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The Order of Saint Sylvester

While knights aren't as ubiquitous as they once were, knighthood is still a high honor bestowed only on a select few! Did you know that the Pope has the ability to knight people? This is one of the abilities the Pope has by virtue of his status as a head of state (Vatican City)!

The Order of Saint Sylvester, the principal Order into which the Pope knights those deserving, is an order intended to honor Catholic laypeople who are actively involved in the life of the Church, particularly through their professional duties and/or mastery of the arts. There can be no more than 450 Knights at one time, so it's an incredibly exclusive order!

Generally, one can be nominated for the Order only by their Bishop or an Apostolic Nuncio, although there are rare exceptions. While Knights and Dames of the Order do not have specific duties, they are typically invited to major events of their dioceses (i.e. consecrations of bishops, ordinations of priests, etc.).

Perhaps the coolest (if rarely used) perk of being a Knight of the Order is that it technically gives one the right to enter Saint Peter's Basilica on a horse! Again, this is almost never done, but it's a pretty cool thought. And who better to serve as a knight than the Pope himself?

So, try to live out your faith with heroic virtue and a strong devotion to Holy Mother Church. Who knows - you might one day get a call from the Vatican offering you membership in the Order of Saint Sylvester!

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