We the members of the Fraternal Society of Knights who bear the title of St George with this document declare to one and all: as men who do deeds must be judged not only on the deed itself but also on the intention of the deed, so we, through the promptings and order of God whence all good comes, with clear intent and in good faith do believe, on the principal of the evangelical truth of the creative God, that we, the union of this fraternal society, do for the sake of our fellow men knowingly serve Christ whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light. This is our defence in this world. Its troubles and dangers attack us in different ways so that, if mankind has no medicine for the purpose, the body politic will soon disintegrate and the wickedness of the enemy will triumph over the faithful, attacking first those of our countrymen spread across the land in whose territory hide innumerable infidel who persecute justice. For the infidel pagan is at the frontiers of our land, attacking and tearing into both the land and its government.
It is expected of a head to defend its body and of a ruler to rid his land of the infidel, and if this is not done by his order the enemy must be weeded out. Among Christian lands, the Kingdom of Hungary stands justly in need of the extermination of the infidel from the armies of the Ruler and the Holy Crown.
For this reason, by the grace of God, Father Bolezo, primate and bishop of Esztergom, in the presence of and with the agreement, counsel and support of bishops Nicholas of Györ, John of Nitra, Laszlo of Pécs, Peter of Bosnia, Laurence of Vác, Csanadinus of Eger, Henry of Veszprém, respected provosts, deans of Szentmarton and others, preaching friars minor, hermits, and the dean of Esztergom, has brought into being the following laws of this fraternal society. Those who wish to join it must banish from themselves all hatred and strife to embrace their brothers in reciprocal love, that so united, they will spurn misfortune for the benefit of their bodies and souls in the present, to progress in righteousness in the future and so achieve their eternal reward. Those who wish to join this fraternal society will put on a knee-length mantle of black cloth, which bears the inscription
IN VERITATE IUSTUS SUM HUIC FRATERNALI SOCIETATE
“In truth, I am faithful to this fraternal society”
When one following this vocation shall die, those who survive him shall on the day of his burial arrange the offering of ten holy Masses for his salvation.
Furthermore, they shall come together for solace on the Feast of St George to celebrate a Mass for all their deceased brethren. Those prevented by duty from joining them shall delegate a deputy. Furthermore, should any of them be taken prisoner, all the Knights shall strive to liberate him or to pay the sum of one mark for the purpose. Furthermore, they must take Communion at the Mass of the midday hour on Fridays in penitence for their hurtful words and deeds. For the salvation of the fraternal society they shall recite ten Paters and ten Aves and give a dinar to the Church.
Furthermore, they shall bear a happy countenance and demeanour on Sundays. If anyone sustains a tragedy such as the death of a parent or friend the others shall tactfully comfort him.
Furthermore, in knightly tournaments they must support the King. Furthermore, the Society shall be enlarged by one member each year.
Furthermore, if in attacking a castle in battle one should fall from his horse into a ditch, his fellow Knight must not leave him, for he shall be practiced in giving knightly help. Furthermore, they shall give counsel to each other when subduing an enemy, behaving in love towards one another, and shall not make fabrications against their superiors.
Furthermore, should any Knight hear ill of His Royal Highness or learn of impending trouble against him, he shall report the same either openly or in secret. If the foregoing must be heeded by those intending to join this fraternal society, and when touching the Cross or other holy object they must forever keep these things in their minds.
Furthermore, all Knights, from the day of their entry into this fraternal society to its first anniversary retain the freedom to leave if they should consider it better, but if they consider it best to strengthen the Society by the aforementioned principles they must remain until the end of their lives or until they be excluded from this fraternal society.
Furthermore, if one Knight slanders another before midday on a Friday, at their communal table on Monday he shall consume, on an empty stomach, the same number of bites of bread mixed with ash as he slandered his fellow. Furthermore, we order that every member of this fraternal society shall wear our initial letters and those who fail to do so shall pay an appropriate fine within a month or make reparation in the following month.
Furthermore, there shall be two judges, one lay and one clerical, and if the two cannot sit at the same time then one shall make judgements with a temporary or deputy judge. There may be no other judgements over any Knight, either by the King or by anybody else.
Furthermore, the Knights are duty bound to eat together at the communal table each Friday if they are present at their residence. One who has an acceptable reason not to be at table and has been excused by the Society shall donate one dinar to the poor.
Furthermore, the excess from the table shall be distributed to the poor with one dinar from each Knight present. Before and after the meal, all present shall say one Pater and one Ave in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and another Pater in honour of St George the Martyr.
Furthermore, he who neglects to wear his mantle on Fridays shall fast on bread and water until the Sunday Mass is celebrated. Furthermore, if one Knight despises another it is the duty of the others to placate him, and if he does not make peace he will be expelled from this fraternal society. As we often see strife among friends, when one is contemptuous towards another he must under obligation help him with all his power to make progress for the betterment of them both. To alleviate suffering and grief, the others shall give satisfaction to the injured party.
Furthermore, this fraternal society is bound in all faith to defend and promote Holy Mother Church so that the Society may itself prosper in both spirit and wealth through the supplication of Holy Mother Church.
Furthermore, no one shall enter the Society without the agreement of the others, and candidates shall approach the Judge, the King and the Chancellor of the Society who will consent or not. In the latter case, admission will not take place. When someone wishes to enter, the Chancellor shall report it to the King and the Judge shall sign the application in which the candidate promises to be faithful and honourable and testifies the agreement of the other members.
Furthermore, the appointed Judges shall give judgement without naming the defendant. An oath-breaker who does not subject himself to judgement or act in accordance with it must remove his mantle and be expelled, before being attacked by those whom he was judged to have wronged.
Furthermore, since we do not want our Society to suffer from the possibilities of strife among brothers, we desire that any Knight who is robbed or hurt shall not suffer from the act but shall be given valiant satisfaction by the others.
Furthermore, the members of the Society of St George the Martyr, who shall never exceed fifty in number, are obliged to improve themselves by observing fidelity to the King and by exercising justice among themselves. Three times a year, on the Feast of St George, on the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and on the eighth day of the new year, they shall congregate without fail, except in the event of an extreme illness or when on duty for King and country. On a Friday or Saturday each month, at the summons of the Judge, those at home shall congregate to discuss the good fortune of the King and our country.
Furthermore, with the permission of the Primate, after duly repenting of their sins before the spiritual Judge, a Knight may be dispensed from his oath if it was taken in ignorance and without malice. More difficult cases shall be judged by the Society.
Furthermore we declare that if any members of our Society are slandered or hurt by outsiders, the Judge of the time may issue the King’s letter ordering the lords of those lands to obey the Royal Order without question, in respect of the oath of the injured Knight.
Furthermore we order that no Knight in liberty shall consort with any enemy of another Knight. Should any such animosity be evident or be known to cause strife between them it shall be regarded as a breaking of the oath and shall be punishable by expulsion from the Society.
In the year of Our Lord 1326 on the Feast of St George the Martyr The Society of St George accepts these laws in the presence of and with the assent of King Károly Robert.