The Venerabilis Ordo Sancti Sepulchri (V.O.S.S.), also known as “Venerable Order of the Holy Sepulchre” (or Seborga) or, in a more familiar way, the Order of the White Knights of Seborga, is a Sovereign Military Equestrian Order, heir to the “Paupera Militia Christi”, cavalry of Cistercian tradition.
The V.O.S.S., operating since 1365, was created to provide housing to knights, errant and wandering, in the years following the process and the suspension of the Order of the Temple.
Our tradition of chivalry is based on historical documents and transparent behaviours that refer to the trinomial Faith in Christ, Humility and Obedience. It is well known to scholars in the field and can not be questioned by anyone. The Order is not looking for converts, aware that is not the number but the quality of the knights to give it shine.
The V.O.S.S. was founded in 1365 as a reform of the “Paupera Militia Christi” by Pons Lance first abbot in Lerins and then Prince of Seborga. From V.O.S.S. descends the V.E.O.S.P.S.S. In fact the latter was established in the year 2000 by Bro. Giorgio, last Grand Master of the V.O.S.S. and first Grand Prior of V.E.O.S.P.S.S.
The Order is called “Holy Sepulchre” since, in ancient times, this town on the west Ligurian coast was called “Castrum Sepulchri” (ie, the Castle of the Sepulchre). A long line of ecclesiastical documents refer to Seborga as to a “sepulchrum” (sepulchre, tomb). There are various hypotheses about why this country was called “sepulchrum“.
The V.O.S.S. is perfectly placed in the Roman Christian tradition of which it is paladin and defender. The V.O.S.S. should not be confused with other associations, institutions, no profit organizations or whatever, sharing among them the way to work not in line with tradition, aims and purposes.
As already mentioned, the V.O.S.S. is a Sovereign Military Equestrian Order. In fact, in the Middle Ages, this order was not part of the so-called “Hospital Chivalry” which includes the knights devoted to the transport and care of ill and wounded pilgrims (or knights) but of the “Fighting Chivalry“. Today, after nine centuries from the Crusades Period, many things have changed in society and the sword that knights bring the waist have a symbolic and spiritual meaning. Certainly the knights still have a fighting spirit, masterly expressed by St. Bernard de Clairvaux in the “De Laude Novae Militiae ad Milites Templi.” The real battle to be conducted today is not against anyone in particular but is a struggle carried on a spiritual level against the bad habits of each, in defence of frail persons, the right to life, alongside and in support of the rights of everyone.
An unshakable faith in Christ, loyalty to the Pope and the Church of Rome, but also a lifestyle characterized by discipline, humility, obedience, charity, selflessness and loyalty are necessary requirements in order to be considered to take the path of the V.O.S.S. The Order is now also open to married individuals who wish to live the experience of the Cavalry of Christ.
The reactivation of the V.O.S.S. is due to the need to maintain the original mission of the White Knights of Seborga. This can be done today only with a return to stricter rules and a more rigorous and selective modality in the recruitment phase and militancy in the Order. This is exactly what the General Council intend to do with the reactivation of the V.O.S.S.
Today, after 11 years of activity we, the Grand Prior of V.E.O.S.P.S.S., we feel that the experience of V.E.O.S.P.S.S. has to be stopped (at least temporarily). The reasons for this voluntary suspension of the V.E.O.S.P.S.S. and the simultaneous reactivation of the V.O.S.S. are due to the need to maintain the original mission of the White Knights of Seborga and, at the same time, to defend it from attacks coming from many quarters.
This can be done today only with a return to stricter rules and a more rigorous and selective modality in the recruitment phase and militancy in the Order. This is exactly what we intend to do with the reactivation of the V.O.S.S
Being part of the Order is, in our materialistic and relativistic contemporary society, little attentive to spiritual problems, a definite choice to serve in the active forces of Light. To a person who expresses the desire to enter the path we say “do not think about what the Order can do for you, but rather think about what you are able to do for the Order!” It is no coincidence that the motto chosen by the Grand Master Bro. Diego is in fact “Testis Sum Agni!”(I am a witness of the Lamb!)
The General Headquarters of the Order is located in Via Roberto d’Azeglio, 3 – 12022 Busca (CN) – Italy. For information and correspondence please write to: V.O.S.S. Corso Dante, 11 – 12100 Cuneo (Italy). Further information can be found using e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org