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On May 27-30 this year, Prince Duarte Piu of Bragança, the Duke of Bragança, a descendant of the kings of Portugal and an influential European aristocrat, visited Ukraine.
His Royal Highness Prince Duarte of Bragano was born in Switzerland in 1945, where the Portuguese royal family was in exile. His godfather was Pope Pius XII, and his godmother was his aunt, Queen Amalia of Portugal, the mother of the last king of Portugal, the House of Manuel II.
After the royal family resettled in Portugal, several former residences were returned to it. In Portugal and its former colonies, Prince Duarte Piu is usually respectfully called the House of Duarte (Dom – Portuguese for short – ruler), as is customary to address the Portuguese kings. The Government of the Portuguese Republic officially recognizes the House of Duarte’s right to be titled Duke of Bragança, the official title of the Head of the Royal House of Portugal, founded in 1442. The House of Duarte is a direct descendant of the Portuguese national hero and Catholic saint – St. Nun Alvarez Pereira, Count of Oren, and among his many titles also bears the title of Count of his glorious ancestor.
The House of Duarte, as a senior member of the Bragança branch of the House of Avis, is the main direct descendant of the Burgundian House of the Capetian dynasty, one of the world’s oldest monarchical dynasties. The Duke of Braganco is a relative of all the ruling monarchs of Europe and has a particularly close relationship with the royal families of Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Duarte’s house is married and has three children. The eldest son – the heir to the Infanta Afonso, Prince Beira, the second son – Infanta Denis, Duke of Porto, and daughter – Infanta Maria Francis, Duchess of Coimbra.
Like his ancestor, Saint Nunu, House Duarte is a devout Catholic and pays much attention to helping the Church and its institutions. He is the hereditary Grand Master of the Orders of the Portuguese Royal House. Among them is one of the world’s oldest Knightly Orders, the Order of the Wing of St. Michael, which celebrated its 850th anniversary this year, on which the Holy See, Pope Francis, issued a special decree to celebrate the event and bless the House of Duarte as Head. Of the Portuguese Royal House and members of this ancient Order with its Catholic Brotherhood. By the way, in many countries of the world there are permanent delegations of this ancient Order, which have the canonical status of individual legal entities of the Roman Catholic Church in accordance with the Code of Canon Law, and a fairly broad authority. They are in charge of all the affairs of the Order and its Catholic Brotherhood in the territories to which they are sent, conduct work in the relevant areas and perform the functions of representations of the Ducal House of Bragança. For example, in the Archdiocese of the United States Armed Forces, the Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate of the United States, the Order’s Permanent Delegation plays a particularly influential role in the Order’s humanitarian affairs, leading the Order’s Brotherhood of St. Michael’s Wing. belong to the Roman Catholic religion, in all parts of the world. A permanent delegation has also recently been sent to Ukraine and is now cooperating with other institutions of the Catholic Church.
During his visit to Kyiv, Dom Duarte visited the construction of several religious buildings and took part in a solemn Mass held at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Alexander. On the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the Kyiv-Zhytomyr Diocese of the RCC and the 30th anniversary of the resumption of the RCC in Ukraine, Dom Duarte awarded a number of honored Roman Catholic clergy and laity with high awards of the Knightly Order of St . Michael’s Wing. by the moral authority of enormous international significance.
Also during his visit to Kyiv, the Duke, who is the patron of a number of influential educational institutions in Europe and a well-known patron of science and arts, visited the National Pedagogical Institute. Drahomanov where he was awarded the title of honorary professor. The Duarte House, in turn, celebrated the long-term merits of the President of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, Professor, Academician of the NAS and NAPS of Ukraine Dr. Vasyl Kremin with the Medal of Merit of the Order of St. Michael’s Wing. Rector of NPU named after MP Drahomanov, President of the Association of Rectors of European Pedagogical Universities Victor Andrushchenko presented His Royal Highness with an honorary award “For Academic Merit”.
The visit of the Duke of Bragança to Ukraine is a truly significant event and marks a new stage in the development of bilateral relations between Ukraine and Portugal, especially given that the House of Duarte is the most famous and influential person in the country and its many former overseas territories. Although Portugal is now a republic, it respects its majestic past and historical heritage.
The Duke and the organizations under his leadership have been helping the Ukrainian diaspora for more than 30 years, both directly in Portugal, which numbers more than two hundred thousand people, and in former Portuguese colonies such as Brazil and some African countries.