The ancient name of "Castrum Sepulcri" later
changed to "Sepulcri Bugrum", then to "Serporca" and ultimately to the
contemporary name of SEBORGA. Seborga was an ancient feud of the Counts
of Ventimiglia. In 954 Count Guido bestowed the castle, the Saint Michael's
Church in Ventimigila and the big portion of land to the monks of Lerins. The birth of the Order dates back to around the mid Xth. Century.
In 1118 the Prince/Abbot Edward ordained the first nine templars and the Principality of SEBORGA became the first and unique sovereign Cistercian State in history. In 1127 the nine Templars returned from Jerusalem to Castrum Sepulcri (Seborga). Saint Bernard was waiting for them and ordained Hugues de Payns to be the first Grand Master . In 1128 the Rules of the Orders were sanctionned by the Council of Troyes. In 1129 The Knights, Escuyer of the the Sovereign Order of Castrum Sepulcri, in company of several Saracines (Muslim Traders of noble origine) lay the foundation of the Sovereign Order of Castrum Sepulcri. This group of Knights and Squires amount to less than a hundred, organisation was poor but faith was paramount. They joined the Knights Templars on their way to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1187 after the Battle of Hattin on July 4th, when Saladin crush Guy de Lusignan and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Knights of Castrum Sepulcri were made prisoners but were not executed thanks to their excellent relations wiht their fellow Muslim noble who had accompany them to the Levant. Most of the Kights of Castrum Sepulcri, were realeased from jail and left for .
The Principato di Seborga remained a Cistercian
State until Jan. 20, 1729, when the Cistecian State was sold to Vittorio
Amedeo II, of Savoy, Prince of Piedmont and King of Sardinia. Later in 1748, (Treaty of Aquisgrana) the Principality of SEBORGA
was not integrated into the republic of Genoa, neither was it mentioned
in the Viennese Congress of 1815 as part of the Kingdom of Sardinia,
there is no mention of the Principality of SEBORGA in the Act of Unification
of Italy in 1861. And last but not least the Principality of Seborga
has never been considered part of the Italian Republic formed in 1946. But it seems that this change
was never registered with the kingdom of Sardinia nor the House of Savoy.
In 1946, following the unification of Italy, the Sovereign Order of
the Antico Principato di Seborga, of Castrum Sepulcri acknowledged the
« de facto and de jure » sovereignty of the Italian republic
over the village of Seborga.
The raining prince at the time was Prince Abbot Edward, born near Tulon, a tall man with a soft heart. In September 1118 he ordained the first Knights Templar who formed the famous "Poor Militia of Christ." They were Abbot Gondemar and Rossal, Andre de Montbar Count Hugues I de Champagne, Hugues de Payns, Payen de Mont Didier, Geoffroy de Saint-Omer, Archambaud de Saint Amand and Geoffroy Bisol.
All left Seborga in November 1118, eight arrived in Jerusalem in the morning of May 14th. 1119, Hugues de Champagne joined them six years later on the same day at the same time.
In 1127 the nine Templars from Jerusalem to Seborga on the first Advent Sunday of 1127.
Saint Bernard was waiting for them together with Friar Gerard de Martigues who in 1112 had formed the order of the Knights of Malta.
In Seborga in the presence of all the population of 23 Knights and over 100 militias Saint Bernard ordained Hugues de Payns to be the first Grand Master of Saint Bernard Knights.
The consecration with the sword was made by Prince Abbot Edward.
In that same day a vow of silence was made between Saint Bernard of the Knights and the Great Bishop of the Cathars to safeguard "The Great Secret."
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