Military Order of St. George, Knight's Cross Breast Star
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The establishment of the Order is highly disputed and there are numerous origin stories. Some sources claim that the Order was brought to Germany from the Holy Land by Wolf I, Otto III, Otto IV and Eckart II as early as the twelfth century. Others allege that the Order was founded by Emperor Maximilian I in 1494. In reality, the Order was established on April 24, 1729 by Elector Charles Albert, later the Emperor Charles VII, who received it from his father, Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, who died before instituting the Order.
The order was established to honour nobility and was awarded as a means to recognize meritorious civil and military service.
Members of the Order had to prove their Catholic descent and were charged with the duty of venerating St. George and believing in the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin.
On March 15, 1728, Pope Benedict XIII confirmed the order and granted it the advantages, which previous Popes had conceded to all high Orders of Germany.
In 1741, a spiritual class was added, which consisted of a Bishop, a Provost, four Deans, and Chaplains.
In 1778, following the extinction of the Louis line of Bavaria, the Order was adopted as a Palatinate-Bavarian institution by Elector Charles Theodore. His successor, Maximilian Joseph sanctioned it as a royal Bavarian Order, second in rank to the Order of St. Hubert.
The King was the Grand Master of the Order, while the Crown Prince was the first Grand Prior, with the next Prince following as the second Grand Prior.
The Order is still in existence today, with rigid requirements for admittance.
The Order includes six Knights of the Grand Cross, twelve Commanders, and unlimited Knights.
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