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THE TEUTONIC ORDER BACKGROUND

The Teutonic Order “Ordo Sanctae Mariae Teutonicorum” or “Ordo Teutonicus” called  in German language “Deutsche Ritterorden” or simply “Deutsche Order”, is an ancient monastic Military-Hospitaller Order build in the Holy Land at the time of the Third Crusade organized by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The Order was founded on 19 november 1190 by the second son of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, Frederick, Duke  of Swabia (Hohenstaufen), to assist pilgrims and wounded German Knights in the Holy Land.

Pope Clement III (1187- -1191) apparently approved the Order by the Bull Quotiens postulatur of February 6, 1191 and, within a few years, the Order had developed as a Religious Military institution.

The Order was taken under Pope Celestine III's (1191--1198) protection on December 21, 1196, with the name of the "Hospital of St. Mary of the Germans in Jerusalem." The name is possibly the only connection with the earlier German hospital that was founded on the first twelfth century XII in Jerusalem, to give assistance to German-speaking pilgrims, but ceased to exist after the famous Saladin had conquered Jerusalem in 1188, putting an end to Christian domain to the city also considered Holy by the Muslims.

At the time of Frederick II Hohenstaufen and the Grand Master Hermann de Salza, the Teutonic Knights gained the most of their fortune and remained loyal to the Emperor until the end. “Fuit autem celeberrimus hic equitum Teutonicorum Ordo à Temporibus Friederici II...”

Until the loss of Acre in 1291, the main theater of operation of the Teutonic Knights remained the Holy Land. However, as early as the second decade of the XIII century operated in Eastern Europe, first in Transylvania, to protect the Kingdom of Hungary from the incursions of nomadic Cumani at the request of King Andrew II of Hungary, then on the Baltic coast, within the zone extended north-east of the Polish territories. Contributed to a vast work of conquest, mostly pagan.

Their dominance in the region subsequently led them to clash both with the Russian Orthodox of Pskoy and Novgorod and with the Polish-Lithuanian. The latter, led by King Ladislao II Jagellone, they inflicted a heavy defeat at the Battle of Tannenberg (or Grunwald) in July 15, 1410. At the end of the Thirteen Years’ War, the second Treaty of Torun reduced the territorial domain of the Order only to the East Prussia (as well as various smaller estates in the territory of Germany) and the status of vassals of the Polish crown. In 1525 the thirty-seventh Grand Master of the Order, Albert of Hohenzollem-Ansbach, converted to Lutheranism and secularized the Prussian possessions, taking the title of Duke of Prussia.

What was survived of the Order remained in the possession of certain territories of the Holy Roman Empire in Livonia, remaining righty dependently of the Livonian branch, which in 1561 was itself secularized in the Duchy of Curlandia and Semigallia. Following the loss of Prussia and the transfer of the Grand Magister of the Order in Bad Mergentheim, the majority of the members of the Order of the Netherlands converted to the Lutheran faith. In 1580 members of the Bailiwick of Utrecht, composed of various Dutch Commandaries, rejected the jurisdiction of Bad Mergentheim.

In 1637, the Bailiwick of the Teutonic Knights in Netherlands became an independent institute under the protection of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, continuing to operate as Hospitaller Order but without its catholic character. With the return of the House of Orange and the establishment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Bailiwick according to the Royal Decree of August 8, 1815, was completely restructure and placed under the protection of the Royal Duchy House.

The Catholic Teutonic Order was formally abolished by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1809, but later restored in 1834 by the Hapsburg who wanted to regain the original Chivalric Order adopting the rule of the 1606.

In February 17, 1806, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Francis II and Emperor of Austria (with the name of Francis I), recognized his brother Anton Viktor von Österreich Habsburgo as Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, confirming the provisions of the Treaty of Pressburg.

The Sovereign status recognized in the Treaty of Pressburg provided that the title of Grand Master was to be attributed to a prince of the House of Austria, but this would be a limited sovereignty, as subject to "Head of the Imperial House of Austria."

December 12, 1810. The rights, pensions and dignity of the Hochmeister were attributed to the Emperor of Austria, who made it to the Teutonic Order solemn head. The headquarters of the Order was transferred to Vienna.

On March 8, 1834, Prince Grand Master Anton Viktor von Österreich Habsburgo convinced his brother, Emperor Francis II, to invalidate the capitolar of Pressburg and reinstate the Teutonic Order as an autonomous institute religious-military and direct feudal to the Empire, confirming so,  the nature of sovereing entidy  according the laws of the medieval Holy Roman Empire.

The existing Knights were confirmed in their location, those already accepted as novices were allowed to continue his novitiate, but it significantly changed the law of the Grand Master, prospective candidates for the novitiate could not succeed without the Imperial consent. No attempt to consult the Holy See was done even if this act was a violation of canon law.

In 1835 elected to the Order Grand Master Archduke Maximilian of Austria-Este (1782-1863). The role of the Grand Master for nearly half a century had become the preserve of the Austrian Imperial Family.

