LABARUM GUARD
"PRAEPOSITI LABERORUM"
ORDER OF CENTURIONS


Christi Milites Labari Praesidio

EN TOUTO NIKA

"Labarum, hoc est Christi sacratum nomine signum."

PRAYER

Almighty God, Captain of the Host, inspire us, we beseech you, to grow in the virtues of justice, wisdom, courage, moderation, faith, hope, and charity; to protect and defend the Church Militant against every assault of the enemy; and to render unto you our Christian service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
"If a man loves righteousness, her labours are virtues; for she teacheth temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude, which are such things as man can have nothing more profitable in their life." (Wisdom of Solomon 8:7) "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" (1 Corenthians 13:13)
Prayer Card for the Labarum Guard

MOTTO

EN TOUTO NIKA
Conquer by this!


PURPOSE

To foster Christian service by Centurions of the Labarum Guard. Centurions perform, or commit to, acts of Christian service as a part of their application. They guard the faith and defend the Church by word and deed; and endeavor to grow in the virtues of justice, wisdom, courage, moderation, faith, hope, and charity.


APPOINTMENT

The Primus Pilus will appoint centurions to the Labarum Guard for an indefinite period. The applicant must be a registered centurion in good standing. Centurions should submit an application for consideration before the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel (29 Sep). Centurions will be enrolled and inducted as Christ's Soldiers of the Labarum Guard (Christi Milites Labari Praesidio) of the Order of Centurions upon the Eve of the Anniversary of the Battle of Saxa Ruba (27 October).

Applicants must hold membership in the Order of Centurions as centurions (baptized adult Christians) having been formally registered in the OC and affirming that they have said the Vow and are following the Rule of the Order of Centurions.


SYMBOLS & ARMS

Mandatory Item

rosette/lapel

The medal of the Labarum Guard has a dark red/maroon background and a gold, hand-painted, Chi-Rho (Christmon) with gold marks about its edge representing a wreath. Constantine had his guards to paint the Christmon on their shields the same morning he directed the artisans to craft the Labarum, just before the battle of Saxa-Ruba. The Christmon served as a sign of divine supplication and protection. Members should wear their rosette medal whenever acting on behalf of the Labarum Guard. This symbol and all following symbols may be fabricated locally.

Optional Items


The Labarum Guard medal may be displayed by mounting it on a gold disk to form a shield. The Ribbon/Cord of the Labrum Guard is gold in color. It may be a cord, chain, neck ribbon, or a breast ribbon. It represents the Labarum Guard's mantle of courage and piety. The ring is the chi-rho and may have the Alpha Omega inscription.The personal cross is a chi-rho within a wreath.


STEWARDSHIP

Centurions make donations to a charity of the centurion's choice in the name of the Order. Donations may be made in kind - such as a gift, or in service - such as labor. The Labarum Guard serves as the service arm of the Order of Centurions, subordinate to the Legio Christi, Order of Centurions. The Articles of Organization of the Order of Centurions apply to all aspects of the Order of Centurions - including activities of the Labarum Guard.



SERVICE

As Labarum Guards, centurions seek ways to manifest God's grace through service in their church or community - and especially to those of low estate, widows, orphans, the sick, prisoners, and others in need. Service is not rendered to earn any merit in the eyes of God, but rather, in all humility, in order to obey his command. The words of Paul are important in regard to Service, for he said in Romans, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Every Christian is a minister (servant) and called upon by solemn duty to render unto God a sacrifice that is pleasing unto him according to the measure of faith and gifts God has given.

ORGANIZATION

The Labarum Guard is a component of the Order of Centurions, Cohors Labaria (short: C.L.), and its administration falls under the Legio Christi. It is not an independent organization. Labarum Guards (Christi Milites Labari Praesidio) are automatically affiliated with Cohors Millari - Legio Christi, the First Cohort and Headquarters element of the Legion

There are seven levels of service in the Labarum Guards as shown below. Levels are based on continuous years of unbroken membership and honorable service in the Labarum Guard. The first year is a year of preparation and evaluation for the centurion and he is of the category supernuerarii. Subsequent years are in the category of ordines. The succeeding time periods below show the progression of the centurion within the Labarum Guard.

