|Pontifical Equestrian Order|
of St. Gregory the Great
Ordo Sancti Gregorii Magni (Latin)
|Awarded by the Holy See|
|Type||Papal order of knighthood|
|Motto||Pro Deo et Principe (Latin)|
("For God and Ruler")
|Status||Bestowed by authority of the Pope as temporal sovereign of Vatican City State|
|Former grades||Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Second Class|
|Next (higher)||Order of Pope Pius IX|
|Next (lower)||Order of St. Sylvester|
Ribbon bar of the order
The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great (Latin : Ordo Sancti Gregorii Magni; Italian : Ordine di San Gregorio Magno) was established on 1 September 1831, by Pope Gregory XVI, seven months after his election as Pope.
The order is one of the five orders of knighthood of the Holy See. The honor is bestowed upon Catholic men and women (and certain notable non-Catholics)in recognition of their personal service to the Holy See and to the Catholic Church, through their unusual labors, their support of the Holy See, and the examples they set in their communities and their countries.
The inaugural brief states, in part, that "gentlemen of proven loyalty to the Holy See who, by reason of their nobility of birth and the renown of their deeds or the degree of their munificence, are deemed worthy to be honored by a public expression of esteem on the part of the Holy See". The end of the brief states that they must progressively maintain, by continued meritorious deed, the reputation and trust they had already inspired, and prove themselves worthy of the honor that had been conferred on them, by unswerving fidelity to God and to the sovereign Pontiff.
The awarding of the Order of St. Gregory the Great presents no particular obligations on the recipients toward the Catholic Church – except for the general ones stated above.
An eight-pointed cross, the insignia of the order, bears a representation of St. Gregory on the obverse and on the reverse the motto Pro Deo et Principe ("For God and Ruler"). The cross is suspended from a red and gold ribbon. In ecclesiastical heraldry, laymen awarded the high rank of Grand Cross can display a red and gold ribbon surrounding the shield in their personal coats of arms, but the recipients of the lower ranks place an appropriate ribbon below the shield. The difference between the civilian and military insignia is that the former group wears the cross hanging from a green crown of laurel, whereas the latter group wears the cross hanging from a trophy of arms.
A green uniform was later prescribed by Pope Pius IX. The uniform contains a black beaver-felt hat decorated with black silk ribbons, silver metallic twisted rope, buttons and black ostrich feathers. The jacket, made of green wool, is trimmed with silver metallic thread, and has a tail, nine yellow metal buttons in the front and three buttons on the cuffs and is lined with black satin. Finally, the costume contains suspenders, several yellow and red rosettes, white leather gloves, and a short sword with a handle made of mother of pearl with a medallion of the order at the end.
Knights Grand Cross wear a sash and a badge or star on the left side of the breast; Commanders wear a cross around the neck; and Knights wear a smaller cross on the left breast of the uniform:
|Knight||Knight Commander||Knight Commander with Star||Knight Grand Cross|
Sir is a formal honorific address in English for men, derived from Sire in the High Middle Ages. Both are derived from the old French "Sieur" (Lord), brought to England by the French-speaking Normans, and which now exist in French only as part of "Monsieur", with the equivalent "My Lord" in English. Traditionally, as governed by law and custom, Sir is used for men titled as knights, often as members of orders of chivalry, as well as later applied to baronets and other offices. As the female equivalent for knighthood is damehood, the suo jure female equivalent term is typically Dame. The wife of a knight or baronet tends to be addressed as Lady, although a few exceptions and interchanges of these uses exist.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, also called Order of the Holy Sepulchre or Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, is a Catholic order of knighthood under the protection of the Holy See. The pope is the sovereign of the order.
Pietro Gasparri, GCTE was a Roman Catholic cardinal, diplomat and politician in the Roman Curia and the signatory of the Lateran Pacts. He served also as Cardinal Secretary of State under Popes Benedict XV and Pope Pius XI.
The Apostolic Nunciature to the United States is the diplomatic mission of the Holy See to the United States. It is located at 3339 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., in the Embassy Row neighborhood. Since 2016 the Papal nuncio has been Archbishop Christophe Pierre.
Zenon Grocholewski was a Polish prelate of the Catholic Church, who was elevated to the rank of cardinal in 2001. He joined the Roman Curia in 1972 and served from 1999 until 2015 as Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Jozef Tomko was a Slovak prelate of the Catholic Church who held positions in the Roman Curia from 1962 until he retired in 2007. He was prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 1985 to 2001 and president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses from 2001 to 2007. He was made a cardinal in 1985.
