Information on the Knighthood of the Holy Sebastian in Europe

  • Grand Master: Karl von Habsburg
  • Prior: Charles-Louis Prince of Merode
  • Subprior:
    • Horst Thoren, Hannenplatz 4, D - 41352 Korschenbroich
    • Jos Verbeeten, Pastoor Willemspad 3, NL – 5845 GA Sint Antonis
    • Andrzej Wegner, Ul Chojnicka 62, PL – 89-500 Tuchola
  • Chancellor: Peter-Olaf Hoffman, Jahnstrasse 6, D – 41541 Dormagen
  • Treasurer: Drs. Louis Litjens, van Hillenstraat 10, NL – 5988 BH Helden


Data and facts

In 1985 the Order was established in Eupen (B). At that moment, the European Festival was held there which was the special occasion for the Order to occur. Founder of this Order was the EUROPEAN COMMUNITY OF HISTORIC MARKSMENS’ GUILDS – EGS. His Emperial and Royal Highness, the Archduke Dr. Otto von Habsburg, member of the European Parliament fell in as Grand Master. By statute the Order was linked to the House of Habsburg, who appoints the Grand Master. So the successor and son of Dr. Otto von Habsburg, Karl von Habsburg, was initiated as new Grand Master on the 31 august 2008 in the Kaiserdom in Aachen.
People who have exerted themselves to work on the development of Christianity and a Christian Europe are taken in the Order with the accompanying insignia.
The Order and the EGS could interest numerous people from all over Europe. Representatives of the Church, Statesmen, politicians but also many people who just believe in this Europe and want to support Christian values in the old Europe have joined the Order.
When inaugurated, one becomes member of the Order. Presently the Order has more then 300 members.
The order’s aim and motto is: PRO DEO – PRO EUROPA CHRISTIANAE UNITATE – PRO VITA (for God, for a united Christian Europe, for life), to commit oneself to a peaceful development of a united Christian Europe.
The bond with the Roman Catholic Church is very important to the Order. Nevertheless, in agreement with its regulations the Order has a character that exceeds the boundaries of religion. In addition, the structure of the Order leaves room for Commanderies of all forms and sizes, so that increasing numbers of members will not jeopardise the organizational structures. 

The organisation of the Order

The Order is led by the Order Chapter. The Grand Master presides the Chapter. The organisation of the Order is being led by the clerk of the Order.
The structure of the EGS in five regions lends itself well for the regional structure of the Order. As well as the EGS, the Order has five commanderies. As leader of each commandery,the commanders of the Order have a seat and voting right in the Order Chapter.
  • Commandery 1: Germany, north of the river Main.
  • Commandery 2: Germany, south of the river Main together with Austria, Switserland and Italy.
  • Commandery 3: Scandinavie, Great Britain an the Netherlands.
  • Commandery 4: Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain and Greece.
  • Commandery 5: Eastern Europe with at present the main point in Poland, Kroatia and the Czech republic.

What is the purpose of the Order?

To apply oneself for God, for the Roman-Catholic religion, is one of the a great challenges of our time.
The Order too wants to take on this challenge. Based on a century old tradition, the society of Guilds in Europe has a relation with important elements of Christianity in numerours ways. By doing so theyguarantee Christian values and help further development. Guaranteing the great Christian values, which find their origins in the ten commandments, is an important starting point of the Order. The Order sets itself to maintain, strengthen and spread the Christian character of the Marksmensguilds’ Society.
Especially in perspective to a society that diverts from faith, the Order sees it as a major task to apply itself for a united Christian Europe. Christian Europe should save its more then 2000 year old charished and developed values and structures. All revolves around expressing the Christian faith in all openess and convinction. Christian tolerance implicates that other religious communities are also met with respect.
To apply oneself for life is another important theme within the Order. Life is wanted by God. When that life is threatened, the Order should make itself heard: by force, by law or by human action. It takes courage, but human life may not be endangered. That is why the Order will always and everywhere – asked for or not – plead a loud and clear cause for their life, for the people who are in need of protection.
The Order is built on this above-mentioned foundation and the members have committed themselves to that. Personal engagement of each individual member of the Order with every section of the community is paramount. Also each member of the Order is asked to work towards the oecumanical thought and tolerance to other religious beliefs. A blameless conduct of each member of the Order is asked for.

Contact address

Clerk of the Order
Peter-Olaf Hoffman
Jahnstrasse 6, 41541 Dormagen (D)
Tel. +49 (0) 2133 – 72078
Fax +49 (0) 2133 – 257379
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