Wherein a friend is promoted!

Fr. Z kudos to a friend of mine, William, for his promotion to the Papal Order of St. Sylvester!

He showed me some of his new gear today.

Papal Knights still have the privilege of riding their horses into St. Peter’s Basilica.

These honors are good things.  While not strictly necessary, they are recognition of a job well done and that counts for a lot.  Let no one tell you otherwise, while we strive for detachment from the worldly the occasional freely given, cordial attaboy is important.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. sw85 says:

    Dear Fr.,

    Apologies for the divergence, however it is urgent that it be brought to your attention that the continued iconoclasm at Our Saviour Church in NYC (former home of Fr. Rutler), on which you previously reported, is now once again picking up steam, as documented at Mr. Ken Woo’s Facebook:


    Another two columns were stripped of icons and there is some concern that the large icon of the Pantocrator may be removed next. All of this was apparently done in the dead of night and while the pastor was safely away and incommunicado.

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    Congratulations to your friend William! What a wonderful thing to receive!

  3. Chatto says:

    Everybody loves the Papal Knights! At a friend’s ordination last summer, we had one Sylvester and one Gregory. Our Eatern Rite friend from Romania was captivated – apparently they don’t have them in that part of the world. Sad times. Congratulations to William!

  4. Elizabeth D says:

    I was just reading the news about William on the front of the Madison Catholic Herald. NICE sword!

    And there were two new Monsignors, I had been under the impression that there couldn’t be any new monsignors anymore, but I guess there can be this one kind, Chaplains of His Holiness, and they have to be older priests (65+).

  5. JimRB says:

    As the (American) husband of a British wife, I have always been somewhat perturbed at the impossibility of gaining noble (or at least knightly) status — prideful, I know, but a childish dream. I never knew that there were Papal Orders of Knighthood until this very moment, and am now — in the style of Don Quixote (the ingenious gentleman of La Mancha) — doubly inspired to go and perform great deeds and seek out chivalric adventures in order to attain said orders of knighthood.

  6. Legisperitus says:

    Great news!

    One of the chief errors of the past 50 years, especially in the liturgy, has been the idea that nonessential things have no importance.

  7. robtbrown says:


    The liberals claimed language wasn’t liturgically important when they wanted to dump Latin. It suddenly becomes important, however, when anyone talks of return to Latin.

    It’s just another example that liberals will say anything to get their way. Their only consistency is in turning about from the transcendent.

  8. jbazchicago says:

    The marvelous thing about papal knighthoods and other such things is that this is all part of a “Catholic Culture” which people don’t understand. We are a faith, but a faith deeply rooted in a specific culture that transcends time and even space. I don’t know why bishops don’t drive this home more often! Cardinal George (of happy, happy memory) was so keen on this, and so absolutely correct. Unless our faith takes root in a culture it will never stick and never grow.

    Congrats, Sir Knight!

  9. ghp95134 says:

    JimRB says: …As the (American) husband of a British wife, I have always been somewhat perturbed at the impossibility of gaining noble (or at least knightly) status — prideful, I know, but a childish dream. …

    Jim, you could look towards the (Catholic) Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta (aka: Soverign Military Order of Malta or Knights of Malta). In the SMOM one’s initial entry is as Knight. If you have no armigerous ancestors within 100 years, you may be invested as “Knight of Magistral Grace.”

    OR … since you have a British connection, you could apply for membership in the ecumenical UK equivalent, The Most Venerable Order of St. John (VOSJ) whose fons honorum is HM the Queen; membership is a Crown Honor. The VOSJ has a US Priory in Washington DC and various chapters throughout the USA. Annual oblations of a set amount are required. Once one is vetted and selected for membership, HM literally “signs off” with her sign manual, and the names are “gazetted” in the London Gazette. One enters as a Member (MStJ) and may expect to progress to Officer and Commander grades. Very few Americans are tapped for Knight; the accolade [tapped with sword blade] is given by the Grand Prior (Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester), or other high officer — not HM.

    Members of the Order may petition the London-based College of Arms (CoA) for a coat of arms since they have a Crown Honor. Grants of arms (expensive!) to those not subject to HM are “honorary” grants. If one later becomes a subject, honorary arms can be made substantive; though the CoA insists there is no difference.

    If one is of Scottish descent in the male line and can provide legal proofs of linear Scottish male-line descent, one may petition for a coat of arms from the Edinburgh-based Lord Lyon King of Arms, whose grants are always substantive (and less expensive than the CoA). A member of the Order applying for a coat of arms from either Lyon Court, College of Arms, or the Canadian Heraldic Authority may have his status within the Order mentioned in the Letters Patent, and the painting may (if desired) show the appropriate Badge of the Order suspended from the bottom of the shield. Here’s an example I found on Google Search: http://www.brianabelragen.net/patent.html

    Okay … too much information. I now return you to your regularly scheduled program now in progress.


  10. Luvadoxi says:

    This is so totally cool! Are there Papal Dames? I would *love* to aspire to this, and to ride a horse into St. Peter’s Square!

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