ASSISI, 18, 19 and 20 September 2015. The first international pilgrimage has come to an end. It was requested by H.R.H. Prince Charles of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro, Head of the Royal House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Grand Master of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, and attended by a great number of Knights and Ladies from Italy and abroad.
The Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George is an Equestrian Order whose origins are traditionally linked to the Emperor Constantine, after the apparition of the Cross in Saxa Rubra, and is thus considered to be the most ancient of the chivalric orders. Its aim is the propagation of faith and the glorification of the Cross. It makes a contribution through actions and operations in social assistance and hospital care. The ancient chivalric institution, adapting itself to the reality and the needs of the modern world, has adopted the aim of providing prompt and suitable action in favour of the disadvantaged realities in our society. In this regard, the Grand Magistry of the Order has identified as the theme of the aid project “The hunger of our neighbour”, i.e. the needs of those close to us who are in a situation of destitution and need.
Over these three days in Assisi, it was the Grand Master’s desire that the attention be focused on the issue of disadvantaged childhood. At the Seraphic Institute of Assisi, one of Italy’s leading centres in the field of health care, which promotes and performs many activities of admission, diagnosis, rehabilitation, socio-medical assistance, recovery and social re-integration of children and young people with multiple disabilities, the most significant act of the Constantinian Pilgrimage took place: the donation of the “Duetto kid” (a special bike for disabled children). The young patients of the Seraphic, affected by serious motor diseases, deafness and blindness, are practically left out of a world in which communication is one of the most relevant aspects for integration into society.
After delivering the equipment, blessed by the bishop of Assisi, His Eminence Monsignor Domenico Sorrentino, a discussion called “Love is deaf – the Journey towards social integration” took place in the auditorium of the Institute. The meeting started with a greeting from the President of the Seraphic, Francesca di Maolo, lawyer, and from H.R.H. the Prince and Grand Master Charles of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Afterwards, there were speeches by Dr. Giacomo Brambilla, President of the Italian Federation of Silent Sports, by the Knight, Renzo Conti, President of the National Association of Deaf-Mutes in Lombardy, by Prof. Mario Giuseppe Carulli, National President of the Committee of the Organization of Special Events and of His Eminence, the Ambassador Father Augusto Ruffo di Calabria of the Princes of Scilla, Grand Prefect of the Constantinian Order. His Most Reverend Eminence, Cardinal Grand Prior Renato Raffaele Martino, made the final greeting. Dr. Francesca Nocerino, journalist and presenter for Tg2, moderated the participations.
In the afternoon of Saturday 19, a concert of classical music was performed in the Basilica of St. Francis. The exceptional nature of the event came from the fact that the music was performed using a precious “ex Bazzini” Stradivari violin from 1715, and played by the Master Knight Matteo Fedeli, accompanied by a String Orchestra.
In the evening, in conjunction with the start of the Apostolic Journey of the Holy Father to Cuba, the Constantinian Knights and Ladies gathered in Assisi, guided by the Grand Master, to pay tribute to Pope Francis and to his constant striving for world peace, with an evocative torchlight procession through the city’s streets to the Basilica of St. Francis.
The international pilgrimage to Assisi ended on Sunday 20 September, with the solemn Mass celebrated by the Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, Grand Prior of the Order, in the wonderful setting of the Upper Basilica, home to some of Giotto’s frescoes.