Picture: Philippe Cabidoche
Uniting from all over France, hundreds of Knights and Dames attended celebrations for the Investitures in the presence of the Grand Master of the Order, at the beginning of October 2015 in Toulouse. Here below a synoptic extract of the beautiful homily given by Msgr. Robert Le Gall, Bishop of Toulouse, during the Mass of Investiture in Saint Stephen’s Cathedral. There within, where the architectural ribbing crosses, we find the cross of the Occitan with its twelve pearls evoking the twelve city doors of the heavenly Jerusalem, as described in the Apocalypse of St. John.
“We are fragile when facing the mystery of the Cross, even after the Resurrection, as the Gospel shows us. Brothers and sisters of the Order, dear Knights and Ladies, in the Holy Sepulchre, you never cease to be united, in heart and in a tangible way, with the Pious Women who see the stone rolled away but who do not see Jesus’ body. Two men in dazzling clothes, two angels, announce that He is alive.
And so the Knights here are a bit like the angels with their white cloaks, aren’t they, now that you see them in such number in this cathedral. Angels of the resurrection who must announce the resurrection exactly after the suffering of Jesus (…). Last night’s Vigil in the basilica Saint-Sernin and this morning’s ceremony in the Saint Stephen’s cathedral, the first martyr, confirms our will in confessing the Paschal mystery in its entirety. Dear brothers and sisters of the Order, you have just made a promise, in front of his Eminence the Cardinal, at the moment of your Investiture.
Confess the Paschal Mystery in its totality, without forgetting to honour the great Saturday, the whole entire day where the Lord is in the tomb, in his body which has tasted death. This is your place. This is your day; this Holy Saturday. Brothers and sisters, when we contemplate the Cross, we are Nazarenes.
From the moment that the title, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’ figures in three languages on the Cross, it becomes a title of derision for the fanatics of Daesh. Last night, during the slideshow that we were able to watch on the Basilica façade, we could observe that there was the Arabic noun, the letter N, the first letter of the Nazarenes which defines us as Christian. A title of glory (…). Brothers and sisters, you have made a promise, you must keep your promise and be witnesses to the death and resurrection of Jesus.”
(October 4, 2015)