two Squires were supplied with sacred texts and doctrinal comments for their meditation, including a section of the “Book of the Order of Chivalry” by Ramon Llull.
As morning broke, the Commandry proceeded with the arming ceremonies, which were drawn to a close early in the morning of Sunday with a light breakfast in the woods.
The Priori of Iberia wishes to congratulate the new Knight, Rui Bento, KTJ and Dame Ana Brum, DTJ. We hope they will find a meaningful pathway for their spiritual quests in this new stage of their lives. The Priory also wishes to congratulate the new Squires, hoping that they can now see Chivalry as a living force, instead of dead letters in the pages of a dusty old book.
Part of the liturgical team (Commandry of Sintra, Prioratys Ibericus, Osmthu)