Cardinal Canali, Cardinal Protector of the Knightly Order of the Holy Sepulchre, has appealed to the various sections of the order throughout the world to pray for peace in the Holy Land and to give what aid conscience dictates to the defenders of the Holy Sepulchre.
"The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Franciscan Custodians of the Holy Land, and Catholics of every rite in Palestine have been witnessing with consternation the profanation of monuments sacred to the Faith and civilisation," he said.
"To-day, more than ever, the needs of the missions and institutions of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem are grave and urgent."
The pontifical order of knighthood of the Holy Sepulchre was restored by Pope Alexander VI in 1496. It originated during the Crusades.
Membership is conferred by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem ex officio deputy of the Pope, as Grand Master of the Order. There are three ranks in the Order, grand cross knights, commanders and knights. Clerics and women (Dames) are eligible for appointment to the Order.
Those who receive the Order in Jerusalem are invested with the gold spurs and a sword, said to have belonged to Godfrey de Bouillon, preserved in the sacristy of the church of the Holy Sepulchre.
A new interest was given to this decoration and honour when Pope Pius XI in 1928 commended to the members of the Order the work of spreading of the Faith in Palestine by prayer and alms deeds.
There are over 60 members of the Order who are British Subjects.
Missionary Priest is Beheaded in Hanoi
Fr. Jean Pierre Idiart Alhor, of the Paris Foreign Missionary Society, was beheaded early on the morning of May 18, in his church at Chaps.
Fr. Idiart, was was 44, was a French citizen, and had spent 15 years in Indo-China. He narrowly escaped death in 1945 when the revolutionaries of Viet Minh surrounded his presbytery.