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Encyclopedia > Order of St. Gregory the Great
Insignia of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great
Insignia of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great

The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great was established on September 1, 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI, seven months after his election. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Pope Gregory XVI (September 18, 1765 – June 1, 1846), born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari, named Mauro as a member of the religious order of the Camaldolese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1831 to 1846. ...

The Order has four classes in civil and military divisions:

  • Knight Grand Cross of the First Class
  • Knight Grand Cross of the Second Class
  • Commander
  • Knight

The Order of St. Gregory is one of the five pontifical orders of knighthood in the Catholic Church. The order is bestowed on Catholic men and women (and in rare cases, non-Catholic men[1]) in recognition of their service to the Church, unusual labors, support of the Holy See, and the good example set in their communities and country. Papal Orders of Chivalry are orders of knighthood bestowed by the Pope. ... The name Catholic Church can mean a visible organization that refers to itself as Catholic, or the invisible Christian Church, viz. ...

The Order's motto is Pro Deo et Principe.


History and Appointment

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 honoured 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 honour that had been conferred on them, by unswerving fidelity to God and to the sovereign Pontiff.

This honor has no particular obligations to the 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". It is suspended from a red and gold ribbon. In ecclesiastical heraldry, laypersons awarded the rank Grand Cross display a red and gold ribbon surrounding the shield in their coat of arms, while other ranks place an appropriate ribbon below the shield.[2] Cardinals place their coat of arms in their titular church in Rome: arms of Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos at Ecclesiastical heraldry is the tradition of heraldry developed by Christian clergy. ... A modern coat of arms is derived from the medi val practice of painting designs onto the shield and outer clothing of knights to enable them to be identified in battle, and later in tournaments. ...

Vestments and Accoutrements

The difference between the civilian and military costumes is the former wears the cross hanging from a green crown of laurel, whereas the latter have the cross hanging from a trophy. It is interesting to note that neither of the two documents issued by Gregory XVI says a word about a special uniform for the Knight of St Gregory. 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. Pope Pius IX (May 13, 1792 – February 7, 1878), born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from his election in June 16, 1846, until his death more than 31 years later in 1878. ... A leather glove is a fitted covering for the hand with a separate sheath for each finger and the thumb, and this covering is composed of the tanned hide of an animal (with the hair removed), though it is not uncommon in recent years for the leather to be synthetic. ...


Members of the order have no privileges, except the right of riding on a horse inside the Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. This right has not been practised in a very long time. Interior view, with the nave of the Cattedra in the back St. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5...

Noteworthy members

A poster for an early AGIF meeting depicting Dr. Hector P. García Héctor Pérez García (January 17, 1914—July 1996) was a Mexican-American physician, surgeon, World War II veteran, civil rights advocate, and founder of the American G.I. Forum. ... Walter H. Annenberg Walter H. Annenberg KBE (March 13, 1908 – October 1, 2002) was an American billionaire publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat. ... Bob Hope, KBE (May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003), born Leslie Townes Hope, was an English-Born American entertainer who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, on radio and television, in movies, and in performing tours for U.S. Military personnel, well known for his good natured humor and career longevity. ... Keith Rupert Murdoch AC, KCSG (born 11 March 1931) is an Australian born United States citizen who is a global media executive and is the controlling shareholder, chairman and managing director of News Corporation, based in New York. ... Roy Disney can refer to two different people: Roy Oliver Disney was Walt Disneys brother and the financier of his efforts. ...


  1. ^ LA Times archive
  2. ^ Noonan, Jr., James-Charles (1996). The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church. Viking, p.196. ISBN 0-670-86745-4. 
  3. ^ http://www.nndb.com/honors/001/000102692/ accessed September 14, 2007

External links

  • Photograph
  • Catholic Knighthood article from Time Magazine, Jun. 25, 1928, reporting an award of the Order of St. Gregory the Great



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