An organisation with its roots in history and in the Catholic traditions of our country, with its future at heart.
In 2018 the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy have supported charitable works worth over € 800,000 worldwide.
SUPREME ORDER OF THE MOST HOLY ANNUNCIATION
The Order, initially called "Order of the Collar", was founded by Amadeo VI of Savoy at the time of the wedding of his sister Bianca to Galeazzo II Visconti in 1362. The Order of te Collar, whose purpose was to "induce union and brotherhood between the powerful to avoid private wars", was reserved for the most illustrious, faithful nobles and the statutory rules established that all those rewarded were to be considered equal and should call each other "brothers". The original insignias were a gold-plated, silver collar with the motto “Fert”, closed by a ring with three Savoyan Knots. The “Milites Collaris Sabaudiae” were originally only 14, led by Amadeo VI, first Grand Master of the Order, for a total of 15 members in honour of the fifteen mysteries of the Virgin Mary.
Amadeo VIII of Savoy gave the Order and its decoration the first official regulations, establishing that the Savoy knots be alternated with the inscription “Fert” and 15 roses in the collar; in memory of the Golden Rose sent by Pope Urban V to Count Amadeo VI in 1364 when he was awarded the insignia of Crusading Knight. Carlo III gave the order new statutes and it took the name of Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation. He also added a medal with the image of the Annunciation in the space formed by the three knots. The number of knights was increased to 20. The first statutes of the Order, created by Amadeo VI, have been lost. Those passed down till today are those amended by Amadeo VIII of Savoy in 1429. After that, Duke Emanuele Filiberto added that being admitted to the Order was subordinate to proving that four fifths of the person’s nobility dated back at least five generations.
Vittorio Amadeo secularised the Order. In 1869 Vittorio Emanuele II established that Order investiture could be without noble origins, as long as it was for the highest merits paid to the State or the Crown. At the time of investiture, the newly decorated person chose the collar from amongst those available, without prejudice to the obligation, at the time of death, to leave a will instructing heirs to return it to the House of Savoy.
Those awarded were exempted of payment of taxes and duties. They were "cousins of the king" (who they could address using the informal “tu” (you) form), had the title of "excellence", protocol precedence before all other State offices, the right to military honours and became ipso facto Knights of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy and the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.
The Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation remains the maximum honour of the Royal House of Savoy, giving those granted it ceremonial and protocol privileges valid during the Reign. The Italian Republic does not recognise this Order. However, as this order is of family origin, prior to the constitution of the Kingdom of Italy, it is still bestowed – to members of reigning Houses, high nobility families, or people who have stood out for the highest merits to the House of Savoy – and in European heraldry manuals it is compared in importance to the Order of the Garter.
MILITARY AND RELIGIOUS ORDER OF THE SAINTS MAURICE AND LAZARUS
The Order of the Saints Maurice and Lazarus was officially established by the Papal Bulls “Christiani Populi” and “Pro Commissa Nobis” signed by Pope Gregory XIII on respectively 16 September and 13 November 1572; by which the Religious Military Order of Saint Maurice was placed under the Rule of St Benedict of the Cistercian Congregation first and then the one Saint Augustine. I was then merged de jure with the Hospitaller Order of Jerusalem of Saint Lazarus, one of the four oldest Crusade Orders (the others are The Knights of Saint John, the Knights Templar and the Teutonic Knights) dating to the first Crusades in the Holy Land and for some time with jurisdiction over the Knights of St John (current Sovereign Military Order of Malta). Through this, the two original Orders combined purpose and assets integrating each other. On that same occasion, the new Militia emblem was granted, with use of the green cross of the Knights of Saint Lazarus and the white cross of the Order of Saint Maurice, founded in 1434 by Duke Amadeus VIII of Savoy, widower, who withdrew with some gentlemen willing to live a monastic life with him to the hermitage of Ripaille, near Thonon and Lake Geneva.
