Questions & Answers

What is the Holy Orthodox Order of Saint George the Great Martyr? 

The Order of Saint George  is an international, religious, pan-Orthodox Order of Christian chivalry.

What is its mission?

The mission of the Order is to help peacefully defend, sustain and preserve the continued existence and well-being of the Orthodox Christian Faith within the Holy Land, the Middle East, and wherever the Orthodox Church and her faithful are either persecuted or in need.

What are its goals and objectives?

The goals and objectives of the Order are to organize, promote, aid and engage in charitable, humanitarian, educational, religious, medical and chivalric activities, particularly by: aiding the poor, the sick, the needy, the aged, the infirm, the maimed, the mentally ill, the imprisoned and the socially disadvantaged; assisting in the maintenance of holy places including, but not limited to, buildings, monasteries, seminaries, shrines, churches and cathedrals of the Orthodox Faith; establishing and promoting the works of hospitals, medical centers, orphanages, schools and other bona fide Orthodox institutions and/or organizations.

What is the Order’s motto?

The motto of the Order is: “Jesus Christ Conquers – Ἰησοῦς Χριστòς νικᾷ”

What is an order of chivalry?

An order of chivalry is a society of knights who follow the virtues of a chivalric code. This code contained such virtues as mercy, courage, valor, fairness, protection of the weak and the poor, and the servant-hood of a knight dedicated to God and His Church by placing his obedience above his own self-interest.

Does this Order help people outside of the Orthodox Christian Faith?

The Order helps only those who belong the Orthodox Christian Faith.

Is membership in the Order only open to men?

The Order is open to both men and women and clergy of the Orthodox Christian Faith.

Can anyone become a member of the Order?

Only those belonging to the Orthodox Christian Faith can become a member of the Order of Saint George the Great Martyr.

What is required for membership?

Any person lay or clerical may apply for membership into the Order so long as such an individual meets the following criteria: is baptized and/or chrismated into the Orthodox Christian Faith; is NOT a member of a Masonic or Freemason fraternity and/or organization; is living according to Orthodox Christian principles, is a member in good standing of a local Orthodox parish, is of sound mind and judgment, is known to live honorably, is prepared to observe the rules and regulations of the Order of Saint George, is willing to make a solemn pledge of allegiance to the Order and to its mission at a formal religious ceremony of investiture and is no less than 21 years of age upon applying for membership.

Are there membership fees and yearly dues?

The passage fee for membership into the Order for the rank of Knight is $1,000.00 USD. The passage fee for membership into the Order for the rank of Knight Commander is $1,500.00 USD. The passage fee for membership into the Order for the rank of Knight Grand Cross is $2,000.00 USD.

There are no yearly dues for membership, but it is suggested that members do donate to the Grand Priory of the Order and to its annual philanthropic mission.  The Order of Saint George the Great Martyr does permit passage fees to be paid either in full or in two instalments.

The passage fee goes towards the following: the annual philanthropic appeal of the Order, the administrative costs of the Order, the applicant’s medals, a hand-painted diploma of reception, and a hand-painted copy of the Order’s coat of arms with the applicant’s name written in calligraphy underneath.

*Please note that additional financial flexibility can be given on a case by case basis for those joining the Order with the rank of Knight or Dame.

Does the Order award Honors to non-Orthodox Christians?

The Grand Knight is the fount of honor within the Order, and by virtue of his position, has the exclusive right of conferring the Most Meritorious Order of the Holy Spirit. This honor is the Order’s only Order of Merit and is reserved to express the Order’s appreciation of a person’s service.

The Order of Merit is bestowed upon any individual when honor, prestige, or special degree of service has been shown to or for the Holy Orthodox Church or to the Holy Orthodox Order of Saint George the Great Martyr. This means that an individual has assumed a responsibility or displayed an ability considerably greater than might have been expected of him or her; that an individual had performed activities, in an excellent manner, which have been of great benefit to Orthodox Christians worldwide. The Order of Merit is awarded regardless of religion.

