Message from the Cardinal Grand Prior on the occasion of the Holy Easter and the Feast of St George

Rome, 30 March 2017. On the occasion of the Holy Easter and the Feast of the Patron Saint of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, His Eminence Renato Raffaele Cardinal Martino, Protodeacon of the Holy Roman Church and Grand Prior has issued a message to all knights, dames and medallists of the Constantinian Order.

“Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere

My dears, these words of the Sequence lead us to the truth of the celebration of Holy Easter “We know that Christ truly arose from the dead”. This is the crucial fulcrum of Christianity, the truth that helps us to view with a certain serenity the great mystery of death that echoes in the existence of man as a declaration of the failure of life. The resurrection of Christ is life redeemed from the desperate domination of death, it is the greatest gift that God the Father gives to humanity through the paschal mystery of his Son Christ, crucified and risen from the dead.

It is disconcerting to ascertain that in refusing Christ we condemn ourselves to constructing humanisms without hope, which history has duly recorded as catastrophic triumphs of death.

Meditating on the mystery of Easter means contemplating the suffering, death and the resurrection of Our Lord. The Paschal mystery, which gave birth to the Christian experience, is not a philosophical or political Utopia, it is God who becomes history. The pilgrim who visits the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, built by St. Elena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, guards and protects the historical sites of the Redemption: Golgotha, where Jesus was raised up and died on the cross, and the sepulcher from which he resurrected victorious. These sites have always exercised a justifiable attraction and fascination on all of humanity by recurring to the theological concept of sensus fidelium, the gift of the Holy Spirit to the baptised that allows them to be attracted to truth and goodness. Those who have gone to Jerusalem with the humility and devotion of the pilgrim wish only to return so that they may receive the comfort and confirmation of their faith here where Christ was resurrected.

Easter is the sign and the promise of a new life, the new life that Christ wishes to bestow upon those who believe in Him, and it is for this reason that every believer is called upon, through his testimony and commitment, to “renew” the reality in which he lives. We often complain because things may not go as well as we would wish and society seems be heading increasingly astray; for Christians, celebrating Easter also means becoming the protagonists of a renewed society that requires first and foremost the real desire to undergo a personal conversion. We cannot dream of and hope in a better future if we do not allow ourselves to be touched and transformed by the gift of He who has Resurrected.

In this period of Lent that precedes the joy of Holy Easter I invite the Knights and Dames of our Order, assisted by the priors and chaplains, to truly and genuinely prepare themselves through specific moments of prayer, silence and meditation.

Shortly, on April 23, the liturgy will commemorate the feast of our patron, Saint George, whom tradition represents as a knight facing the dragon; he is a symbol of the intrepid faith that combats and triumphs over the forces of evil.

May his intercession strengthen within us the religious virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity so that, sustained by the membership and works of the Constantinian Order, we may be increasingly ready to contribute to fostering and promulgating the Kingdom of God and to build, through works of actual charity, a civility of love.

May you all take part in a serene and joyous celebration of Holy Easter of the Resurrection and of the Patron St. George, prolific stages of a new life in the Spirit of the Resurrected Christ.

Renato Raffaele Cardinal Martino


To read the original message in Italian, please click here.