In medieval times, no single written code of chivalry existed. Each Order of Knights developed its own code, based on three principles:
1. Duty to countrymen and to fellow Christians 2. Duty to God 3. Duty to women
The Knights and Maids of Errantry adhere to these three principles in the following way:
1 The Knights Errant shall be merciful, courageous, valorous, and fair. They shall protect the weak the poor and be willing even to lay down their lives for others in need. Laying down one’s life more frequently involves, not the shedding of one’s own blood, but rather the giving up of one’s time and desires in order to serve others.
2. The Knights Errant shall be faithful to God and the Church. They shall follow the precepts of the Lord in all areas including purity, honesty, faith, truthfulness, and honor. They shall protect the innocent, become the champions of good against evil, and be generous in obeying God and the laws of the Church. Should the laws of their nation conflict with the laws of God, they shall obey the laws of God above all else.
3.The Knights Errant shall be courteous and respectful not only toward women but toward all people. They shall strive to love every human being with the love which God has for all. Their graciousness and gentleness shall extend to all even as they uphold what is just and right in the fight against evil.
Plate of a German knight (book illustration 1483). The knight vowed to uphold the Twelve Tenets of the Code of Chivalry which are: Faith in God . . . . Service to Others . . . . Valor in adversity . . . Truth in speech . . . Loyalty in service . . Humility in bearing . . . Charity in compassion . . . Prowess in action. . .Defense in need . . . Generosity in giving . . . . Justice in judgment . . . Honor above all.
I WILL SERVE
Lord, I will serve as a True and Chivalric Knight. By the power of Your Grace, I will defend the right to life for all people, born and unborn, help and protect the innocent who are violated, abused, and neglected, aid those in distress and despair, and comfort the afflicted.