The new Order received Papal approval in 1113 from Pope Pascal II and was reorganized in 1847 by Pope Pius IX.
For the symbol of the Order, Godfrey chose his own insignia, the Red Cross of the Five Wounds of Christ, more commonly known as the Jerusalem Cross:
When used by Godfrey, the crosses were gold but for the Order they were changed to red.
In the early years of the Order, the Knights took the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience and wore white robes marked with the Red Cross of the Five Wounds of Christ. The knights also followed a Rule.
Curiously, one might say the Order was "ahead of its time" when in 1888 Pope Leo XIII allowed women to be admitted to the Order as Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre. Doyle says of this permission: "This was not to be a 'ladies auxiliary,' but women were to be admitted to all degrees of rank on the same basis as men and to wear the insignia of those degrees." This bit of historical trivia might be helpful when someone says the Church is always trying to suppress women.
The Order celebrates four patronal feast days throughout the year: the feast of Saint Helena on August 18th; the feast of Pope Saint Pius X on August 21st; the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14th; and the feast of Our Lady of Palestine on the last Sunday of October.
Members of the Order are moved by a profound love of the Cross of Jesus Cross and by a deep concern for the Holy Land, both its places and its people. As William J. Doyle, Knight Grand Cross, has written, "membership in this Order entails a personal, solemn commitment to an active apostolate, namely, the fostering and support of a viable, vigorous Christian Presence in the Holy Land."
It has been said that the head or the Order is in Rome, but the heart of the Order is in Jerusalem.