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The Wotanberger Order
of St. Hubert
(Sankt Hubertus Orden von Wotanberg)

Serving God by protecting and caring for His people.

Brief History

The Wotanberger Order of St. Hubert is both a Grand Ducal and a religious order founded c. 1100 by Siegfried I, Grand Duke of Wotanberg. It was originally founded to serve the cause of Christ by carrying out military as well as hospitaler functions in support of the Crusades in the Holy Land. The Order came to play a not insignificant role in the defence of the Christian settlements in Palestine and Syria which had been set up by the Crusaders. While never compromising its military function, the Order has never neglected its hospitaler functions.
Driven from Palestine with the rest of the Catholics in 1291, many of the members of the Order returned to Europe. Although most of these returned to the "motherhouse" in Castle St. Hubert in Weselstein, Wotanberg, some joined one the Order's many non-Wotanbergers to establish a new "daughterhouse" in his family's castle perched atop Rothenberg ("Red Mountain") overlooking the fabled Rhine River. This castle was soon expanded and renamed in honor of the Order's patron saint.
A sizable contingent of the Orders members remained overseas and were reinforced from the two priories in Europe as needed from time to time. This contingent assisted other larger--and more famous--orders in the defence of Christianity in the Mediterranean, serving on both the islands of Rhodes and Malta. In 1649, shortly after the Church of Wotanberg was formally established as an independent national Church after end of the Thirty Years War, this group was called back to Wotanberg. (Among the artifacts and treasures it brought back were a pair of black jewel-encrusted weasels known as the "Maltese Weasels". These artifacts may have been the inspiration for the motion picture of a similar name.)

From 1549 to the present, the Order has continued to carry out its hospitaler and military functions, as well as other ones, in and from its motherhouse in Wotanberg, its daughterhouse at Rothenberg (except from 1939-1945 when the order was expelled from Germany), St. Hubertus Hospital in Trevorstein, and other facilities in Wotanberg. (See "The Present Day Work of the Order" below.) In addition, two other daughterhouses and various medical facilities are maintained in both the Seiber Islands and the Mustela Islands.

For nearly two centuries, the Order has been associated with a religious and nursing order known as the Sisters of St. Elizabeth (of Hungary), whose members have long served alongside those of the Order at St. Hubertus Hospital. In 1939--when in response to the Grand Duchy's permitting women to enlist in its Armed Forces, membership in the Order was opened up to women--the members of of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth were invited to become members of the Order of St. Hubert as well.

The Membership and Leadership of the Order

Since the Order's reorganization in 1939, there are three classes of members of the Order.
Members of the first class--Brüder or Schwestern (Brothers or Sisters)--are professed religious, members of an order of the Church of Wotanberg, who have taken the usual monastic vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. There are only about 120 of them.
The vast majority of members (c. 2500) are either members of the second class--Ritter (Knights) or Damen (Dames)--or of the third class--Jäger or Jägerinnen (Hunters) or Hospitaliter or Hospitaliterinnen (Hospitalers) depending on the type of service chosen--are generally laypersons, who in other orders might be called confratres or tertiaries. One does not have to be a member of the Church of Wotanberg to belong to the Order as a member in the second and third classes, but membership is the Order is restricted to citizens of the Grand Duchy. (Except, of course, for honorary memberships occasionally conferred on foreigners!)
Although membership in the second class is quite selective, it has for centuries been based "not on nobility of blood, but on nobility of spirit." For example, recently admitted Knights and Dames include a gardener at the Order's hospital in Trevorstein and two of its kitchen staff.
Although many (c. 200) of the members of the second and third classes carry out the work of the Order on a full-time, paid basis, many of its services on carried out on a part-time, unpaid basis. When not performing services on behalf of the Order, all members are still expected and required to maintain the ideals of the Order.
Members of the Order also include ordained priests and deacons of the Church of Wotanberg who, regardless of which class they belong, are denominated Kapläne ("Chaplains") .

The Head of the Order is the Hochmeister/in ("Grand Master/Mistress") . The Hochmeister/in is a Brüder or Schwester, elected for life by those members of the Order who are also members of the Church of Wotanberg. With his installation, the Hochmeister/in is also ordained as an abbot/ess. Although elected for life, the Hochmeister/in can, however, be removed by either the Grand Duke (or Grand Duchess Regnant) of Wotanberg or the Archbishop of Wotanberg.

The Hochmeister is assisted by the Generalrat ("General Council") a Council on which sit, the Grand Duke (or Grand Duchess Regnant) of Wotanberg serving ex officio as Rittmeister (or Rittmeisterin) ("Captain of the Knights"), the Generalsekretär ("General Secretary") , the Generalökonom ("General Treasurer"), the Jägermeister/in ("Master/Mistress of the Hunters"), and the Hospitalitermeister/in ("Master/Mistress of the Hospitalers").

The Present Day Work of the Order

Throughout its history, the Order has remained committed to its hospitaler functions, and operates hospitals for the poor both in Wotanberg and the Seiber Islands, provides ambulance services in both of those countries, and has a number of medical units available to assist victims of both natural and man-made disasters around the world. St. Elizabeth of Hungary is a special patron saint for those performing these services.

The Order's military functions include providing Chaplains to the armed forces of the three members of the Wotanberger Commonwealth, maintaining various special units to support that nation's peacekeeping operations and provide security for facilities and operations both of the Order and the Church of Wotanberg. Especially important in this regard are the Order's mine-clearing teams. (For additional information regarding international efforts to rid the world of the approximately 120 million landmines lurking in the ground, please click here.)(Note: The members of these units are armed with small arms and, in some cases, light anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons. However, they operate under very strict rules of engagement which preclude their use of weapons except in self-defence or the defence of others.) In addition, many of the members of to the armed forces of the three members of the Wotanberger Commonwealth, are members of the order. St. Joan of Arc is a special patron saint for those performing these services.

Other important Christian missions undertaken by the Order today include:

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