Religiously Devoted, Patriotically Proud
A Man’s Country is Not a Certain Area of Land, of Mountains, of Rivers, or Woods, but it is a principle.
Patriotism is Loyalty to that Principle.
The life of a Sir Knight is meant to exemplify the truest sense of that Principle.
Members of the Knights of Columbus, be they Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Filipinos, Poles, or Dominicans, are patriotic citizens. We are proud of our devotion to God and country; we believe in standing up for both as a joy-filled duty. Whether it’s in public or private, Sir Knights remind the world that Catholics support their nations and are among the most loyal citizens.
For most men who follow Jesus, there comes a time when duty extends beyond our own lives, beyond how we lead our families, and into how we serve our fellow man. That's what the Knights of Columbus is all about. The Patriotic Degree allows Knights to take this one step further. "Sir Knight" is more than a title. It's an honor bestowed on those willing to pledge lives of service, virtue, and leadership in the public square. It is in these acts that a Sir Knight is best known.
-Master of the Fourth Degree District Michael Gaspers
What is the Fourth Degree?
HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION
On February 22, 1900, the first Fourth Degree exemplification or degree ceremony was held in New York City. Local units, called assemblies, draw their members from Knights of Columbus councils. The first Iowa assembly to be instituted was Loras Assembly located in Davenport, Iowa in November 1902. Presently there are a total of 47 assemblies in the Father Padilla Province, Iowa District. Qualification for membership in the Fourth Degree is to be a Third Degree Knight in good standing.
STANDING FIRM IN SUPPORT OF THE ORDER
The primary purpose of this degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large and to encourage active Catholic citizenship. Knights of the Patriotic Degree are dedicated to the personal development and continued honor of brother Knights. We are there to offer leadership, guidance, and encouragement to our brother Knights and to fellow Catholics.
PROUDLY SERVING THE COUNTRY
The Fourth Degree imparts a lesson on the virtue of patriotism. Knights of the Patriotic Degree glorify God by serving our communities and nations as though Christ were the one being served.
UNWAVERING SUPPORT OF THE FAITH
Knights of the Patriotic Degree are dedicated to the service of their Church, their country and our Order. These men are unified in the Fourth Degree to support religious, civic and charitable causes. Most importantly Sir Knights hold unwaveringly to what is right and honorable, working to keep God in the civic arena, serving the life of the Church, and defending laws that recognize the sanctity of life and true religious liberty.
HONORING THE LEGACY OF KNIGHTHOOD
The Color Corps is an elective division of the Patriotic Degree that presents a visible reminder of our service to the community. These members regularly take part in civic events such as parades and wreath-laying ceremonies, and at ecclesial functions of Catholic churches.