The Order of the Saints Contard d' Este and Julian, the Hospitaller

L' Ordine dei Santi Contardo e Giuliano, l' Ospitaliere ( The Order of the Saints Contard and Julian, the Hospitaller) is a Roman Catholic Dynastic Order of chivalrous and noble nature bestowed by the House d' Este Orioles and founded by S.A.S Antonino II d' este Orioles in 1860. During the centuries the Order has been one of the many philanthropic works carried by the d' Este and subsequently by d'Este Orioles family in Sicily to support the local community.

The d'Este family, in particular the Magnificus Don Domenico d’ Este Junior, founded the Rabico in 1603, also known as the “Poors patrimony” and finally as Monte Frumentario. The first Monte Frumentario originated to lend the grain and barley seeds to the poorest peasants for them to sow, and they had a notable diffusion during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Monte Frumentario’s function was to support the agricultural cycle. To this end, the farmers participated offering days of unpaid work (roadies) to sow and crop and the seeds harvested were stored to be distributed to the peasants who did not have any. When there were large surpluses in the warehouses, one part was sold and the money obtained was used for the creation of” Monti Pecuniari” aimed to lend to the farmers money for the costs of the harvest at a rate of 5%. The book “Tortorici, Le Chiese-Le Contese, Le Opere Pie” – written by the Historian Professor Sebastiano Franchina and edited by his son Piero- focuses in detail on the Monte Frumentario d’Este, which was the oldest charitable institution of this kind in Tortorici .

S.A.S Duke Antonino II d' Este Orioles.j
Cover "Tortorici, Le Chiese-Le Contese, Le Opere Pie"
Tortorici, Le Chiese-Le Contese, Le Opere Pie (1)
Tortorici, Le Chiese-Le Contese, Le Opere Pie (2)
Duke Antonino II d' Este Orioles
Letter patent of Duke Antonino II d' Este Orioles dated 1860
Regalia of the OSSCJ

Since then the d’Este Orioles family continued the charitable work of the Monte Frumentario, until the early 1800s; then it was converted into Monte Agrario and regulated on the basis of the law 1816 .

In 1860, before the fall of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, there were over a thousand Monti Frumentari. This testifies to the success of the d’ Este idea. After 1863 the Savoy monarchy which unified the Italian peninsula not only prevented the formation of new Monti Frumentari, but a law of 10 March 1865 placed them, as Charity Institutions , under the protection of the Provincial Monarchy deputations, abolishing also the obligation for the administrators of the Monti Frumentari present the balance-sheets and the verification of the final budget. This lack of control promoted the end of this important charity institution.

The House d’Este Orioles, however, continued their charity work ; The 15th of August 1860, Duke Antonino II d'Este Orioles honoured its ancestors and the Saints linked to the family history (St. Contardo d’ Este and St. Giuliano, l' Ospitaliere); the Duke founded, exercising his fons honorum, the Roman Catholic Order of the Saints Contard and Julian, the Hospitaller..


As the Order of the Saints Contard and Julian, the Hospitaller is a Roman Catholic Dynastic Order of Knighthood, according to tradition, the Magisterial Chaplain is always represented by a member of the Roman Catholic clergy. Currently the Magisterial Chaplain is the Very Reverend Monsignor Luigi Domenico Casolini, Marchese di Sersale of the Diocese of Tivoli-Rome where Villa D’ Este is also located. Monsignor Luigi Casolini is the Rettore Presidente of the Roman Catholic Associazione dei Cavalieri di San Silvestro Papa which includes all the Roman Catholics awarded the title of Knight of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr (Ordine di San Silvestro Papa).