The ' Order of Santo Stefano was founded in 1516 by Cosimo I de' Medici , Grand Duke of Tuscany, in imitation of the Hospitallers and Spanish orders. The Order proposed the objectives of safeguarding the faith and fighting the Ottomans and Barbary pirates who then infested the Mediterranean, especially in the Tyrrhenian where Cosimo established the new port of Livorno.
The Cellesi were a noble and ancient Pistoia family. Camillo Francesco Pistoia Cellesi obtained Florentine citizenship in 1642. Several family members were admitted to the nobility Pistoia in 1755; Francis and Joseph Cellesi were admitted to the Florentine nobility in 1807. The head of Santo Stefano starts from Knight Mariotto Cellesi, 1570. The members of the dynasty undertook significant business activities; among them should be mentioned Louis, Knight of Malta orders and Santo Stefano in 1779, Amerigo royal chamberlain of the Grand Duke Ferdinand in 1791 and Giovan Battista, Secretary of the Royal Grand Ducal law in government from 1792 to 1798. It became extinct in Marchetti Ducceschi in Giovan Battista in 1863.
Width: cm 108
Height: cm 160
Oil painting on canvas
The ' Order of Saint Stephen was founded in 1516 by Cosimo I de' Medici , Grand Duke of Tuscany, in imitation of the Hospitallers and Spanish orders. The Order proposed the objectives of safeguarding the faith and fighting the Ottomans and Barbary pirates who then infested the Mediterranean, especially in the Tyrrhenian where Cosimo established the new port of Livorno. Before 1516, Cosimo had made other attempts foundation of a knightly order, but it was only with the ascent to the papacy of Pope Pius IV , favorable to the Medici, which could be institutionalized; It was the same pope, in fact, that legitimized the Order with the solemn bubble " His quae " of February 1, 1562. The Order, which followed the Benedictine rule , was assigned to the Magisterium of the Grand Ducal House of Tuscany, Cosimo I as first Grand Master.
According to some, the naming of the Order was chosen after winning the Marshal Strozzi brought the French against Siena, Aug. 2, 1554, Boxing Day pope and martyr. For others, it was another victory to give the name of the Order, that reported by Cosimo himself in Montemurlo, in the August 1, 1537.
In 1587, by order of Pope Sixtus V , and at the request of Francesco I de 'Medici , Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo succeeded his father, absorbed the just melted order of Knights of St. James of Altopascio , also called the Knights of the Tau, and integrates the goods.
The first seat of the Order was established at Portoferraio , Elba island, but after a year he was moved permanently to Pisa, in the square that bears their name, where Cosimo I had built by Giorgio Vasari , his architect trust, the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri .
The Order was distinguished in the course of its existence for a number of successful military campaigns, which historians identify three phases. In the first, which began around 1570, the Knights sided with Spain in the fight against the Ottoman invasion in the defense of Malta (1565) and the Battle of Lepanto (1571), contributing with twelve galleys to the naval force deployed by the League Santa, along with the Knights of Malta. In the second phase, they were distinguished in the fight against the Turks and Barbary pirates who infested the Mediterranean; They participated in some expeditions on the Aegean islands, campaigns of Dalmatia and Negroponte and the Corfu War. The third phase, which began around 1640, saw a gradual reduction of hostilities in favor of a major work of representation and defense of the coasts. The last military action dates back to 1719, after which the Order began to be modified. It was the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo in the late seventeenth century to implement a reform of the order, changing its status and transforming it from a military order to a training for future Tuscan ruling class.
The order has survived more or less modified in the statute until today, after several attempts at suppression gone bad and mild tweaks to the statute. The Order's emblem is a red cross of Malta (also known as the "Cross of eight Beatitudes") gold edged in white field, aside from lilies in gold. It was originally divided into two categories, the soldiers and priests , which accompanied the servants (of arms and stall), and then as now the access was restricted to only those who could prove that they have four quarters of nobility (ie nobility of all maternal paternal grandparents). The Knights were subject to the three vows of chastity, obedience and charity, from which, however, could be exempted from the Grand Master.
Cellesi family's coat of arms: gold, three bands of blue; with silver head, loaded the lion leopardito red.