The Grand Master allowed the Archduke Maximilian of the Hapsburgs to exert considerable influence over the decisions of the Order of Germany, who also had detached from Austria with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire occurred in 1806.

The new Emperor Ferdinand I issued a new decree on July 16, 1839, by which it confirmed the privileges granted by his father and the rules and statutes of the Teutonic Order in 1606 that were not in conflict with the status of Austrian fief.

Maximilian strongly supported the work of the Jesuits, Redemptorists and the Sisters of St. Francis. He also founded schools and hospitals and to give assistance to the needy.

In 1894 it was named to Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Eugenio Ferdinando Pio of Habsburg-Teschen, Archduke of Austria and Prince of Hungary and Bohemia. He was the last Hereditary Grand Master of the Teutonic Order.

In 1918, with the collapse of the Austrian Empire, the last Habsburg Grand Master, Archduke Eugene, forced into exile along with all the members of his dynasty,  retired in Lucerne and then in Basel where he lived from 1918 to 1934 . The continuation of the Order, in his old organization, was no longer possible and the properties of the Order were seen as houses of the Imperial House were threatened with confiscation by the Republicans, eager to strike any institution associated with the Habsburg Dynasty, but fortunately the Teutonic Order was independent within the meaning of canon law: it was a religious institution as well and its properties could be considered not as part of the heritage of the Habsburgs. In order to safeguard the existence of the Teutonic Order and its possessions, Archduke Eugene voluntarily resigned in 1923 to Pope Pius XI in his resignation from the position of Hoch-und Deutschmeister.

Before the resignation become final, convened in Vienna the Chapter General of the Teutonic Order to chose a new Grand Master, the suggestion fell on Monsignor Norbert Jan Nepomucký Klein, a priest of the Order and already Bishop of Brünn in Moravia, who was elected as coadjutor. (Left, Nepomucký Klein, first Grand Master of the new Clerical Order).

The representatives of the Austrian Government entered into negotiations with the Teutonic Order, and since the candidate was a cleric, accepted the appointment, even if some clergymen of the Order of Malta opposed to the nomination. The Holy See appointed Father Hilarion Felder to examine the complaints of the clergy of the Order of Malta.

It was proposed that, since the Teutonic Order at the moment of its foundation had been subject to the Hospitallers, their properties were to be delivered to the Order of Malta. The complaints were dismissed and the investigation ended in favor of the Teutonic Order, which required a new rule. It was Constituted as “Fratres Domus Hospitalis Sanctae Mariae Teutonicorum in Jerusalem” - "German Brothers of the Order of St. Mary of Jerusalem" and received the Papal sanction on the new rule, purely religious, withdrawing  the military tradition on November 27, 1929. With this the Teutonic Order ceased to be a Chivalric Order of Knighthood  as His Holiness Pope Pius XI, formally ratified the Order's new constitution making the Teutonic Order a Clerical Order.

No more knights were created and the last one (Friedrich Graf Belrupt-Tissac) died in 1970. The order suffered during World War II when it was abolished by the Nazis in Austria and Czechoslovakia, but as Clerical Order it survived in Italy and started again after 1945 in Austria and Germany.

From that moment the Order made every effort to maintain its activities consistent with the slogan “Heal and Assist”.

The Dynastic Teutonic Order was reclaimed in 1993

SOVEREIGN MILITARY AND HOSPITALLER ORDER OF ST. MARIA OF JERUSALEM (TEUTONIC ORDER) OF THE HOUSE OF ANTIOCH AND SVEVIA

Prince Paolo Francesco Barbaccia Viscardi, Grand Master of the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Maria (Teutonic Order) of Jerusalem of the House of Antioch and Svevia, in 1993 reclaimed the rights of the Imperial Order that was the prerogative of the Holy Roman Empire – its foundation in the Holy Land as a military-monastic order on the model of the Hospitallers of Saint John and the Templars was due to the Hohenstaufen dynasty of Swabia.

After the period of Magisterial of the Habsburg who were able to restore the Military and Hospitaller of the Teutonic Order with the resignation of the last Hereditary Grand Master Archduke Eugene of Austria in 1923, the Order was discontinued its equestrian character and only in the 1989 de facto and de jure in 1993 it took up its dual original Military and Hospitaller Chivalric Order under the guide the Hereditary Grand Master Prince Paolo Francesco Barbaccia, today Barbaccia Viscardi, the rights of jure sanguinis and fons honorum which  are protected in the Proceedings of the Archives of the Presidency of the Councils of Ministries of the Italian Republic (2009) with the transcript of “Sovrana Casa di Svevia Principato di Leuca” (Sovereign  House of Swabia Principality of Leuca) in the Ceremonial of State and according of the Italian Laws, where currently the Head Quarters of the  Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Maria of Jerusalem Teutonic Order  is situated is qualified as non-state Order of Chivalry, in effect of art.7 L.3 May 1951 n. 178 of the Italian Republic.