The Grand Magisterium of the Order was entrusted to the Duke of Savoy Emanuele Filiberto, in a form that could be passed down to his descendants forever; with the obligation, at the time, to maintain two galleys in defence of the Holy See and to pay an annual “donation” of 15 thousand escudos. The Order’s purpose included hospitals, freeing the seas from pirates, fighting the infidels (that is the Muslims) and opposing Calvinists and Lutherans.
The Knights of Saint Maurice had already raised their insignia in 1571, covering themselves with glory in the battle of Lepanto, under the command of the Great Admiral of the Order, Count Andrea Provana of Leinì; and a few years later (1583) the same admiral defeated a barbarian fleet off the Hyères islands.
Admission to the Order (“Holy Religion, and Military Order of the Saints Maurice and Lazarus”) – reserved for persons of proven aristocratic rank – was regulated by extremely severe provisions with emphasis on the impeccable moral conduct of the Knights, ideally comparable to ascetic warriors. “Savoye bonnes nouvelles” was the motto with which the Herald of the Order joyfully announced admission to the new candidate.
The Knights of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation were exempted from presenting noble proof and other documents, all holding, by right, the Grand Cross, maximum rank of the Order.
The military history of the Order continued for the following centuries until it reached an apogee of opulence and prestige in the mid XVIII century, in conjunction with its expansion in Sardinia. However, after the revolutionary and Napoleonic storm, the great changes in society and the new political and economic conditions made the need for profound reform clear. This was started with great courage, despite strong opposition, by King Carlo Alberto. With his Royal Magisterial Entitlements of 9 December 1831 he radically amended the Statutes and regulations to better adapt them to the new times. For example, the outdated distinction between those decorated by virtue of nobility alone and those received for particularly eminent merits.
On 19 July 1839, King Carlo Alberto signed a Royal Decree in which he established a prestigious new reward for the Royal Army, the Mauritian Gold Medal, created to reward ten lustra with excellent conduct in the Royal Armies, reserved for officers decorated with the Order of the Saints Maurice and Lazarus. In 1924 that reserve was abolished by H.M. King Vittorio Emanuele III who did not want to limit granting the Medal to the Knights of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, but extend it to worthy Armed Forces Officers.
The reforms of Carlo Albert were just the prelude to a radical renovation of the Order performed by his son, Vittorio Emanuele II, in 1851. In fact, with his Royal Magisterial Entitlements of 16 March 1851, the Order lost its military religious character, essentially becoming an Order of merit. Further confirmation of the suppression of the rank of the Knights of Justice with proof of nobility already decided on 4 September 1849 removed its exclusively aristocratic character maintained till then. Making it accessible – though still with the traditional parsimony – to all types of citizen, as long as eminent for civil and military virtues, for important services to the State, for scientific, literary and artistic merits, or for highly charitable deeds.
With minimum variations to its particular legal structure, the Order continued its fundamental hospital, cultural (other primary and nursery schools were built), spiritual and agricultural mission until the institutional referendum of 1946.
With the fall of the Monarchy, the republic transformed the ancient, glorious order into a hospital body, destined, after a few decades, to an inglorious end through mismanagement. It was then replaced by a Foundation designed to safeguard the huge architectural and artistic heritage that had belonged to the Order.
Fortunately, the Order of the Saints Maurice and Lazarus, given its dynastic nature, belonging jure sanguinis to the Sovereign House (recognised internationally as such in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713) preserves its validity intact regardless of any political upheaval. In fact, on 30 September 1973 the XVI General Grand Master H.M. King Umberto II wished to officially preside over a solemn celebration in the Abbey of Saint Maurice d’Agaune, in Switzerland, for the four hundred year celebration of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.
Based on the clear hereditary transmissibility of the Grand Magisterium of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, contained in the Papal Bull of Gregory XIII, his son, H.R.H. the Royal Prince Vittorio Emanuele, Duke of Savoy, Prince of Naples and Head of the Royal House of Savoy, is the current XVII Grand Master and Supreme Head of the Order. Through those prerogatives he gave the Order new Statutes, finally opening it to Dames.
