Investiture of the Grand Commandery of France (October 2008)
The second investiture of the Grand Commandery of France under the Grand Priory of the Mediterranean was held this month in the Castle of La Palice in Vichy, the Grand Priory’s French headquarters.
It was indeed a beautiful day and the chapel was filled with the members of the Order and their guests. An impressive amount of postulants were also present for the investiture, which was wholly conducted in the French language.
The investiture was enhanced by means of an impressive baroque orchestra and the angelic voices of the soprano and baritone were indeed an added plus to the unique atmosphere pertaining to the investiture in such an historic chapel.
The Grand Commander of France, Chev. Michel Bouillerand and the Commanders of Marseilles and Vichy respectively were also given the Order of Merit of the Order for their constant work on behalf of the Grand Priory. The Secretary of the Grand Commandery also received this prestigious acknowledgement.
The investiture dinner was also held at the main baroque room of the castle and the packed event was indeed a splendid affair with sumptuous food and the inevitable fine French wine. After dinner, the Grand Chancellor of the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus, Chev. Massimo Ellul, informed the members of the Grand Commandery of France that the 2010 investiture in France would see the consecration of a fully fledged Grand Priory of France so as to assure the independence of the French Lazarites in their own territory and also to ensure that all funds collected in France remain at the disposal of the French Lazarites to dispense with in charitable works as they deem fit, subject to consultation with the higher authorities of the Order. This development was indeed very much appreciated by the members present and, in his reply, the Grand Commander of France reiterated his promise to continue the work of the Order and to ensure its expansion in France.