Based on these documents that the State Ceremonial transmitted to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Defense reported the Order in the circular as "non-national Order of Chivalry  (Ordine Cavalleresco non nazionale) - Sovrano Ordine Militare ed Ospitaliero di Santa Maria di Gerusalemme  Teutonico (Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Mary of Jerusalem, Teutonic).

This Chivalric Order guided by the hereditary Grand Master Prince Barbaccia Viscardi is not to be confused, with due respect, with the Holy See Teutonic Order- “Fratres domus hospitalis sanctae Mariae Teutonicorum in Jerusalem” chaired by Abbot Dr. Bruno Platter, which  is no longer a Equestrian (chivalric) order not even in his only "real class". That Order is an Institute of Consecrated Life which survived the collapse of the Habsburg Empire by abandoning its "chivalric" character, retaining only its religious identity and the admission of knights to membership ceased immediately. Today the Order functions as a religious Order of the Church. The familiares, who are decorated with either the Knights Cross or the Marian Cross, are not members of the Order, but are lay associates rewarded for their services and it is a misnomer to call the "Teutonic knights": they are ordinary NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION (NGO), affiliated to the Ecclesiastic Teutonic Order.

The Consecrated Teutonic Order is divided into bailiwicks and commanderies – for the familiar present in 5 countries (Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Italy) and in the provinces – for brother and sisters with the solemn vows present in 6 countries (Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia and Italy).

JUNE 2011,  ACCUSATION OF ABBOT JOHANN BRUNO PLATTER AGAINST THE GRAND MASTER OF THE SOVEREIGN ORDER OF ST. MARIA OF JERUSALEM OF THE HOUSE OF ANTIOCH AND SVEVIA. CIVIL CASE REGISTERED AT NRG 594/2011

 

Concerning: the rights of the legal person - image protection

JUDGMENT  THE COURT OF SIENA. Detached Section of Poggibonsi

15 April, 2013  the sentence was issued that rejects all the allegations of the Order of the Brothers of the Hospital of St. Mary of the Teutonic Knights in Jerusalem (Teutonic Order), in the person of its legal representative pro tempore, General  Grand Master Abbot Johann Bruno Platter against the Sovereign Grand Master of the Dynastic  Teutonic Order of the Sovereign House  of Antioch  and Svevia, Prince  Barbaccia Viscardi.

The Judge, pronouncing definitively hereby orders:

1. Rejects the claim of the plaintiff;

2. Condemns the same plaintiff in favor of the defendant to pay court costs ... etc.

 

According to the Italian Republic the Regulation on the uniforms for the Arma dei Carabinieri - 2010 edition, the Teutonic Order based in Vienna is not recognized as a Chivalric Order.

 

"... Are not considered permissible the honors granted by the Teutonic Order of St. Mary of Jerusalem (based in Vienna), which although placed under the protection of the Holy See, has now become purely canonical...."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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                                       ORDER REGISTRATION

Registration in UK  – 5/02/1996.: THE ORDER OF ST. MARIA OF JERUSALEM (TEUTONIC ORDER) OF THE HOUSE OF ANTIOCH AND SVEVIA N. LP005036 

Recognition of the Presidency of the Council of Ministries of the Italian Republic

Recognition to Paolo  Francesco Barbaccia (now also bearing Viscardi) of the Teutonic Order of Saint Mary Jerusalem of the Sovereign House of Swabia-- "Sovereign House of Swabia Principality of Leuca " (Sovrana Casa di Svevia Principato di Leuca)page.80-page.81"

Documents of the Council of Ministers Presidency: “THE ORDER OF ST. MARIA OF JERUSALEM (TEUTONIC ORDER) OF THE HOUSE OF ANTIOCH AND SVEVIA”.

Ministry of Defense of the Italian Republic recognizes the Order as “non national” Order of Chivalry.

MINISTRY OF DEFENSE

Of the Italian Republic

Circular (M_D GMILIII 104 0541891 of December 16, 2009)

From the Circular of the Ministry of Defense (M-D GMLII 104 0541891 of December 16, 2009) in the light of the latest decree according to the Diplomatic Protocol of the Italian Republic - Sovrano Ordine Militare ed Ospitaliero di Santa Maria di Gerusalemme Teutonico (Sovereign Military and Hospitaller of St. Maria of Jerusalem, Teutonic Order) is defined as the "non-national" Order of Chivalry.

The Order of St. Maria of Jerusalem in the House of Antioch and Svevia has been approved by the United Nations Economic Social Council (ECOSOC) under the category of NGO Branch, as registered civil society with. With this status THE ORDER is welcomed in any United Nations International meetings, forums and programs that are conducted under ECOSOC.

 

MEMBER OF EUROPEAN COMMISSION  OF INTEREST REPRESENTATIVES,

ID REGISTRATION NUMBER 29422925416-97

 

 

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