Orthodox Christians who are not members of the Order and those who are outside of the Orthodox Christian Faith who have been bestowed the Order of Merit are considered Companions of the Order of Saint George. They may be involved in the charitable work of the Order but have no voting rights within the Order. The awardment of the Order of Merit does not equate to membership.

Does the Order have a government?

The Order of Saint George the Great Martyr has a government responsible for governing and overseeing its internal affairs. The government of the Order is composed of the Grand Knight and the Sovereign Council and its supportive bodies.

Who is the Grand Knight?

The current reigning Grand Knight is Konstantine Pandolfi.

What is a Grand Knight?

In keeping with chivalric tradition, the Grand Master or in this case the Grand Knight is the temporal  head of the Order.

What are the powers of the Grand Knight?

The Grand Knight as stated in the Constitution of the Order has the following authority and powers: To issue alongside the Sovereign Council legislative measures not covered by the Constitution of the Order, to promulgate government acts, to help manage Common Treasury assets, to ratify international agreements, to appoint in consultation with the Supreme Spiritual Advisor the four members of the High Offices, to appoint the Consular Representatives, to appoint the Priors of the National Priories, to summon the General Assembly, and to award the various ranks of Knighthood and Honors of the Order, to issue Sovereign Decrees for the execution of his responsibilities and for the proper functioning of government, to break a tie vote amongst the Sovereign Council, to pass or veto articles of legislation put forward by the Sovereign Council, to appoint the members of the Constitutional Council, to appoint the members Council of Admissions, to appoint the members of the Council of Humanities, to appoint the members of the Council of Auditors, to appoint the members of the Council of Communications, to appoint the members of the Juridical Council and to appoint the Advocate General of the Order.

Who is the Grand Chancellor?

The current Grand Chancellor of the Order is The Right Reverend Archimandrite Maximos Weimar Abbot of the Monastery of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia). The Grand Chancellor is the second highest official of the Order after the Grand Knight.

What is the role of the Grand Chancellor?

The Grand Chancellor is the most senior aide and advisor to the Grand Knight. Under the authority of the Grand Knight, the Grand Chancellor presides over the executive branch of the Order.

The Grand Chancellor is responsible for the representation of the Order to third parties, the carrying out of policy and the internal administration of the Order, as well as the coordination of the activities of the government of the Order between its different administrative bodies. The Grand Chancellor on behalf of the Grand Knight oversees the national Priories of the Order. It is a requirement of the Order that the Grand Chancellor be a member of the clergy holding the rank of priest or higher.

What is the Sovereign Council?

The Sovereign Council assists the Grand Knight in his governance and serves as the Board of Directors of the Order. It is the highest governing, executive, legislative and legal body within the Holy Orthodox Order of Saint George the Great Martyr. The Sovereign Council is composed of the Grand Knight who presides over it, the holders of the four High Offices – the Grand Chancellor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Humanitarian Aid and the Minister of Finance and Records – and at least six additional members picked at large.

What are the ranks of the Order?

The ranks of the Order are from highest to lowest: Knight Grand Cross, Dame Grand Cross, Knight Commander, Dame Commander, Knight and Dame, as well as Ecclesiastical Grand Cross, Ecclesiastical Commander and Chaplain.

Is this Order political?

The Order is political insofar as it wishes to see full dignity and human rights for all Orthodox Christians regardless of where they live. To this end the Order will strive to advocate and mediate for Orthodox Christians who are in need or under persecution. The Order will equally strive to strengthen its relations with those countries and international institutions  which it has a keen interest in. The Order considers itself neutral, apolitical and independent.

Why should I become a member of the Order?

We believe that being an integral part of this Order provides the Orthodox Christian, both male and female, cleric and lay, with a vibrant, living, forceful and highly committed way to express one’s faith in tangible ways to their fellow Orthodox who are persecuted and in great need of material as well as social and spiritual assistance. It gives the faithful members very specific ways in which to be of true Christly service, as mirrored in the Beatitudes and in the basic Christian message of love.

How can I get involved?

Any person can get involved in the work of the Order. To become a member of the Order it is necessary that you fill out and submit the membership application by mail. The membership application can be found on this website under “Documents”.