The Order continues receiving the members of Italian and European nobility, and is open to those who distinguished themselves in the worlds of science, literature, art, industry and business, as long as they share the Order’s humanitarian and charitable purposes.
The Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus now has about four thousand members, both Knights and Dames, spread over 33 countries, where it is present with qualified regional and national Delegations led by H.E. the Grand Chancellor Cav. Gr. Cr. Nob. Johannes Niederhauser and with its Hospital Works chaired by HRH the Princess of Naples.
Two official annual ceremonies are held every year to which all those Awarded are invited. The first ceremony is celebrated in France, in the Abbey of Altacomba (Aix Les Bains) to commemorate the dead Princes of the House of Savoy. The second is a calling and meeting of the General Council of the Order and is held in Switzerland, usually in the Abbey of San Maurizio d’Agauno near Martigny.
ORDER OF THE CROWN OF ITALY
His Majesty King Vittorio Emanuele II, with Royal Decree of 20 February 1868, at the time of the marriage of Prince Umberto to Princess Royal Margherita of Savoy-Genoa, and as the Iron Crown needed to crown the King of Italy had been returned to Austria – after the annexation of Veneto, independence and the unity of Italy – established the new Equestrian Order of the Crown of Italy.
Divided into the customary five ranks of the Knights of the Grand Cross decorated with the Grand Cordon, Grand Officers, Commanders, Officers and Knights, it was intended for Italians and Foreigners who had stood out for deeds of specific commitment to the nation.
On becoming a Republic, the Order of the Crown of Italy was obviously no longer awarded. But those already awarded still used it, duly authorised to do so by the Ministry for the Interior; with the only change, related to the military, of the Crown being replaced by the same number of five-pointed stars.
State (not dynastic) heritage of the Royal House of Savoy, the Order was awarded continuously on the day of the Statute anniversary and on the day of his birthday until H.M. King Umberto II died, his IV Grand Master and Sovereign not abdicating.
CIVIL ORDER OF SAVOY
This was founded on 29 October 1831 by Carlo Alberto, King of Sardinia, with just one rank, to reward the civil virtues and merit of those not belonging to the military (Military Order of Savoy 1815-1946). The original statutes state that "it can be awarded by the Grand Master of the Order, who is the Head of the House of Savoy".
The Order was reserved for Italians, in particular those standing out or famous for the valour of their work, amongst "scientists", "scholars", "administrators", "engineers", "architects", "artists", "authors and publishers of discoveries", "professors of science and literature", "principals of education".
Those awarded the Order were entitled to the military honours reserved for inferior officers. The maximum was seventy members.
The decoration consists in a golden Savoy Cross, enamelled in blue, loaded with a white shield with the initials "C.A." (Carlo Alberto) in gold, replaced by the initials "V.E." (Vittorio Emanuele II) after Carlo Alberto died, and "for Civil Merit 1831” inscribed on the back.
Following the death of H.M. Umberto II, King of Italy, his son HRH Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, Head of the Order and Arms of the Royal House of Savoy, is the VI Grand Hereditary Master of the Order.
SAVOY ORDER OF MERIT
To reward various merits towards the House of Savoy, of both Italians and foreigners, on 23 January 1988, his Royal Highness Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy decided to create, in the Civil Order of Savoy, a dynastic Order of merit named Order of Merit of Savoy – divided like the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus – into the following ranks:
- Knights of Grand Cross, no more than one hundred;
- Dames of Grand Cross, no more than one hundred;
- Great Officers, no more than one hundred and fifty;
- Commanders. Who may be no more than three hundred;
- Dames Commander, no more than three hundred;
- Knight Officers, of an unspecified number;
- Knights, an unspecified number;
- Dames, an unspecified number.
The Order decoration is a white-enamelled, full gold cross, loaded by a blue-enamelled, white shield, with the letters "V.E.” on one side and this inscription on the other: “To the Merit of Savoy 1988". The blue silk ribbon with a great white pole, a turquoise cloth mantle, adjusted at the ruff by four cords with white and blue silk tassels and with the cross of the Order embroidered on the left side, in various sizes depending on rank.
