Robert Devine Attends Savoy Orders Event in Rome

Dr. Robert J. Devine (Bosch III) and his wife Gleceria attended the Capitulo
Generale of the House of Savoy Orders in Rome from October 6-13. The event began on Friday
with the American Delegation dinner at the Reale Circolo Canottieri Tevere Remo, one of the
oldest and most renowned rowing and sailing clubs in Lazio. The late King Umberto II was one
of the club’s presidents and it is still visited by his great great grandson HRH Prince Victor
Emmanuel of Savoy. His Eminence Cardinal James Harvey was the guest of honor who shared
personal reflections on his life as Prefect of the Papal Household under St. Pope John Paul II.

The following day featured the installation and promotion ceremony for the Order of Merit of
Savoy and the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus at the Pontifical Lateran University followed
by a Marian prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square under the direction of Pope Francis with a
reserved section for the dynastic orders. Later that evening, the members gathered for a
cocktail reception and benefit gala at the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj housing one of the largest
private art collections in Rome where members of the Pamphilj family (of Italian and English
descent) still reside today.

On Sunday, order members gathered at the Basilica of Saint Sebastian Outside the Walls on the
Appian Way in resplendent church robes for the Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for the Jubilee
Year of Mercy in the presence of Grand Master HRH Prince Victor Emmanuel, Duke of Savoy
and Prince of Naples and other distinguished guests including members of the household of the
Japanese royal family. Mass was followed by a charity luncheon at the nearby Cecilia Metella
restaurant. Later that afternoon, Robert and other American order members proceeded to the
Pantheon to lay a wreath at the tombs of the Italian kings.

The program continued on Monday with breakfast at the Pontifical North American College
hosted by Rector Rev. Peter C. Harman. Following this, the delegation was received at St.
Peter’s Basilica by His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the Archpriest of the Basilica. Prior
to lunch at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, delegation members met with
several curial officials and high church dignitaries at the invitation of His Eminence Cardinal Kurt
Koch. That afternoon, members savored the Villa Malta of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta with its resplendent gardens on the
Aventine Hill overlooking St. Peter’s Basilica across the Tiber river.

After the Villa del Priorato di Malta, the knights and dames were received by their co-hosts
Cardinal Harvey and Benedictine Abbot Edmund Power (Honorary Canon of St. Paul’s
Cathedral in London) at the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and then proceeded to
the Anglican Center at the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj for a reception by their host Archbishop Sir
David Moxon of New Zealand, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ambassador to the Holy See.
Following this most congenial visit, the delegation motorcade proceeded to the Villa Borghese
and entered the renaissance courtyard at sundown for dinner at the resplendent Circolo Della
Caccia, one of the world’s most opulent private clubs counting membership among the
European nobility and reigning royal houses. The cocktail reception was hosted in the
magnificent high-ceilinged renaissance hall followed by a sumptuous candlelight dinner in an
intimate salon with frescoed ceilings served by impeccable and deferential staff attired in
eighteenth century period livery. This ended the official portion of the House of Savoy investiture

On Tuesday, Robert was received by Rector Dr. Hans-Peter Fischer in the Campo Santo
Teutonico, a verdant and tranquil oasis in the middle of Vatican City founded by the Emperor
Charlemagne. He was shown the recently erected monument to Irish Monsignor Hugh
O’Flaherty, a twenty year resident of the Teutonicum who helped rescue and protect six
thousand Jews and allied prisoners of war with the help of priests, spies, diplomats and even
communists in what became known as the “Rome Escape Line.” The Teutonicum serves a
threefold role as a college for German-speaking priests, one of the two overseas centers of the
Goerres Gesellschaft (the other being in Jerusalem) and the headquarters of an ancient and
venerable brotherhood, the “Arciconfraternita S. Maria della Pieta.“ Robert was subsequently
admitted as a member of the distinguished “ultramontane” Goerres Gesellschaft.

Robert then proceeded to the convent of the Istituto Maria Santissima Bambina on the
Janiculum Hill directly overlooking the Vatican where an erudite nun from India allowed him
access to their impressive balcony with sublime views overlooking St. Peter’s Basilica below.
This was followed by lunch in the shaded courtyard of the Palazzo della Rovere where Robert
met with officials of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and was given a
private tour of the Grand Master’s chambers in the palace.

Subsequent to this, Robert was invited to experience the serene Venerable English College
which produced innumerable martyrs during the Elizabethan era in England. This was followed
by a visit to the Catalonian national church and an invitation by the Rector of Santa Maria della
Anima, the Austrian “counterpart” of the Teutonicum, which, in addition to the Principality of
Liechtenstein, remains the only still intact territory of the former Holy Roman Empire of the
German Nation (First Reich). Later that afternoon, Robert and Gleceria were greeted at the
Pontifical University of Santa Croce run by the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei and the Pontifical
Ecclesiastical Academy, the exclusive training ground for future Vatican diplomats. Finally,
Robert proceeded over to the sartorial ecclesiastical haberdasher Barbiconi on the Via Santa
Caterina da Siena to be fitted for his splendid wool cape with gold embroidered Savoy royal
monogram as a future member of the Guard of Honor to the Royal Tombs of the Pantheon.

Upon their return home to Texas with barely time to unpack, our Roman pilgrims then flew to
Palm Beach for a reception, evening of chamber music and operatic renditions and awards
ceremony at the home of Dr. Otto Federico von Feigenblatt-Miller, the Count of Kobryn, on
behalf of the International Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Society of Spanish
Armigers to which Robert belongs. The event included distinguished guests from Haiti and the
Costa Rican and Cuban Associations of the Order of Malta, a Knight of Justice of the German
Johanniter Order, diplomats and military officers, and the notable Albanian national sculptor Idriz
Balani. Robert and Gleceria arrived back home in Fort Worth in time to learn of his appointment
as a Knight of Justice in the Capitulo Noble de Fernando VI in La Coruña, Spain, a Spanish
nobiliary society to which the Hochmeister of the Deutscher Orden in Vienna, His Excellency Dr.
Bruno Platter, also belongs.

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