Members in good standing of the Labarum Guard may also use “LGOC” and honorary titles of tribunus hc with their class designation. The proper appellation for all members is "Centurio" or "Centurion". For example: centruio John Doe, LGOC, hastatus posterior, tribunus h.c.

SOCIAL

Members of the Labarum Guard are encouraged to meet annually on the Eve of the Anniversary of the Battle of Saxa Ruba in their local cohorts for the Victory Feast of the Labarum - to remember and celebrate the vision of the cross in the sky, and epiphany of Jesus to Saint Constantine. This is a Victory Feast and should conform with local customs. It will be presided over by member of the Labarum Guard or the commander of the local cohort. Here is a formal and liturgical ceremonial form that may be used.

Those who do not have a cohort may observe the feast from anywhere. The Legio Christi will publish a service on the Internet Chapel on October 27th. There will be a special dedication and communion held by the Legio Christi wherein all the names of the new Labarum Guards will be held up in prayer and dedication to the Lord. All centurions are invited to say the prayer everywhere.

HISTORY

Original ancient histories by Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius [315], Eusebius of Pamphili, Bishop of Caesera [330] and Salminius Hermias Sozomen [443]

The Labarum Guard is a service arm of the Order of Centurions, a religious Christian fellowship. The name Labarum Guard was selected in memory of the band of guards formed by Emperor Saint Constantine the Great. On 28 October MMV, the anniversary of the Battle of Saxa Ruba, the Labrarum Guard was activated by Legion orders, and dedicated in service of the Church.

Ruben - Constantine's Conversion
Constantine's Coversion - Rubens

As Constantine approached Rome to liberate its oppressed people from the tyrannical rule of Co-Emperor Maxentius. On 27 October CCCXII, Constantine and members of his Army saw in the sky a cross above the sun in the form of a chi-rho, the first two letters of the Greek "Christos". Emperor Constantine discerned the words "en touto nika" in Greek, meaning Conquer by This. That night as Constantine pondered this sign, Jesus Christ came to him in a vision saying, "in this sign conquer." The next morning, on 28 October, Constantine ordered the Labarum to be constructed with the symbol of the chi rho and placed upon a gold covered spear with cross bar. Below it he had hung a beautiful cloth of Roman imperial purple and gold and precious stones and with the words En Touto Nika "victory by this" rendered in Latin in hoc signo vinces being interpreted as "in this sign conquer." He ordered his legions to paint the Chi Rho on their sheilds.



Raphael - Constantine's Vision
Constantine's Vision - Raphael

Constantine set a guard about the Labarum. These men were recognized for their piety and virtues. Tradition has it that Constantine selected 50 men, called the Praepositi Laberorum, and that Constantine later recognized these men and organized them into the Golden Chivalry - Torquati (so named for their gold collars) and Perfectissimi (Most Perfect Knights). The Army of Constantine engaged a force four to ten times larger than his own outside of Rome. The pagans were defeated, Rome was liberated, the persecutions of Christians terminated, and Christianity legalized by the Edict of Milan. The Senate and People of Rome in appreciation erected Constantine's Arch which gave credit to God for the victory. In all future engagements, Constantine’s armies carried the Labarum before them. In 323 Constantine marched against another pagan Co-Emperor, Lucinius, who had betrayed his word and had begun persecuting Christians in the East. Lucinius attacked Constantine. When Constantine marched in response, Lucinius told his legions not to look upon the Labarum for fear of Christ's power. Constantine, with a significantly smaller force, defeated Lucinius under the Labarum and united the Roman Empire under one Christian emperor. During the battles many traditions arose concerning the invincibility of the Labarum Guard.


Peter Paul Rubens 1622
Constantine entrusts the protection of the Labarum to two of his brave and pious centurions
Rubens



SCRIPTURE
Put on the whole armour of God ... [Eph vi. 10]


HYMN
RISE UP, O MEN OF GOD

PSALMS MILITANT
18, 24, 35, 37, 45, 46, 91, 97, 140, 144

and finally...

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King
[1 Peter 2:17]


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