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The purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster a love of country and impress the duties of citizenship. Its motto is Patriotism - a patriotism enlightened and informed by faith!
The spirit of patriotism - promoting responsible citizenship and a love of and loyalty to the Knights’ respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups called assemblies. Fourth Degree members must retain their membership as Third-Degree members in the local council to remain in good standing.
Certain members of the Fourth Degree serve as honor guards at civic and religious functions, which has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus.
The underlying principle of the Fourth Degree is patriotism. Patriotism is about duty and honor to God and country.
As Fourth Degree Knights we exemplify the elements of patriotism by practicing the principles of good catholic citizenship.
The 4th Degree was established in New York on 22 February 1900. The requirements for joining the 4th are that a brother Knight must have been a third-degree member in good standing for at least one year, be an exemplary Catholic, and be of sound citizenship of his country.
The Fourth Degree is frequently regarded as an honorary title with its regalia of tuxedos, capes, chapeau and swords but should rather be thought of in terms of service to church and country, and the goals of the Fourth Degree may be summarized as the promotion of the ideals of Catholicism and Patriotism side by side.
The principles of catholic citizenship are:
• To respect and obey all lawful authority
• To uphold and maintain those whose duty it is to administer the laws
• To defend and preserve, unspotted and unstained the flag of our country
• To maintain unity and practice the virtues of charity and brotherly love
• To exemplify, in all our relations with our fellow man, the sublime teachings of the Holy Catholic Church.
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