Sergio Sebastiani is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church who was head of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See from 1997 to 2008. He was made a cardinal in 2001. From 1960 to 1994 he worked in the diplomatic service of the Holy See, becoming an archbishop and apostolic nuncio in 1976 and leading the offices representing the Vatican in Madagascar, Mauritius, and Turkey.
Willem Marinus van Rossum, C.Ss.R. was a Dutch prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was made a cardinal in 1911, led the Apostolic Penitentiary from 1915 to 1918, and served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith from 1918 until his death.
Christopher Tostrup Paus, Count of Paus was a Norwegian landowner, heir to the timber firm Tostrup & Mathiesen, papal chamberlain and count, known as philanthropist, art collector and socialite in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He inherited a fortune from his grandfather, timber magnate Christopher Tostrup, and lived for decades in Rome; in 1923 he bought the estate Herresta in Sweden which is still owned by descendants of his cousin Herman Paus who was married to a granddaughter of Leo Tolstoy. He gave large donations to museums in Scandinavia and to the Catholic Church. A convert to Catholicism, he was appointed as a papal chamberlain by Pope Benedict XV in 1921 and conferred the title of count by Pope Pius XI in 1923. He was the recipient of numerous papal and Scandinavian honours. He was a first cousin once removed of playwright Henrik Ibsen and was the only Ibsen relative to visit Ibsen during his decades-long exile when he wrote his most famous works.
The Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus is a Roman Catholic dynastic order of knighthood bestowed by the royal House of Savoy. It is the second-oldest order of knighthood in the world, tracing its lineage to AD 1098, and it is one of the rare orders of knighthood recognized by papal bull, in this case by Pope Gregory XIII. In that bull, Pope Gregory XIII bestowed upon Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy and his Savoy successors, the right to confer this knighthood in perpetuity. The Grand Master is, Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, also known as the Duke of Savoy, the eldest son of the last King of Italy, Umberto II of Italy. However Vittorio Emanuele's cousin once removed Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta claims to be grand master as his father claimed to be head of the house of Savoy.
Sir Gilbert Levine, GCSG is an American conductor. He is considered an "outstanding personality in the world of international music television." He has led the PBS concert debuts of the Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the PBS premieres of works including the Beethoven Missa Solemnis, Bach Magnificat in D, Haydn Creation, and Bruckner Symphony 9.
Ecclesiastical letters are publications or announcements of the organs of Roman Catholic ecclesiastical authority, e.g. the synods, but more particularly of pope and bishops, addressed to the faithful in the form of letters.
The Order of Pope Pius IX, also referred as the Pian Order, is a papal order of knighthood originally founded by Pope Pius IV in 1560. Currently, it is the highest honor conferred by the Holy See .The awarding of the order fell into disuse and was re-instituted by Pope Pius IX as a continuation on 17 June 1847.
The Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff is that section of the Roman Curia responsible for organizing and conducting liturgies and other religious ceremonies performed by the pope of the Catholic Church. It is headed by a "master" appointed for a term of five years.
Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr, sometimes referred to as the Sylvestrine Order, or the Pontifical Order of Pope Saint Sylvester, is one of five orders of knighthood awarded directly by the Pope as Supreme Pontiff and head of the Catholic Church and as the Head of State of Vatican City. It is intended to honor Roman Catholic lay people who are actively involved in the life of the church, particularly as it is exemplified in the exercise of their professional duties and mastership of the different arts.
Eduardo Martínez Somalo was a Spanish prelate of the Catholic Church who spent most of his career in the Roman Curia, first in the Secretariat of State from 1956 to 1975 and from 1979 to 1988, and then leading two of its principal dicasteries: the Congregation for Divine Worship from 1988 to 1992 and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life from 1992 to 2004.
Sir Sigmund Sternberg was a Hungarian-British philanthropist, interfaith campaigner, businessman and Labour Party donor.
Gustavo Testa was an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church, who was made a cardinal in 1959. He spent his career in the Roman Curia. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1920 and held several appointments as papal nuncio from 1934 to 1959. He headed the Congregation for the Oriental Churches from 1962 to 1968.
Manuel Monteiro de Castro is a Portuguese prelate of the Catholic Church who worked in the diplomatic service of the Holy See from 1967 to 2009, with the rank of archbishop and the title of nuncio from 1985. His assignments as nuncio included the Caribbean, South Africa, Central America, and Spain. He ended his career in senior positions in the Roman Curia from 2009 to 2013. He was made a cardinal in 2012.
The orders, decorations, and medals of the Holy See include titles, chivalric orders, distinctions and medals honoured by the Holy See, with the Pope as the fount of honour, for deeds and merits of their recipients to the benefit of the Holy See, the Catholic Church, or their respective communities, societies, nations and the world at large.