In 2009 the Grand Chapter of The Equestrian, Secular and Chapterial Order of Saint Joachim established The Austro-German Commandery “Leopold II” to better serve its growing membership in German-speaking countries where The Order had its original roots.
The Commander of the Austro-German Commandery of The Order of Saint Joachim “Leopold II” is H.E. The Chevalier Dr. Oswin Hochstöger GCJ. HE The Chevalier Dr. Hochstöger GCJ is a lawyer living in Gmünd, Lower Austria. He speaks several languages and since 2014 has been the head of the Corps St Lazarus Austria and on the supervisory board of the CSLI – Lazarus Union. In addition to this other civic and professional pursuits, he is on the executive of the Austrian Navy Association.
H.E. The Chevalier Dr. Oswin Hochstöger GCJ succeeded the first Commander of the Commandery Leopold II, H.E. The Chevalier Wolfgang Steinhardt GCJ, on his retirement after serving 10 years as Commander.
The previous Grand Master of the Order of Saint Joachim was renowned heraldic artist and scholar, H.E. The Chevalier Prof. Helmut Braundle-Falkensee GCJ, who lived in Vienna until his death in 2007. The Chevalier Prof. Helmut Braundle-Falkensee was also the founder of the Austrian Albert Schweitzer Society (ÖASG), supporting the work of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Gabon.
The Commandery “Leopold II” is named after the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary who named a Knight of the Order of Saint Joachim as his Chancellor and extended recognition of our Order throughout the Empire by Imperial decree. Leopold II was the third son of Maria Theresa and emperor Francis Stephen of Lotharingia. His enlightened rule earned him the informal titles of “the duke of peace”, “the king of shepherds” and “Leopold the Wise”. He was brother to French queen Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI.
Leopold II, as King of Hungary and Bohemia formally acknowledged and sanctioned the wearing of the insignia of the Order on May 23, 1790 with a document of Royal Concession. A few months later he was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, succeeding his brother Joseph II. One of his first acts was to appoint Comte Christian von Leiningen, a knight of The Order of Saint Joachim and relative of the Grand Master, to be his Chamberlain of the Imperial Palace.
H.E. The Chevalier Dr. Oswin Hochstöger GCJ can be reached at email@example.com.