As with the Order of the Crown of Italy until 1946, the Order of Merit of Savoy was entrusted to the Chancellery of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.
Ginevra, 29 settembre 2017.
Nice – 21/22 September 2019
On the auspicious 630th anniversary of the foundation of the County of Nice and of its common destiny with the House of Savoy, H.R.H. Prince Vittorio Emanuele, Grand Master of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy, convened in Nice on 21 and 22 September 2019 the General Chapter of the Knightly Forces … Continued ... Continue
Monza (MB) – 15 September 2019
The Knights and Dames of the Dynastic Orders took part for the first time in the celebration for the Triduum of the Holy Nail ... Continue
Ottawa-14th June 2019
The Canadian Delegation held their First Canadian Charity Gala ... Continue
The Great Saint Bernard Pass-22 June 2019
The Swiss Delegation of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy ... Continue
Catania-22 June 2019
The Vicariate of Catania hosted a Royal celebration ... Continue
France-14th/16th June 2019
The Laghet, near Nice, is a place of worship which is popular and revered ... Continue
New York-June 11th 2019
New York, June 11, 2019, the American Foundation of Savoy Orders ... Continue
Cervo (IM)-15th June 2019
The concert organised in collaboration with the Ligurian Delegation ... Continue
Meda-9th June 2019
A 20,000-euro cheque was given to the diocese of Cremona ... Continue
Chambery-4th June 2019
A day marked by historical celebrations and by charitable activities ... Continue
Tokyo-26th May 2019
Charity gala in Japan ... Continue
Rome-3rd May 2019
On May 3rdthe Liturgical Celebration of the Shroud was held ... Continue
DELEGATION A.I.C.OD.S. LOMBARDIA
Cav. Rev. Dott. Don Maurizio Ceriani
DELEGATION VALLE D’AOSTA
Comm. Arch. Dott. Mirko Fresia Paparazzo
Cav. Uff. Dott. Avv. Alfonso Marini Dettina
DELEGATION FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA
Comm. Alessandro Berghinz
DELEGATION EMILIA ROMAGNA
Comm. Prof. Avv. Marco Sgroi
Comm. Nob. Avv. Don Gerardo Mariano dei Principi Rocco di Torrepadula
Cav. Uff. Dott. Walter Pellegrino
Cav. Gr. Cr. Nob. Dott. Carlo Buffa dei Conti di Perrero
DELEGATION TRENTINO ALTO ADIGE
Uff. Rev. Don Gianmarco Masiero
Cav. Uff. Dott. Avv. Giovanni Ranalli
Comm. Co. Dott. Pietro Fracanzani
Comm. Uff. Nob. Avv. Angelo Gadaleta
Comm. Uff. Nob. Avv. Angelo Gadaleta
Comm. Uff. Nob. Avv. Angelo Gadaleta
Comm. Uff. Nob. Avv. Angelo Gadaleta
Comm. Uff. Nob. Avv. Angelo Gadaleta
Gr. Uff. Co. Aynard de Briey
Gr. Uff. Co. Aynard de Briey
Comm. Xavier De Peretti
DELEGATION FRANCE SAVOY
Comm. Uff. Prof. Bernard Demotz
DELEGATION PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO
Comm. Nob. Avv. Filippo Verani-Masin Dei Baroni di Castelnuovo
DELEGATION CZECH REPUBLIC
Dama Lina Wagner
Gr. Uff. Nob. Prof. Dott. Stanislaw Witold Jan Dumin
Comm. Uff. Jean-Christophe Palthey
Cav. Giuseppe Ruffolo
Coordinatore Magistrale delle Americhe Cav. Gr. Cr. Dr. Sergio Pellecchi
Cav. Uff. Sig. Mario Antonio Turnaturi
Ad Interim Gran Cancelleria
DELEGATION UNITED STATES
Cav. Gr. Cr. Avv. Dott. Carl Joseph Morelli
Cav.Gr.Cr. Hideto Tomanechi
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