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Encyclopedia > Order of St. James of the Sword

The Military Order of St. James of the Sword (Ordem Militar de Sant' Iago da Espada) is a Portuguese Order of Chivalry. An Order is a decoration, awarded by a government to an individual, usually for distinguished service to a nation or to humanity. ...

A Brief History

The Order of St. James began in Spain in circa 1171, as an Order of knights for the protection of pilgrims to Compostela in Galicia. (See the Order of Santiago for the full story.) The Portuguese branch of the Order was seperated from the Spanish branch in 1290, a situation affirmed by Pope John XXII in 1320. Compostela could refer to any of the following: Compostela, Nayarit, Mexico Compostela, Cebu, Philippines Compostela Valley, Philippines Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... There are two well-known places called Galicia: Galicia (Spain), an autonomous community in Spain. ... 17th century interpretation of saint James as the Moor-killer from the Peruvian school of Cuzco. ... Pope John XXII, born Jacques Duèze or dEuse (1249 – December 4, 1334), was the son of a shoemaker in Cahors. ...

Pope Pius VI (1789) and the Queen Mary I reformed the order into a secular institution. In 1834 when the civil government of Portugal became anti-Catholic, after the defeat of King Miguel in the Civil War, under the constitutional monarchy the order lost its properties. The ancient Military Orders were transformed by the liberal constitution and subsequent legislation into mere Orders of Merit. The privileges which once had been an essential part of the membership of the old military orders were also ceased. Pius VI, born Giovanni Angelo Braschi (December 27, 1717 – August 29, 1799), Pope from 1775 to 1799, was born at Cesena. ... Mary I Frances or Maria I Francisca (pron. ... Miguel of Portugal (English: Michael), the Traditionalist (Port. ...

In 1910, when Portuguese monarchy ended, the Republic of Portugal abolished all the Orders except the Order of the Tower and Sword. However, in 1917, at the end of the Great War, some of these Orders were re-established as mere Orders of Merit to reward outstanding services to the state, the office of Grand Master belonging to the Head of State - the President of the Republic. The Military Order of St. James, together with the other Portuguese Orders of Merit, had its Statutes revised in several occasions, during the First Republic (1910–1926), then in 1962, and again in 1986. The Military Order of the Tower and of the Sword, of Valour, Loyalty and Merit is a Portuguese order of knighthood, and was created by King Afonso V in 1459. ... Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead:5 million Civilian dead:3 million Total dead:8 million Military dead:4 million Civilian dead:3 million Total dead:7 million The First World...

The Military Order of St. James, together with the Military Orders of Christ and of Aviz form the group of the "Ancient Military Orders", governed by a Chancellor and a Council of eight members, appointed by the President of the Republic, to assist him as Grand Master in all matters concerning the administration of the Order. The Order, despite its name, can be conferred to Portuguese and foreigners for outstanding services to science, literature or art. The highest grade of the Order, that of Grand Collar, is a special award, conferred only to foreign Heads of State. The Seal of the Grand-Masters Evrard de Barres and Regnaud de Vichier depict the Dome of the ROCK. The Order of Christ was the heritage of the Templar Knights. ... Orders emblem The Military Order of Aviz (Ordem Militar de Aviz, Portuguese pron. ... Queen Elizabeth II, is the Head of State of 16 countries including: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Jamaica, New Zealand and the Bahamas, as well as crown colonies and overseas territories of the United Kingdom. ...


The Order of St. James of the Sword, as awarded by the Portuguese government today, comes in six classes:

  • Grand Collar, which wears the badge of the Order on a special collar (chain), and the star of the Order in gold on the left chest;
  • Grand Cross, which wears the badge of the Order on a collar (chain), or on a sash on the right shoulder, and the star of the Order in gold on the left chest;
  • Grand Officer, which wears the badge of the Order on a necklet, and the star of the Order in gold on the left chest;
  • Commander, which wears the star of the Order in silver on the left chest;
  • Officer, which wears the badge of the Order on a ribbon with rosette on the left chest;
  • Knight, which wears the badge of the Order on a plain ribbon on the left chest.

Rosettes can refer for: A small, circular, device that can be awarded with medals (see: Rosette (decoration)). A type of plant with their leaves at an upset stem in a typical form. ...


Emblem of the Order of St. James of the Sword
Emblem of the Order of St. James of the Sword
  • The badge of the Order is a gilt cross with red enamel, similar to the Order's emblem illustrated here, but with a longer lower arm, and is surrounded by a wreath of green-enamelled palm leaves; a white-enamelled scroll, bearing the legend "Ciencia Letras e Artes" (Science Literatute and Art), is located at the bottom of the badge. (The Grand Collar badge has no scroll, and a laurel wreath instead of palms.) During the monarchy the badge was topped by the Sacred Heart of Christ.
  • The star of the Order has 22 asymmetrical arms of rays, in gilt for Grand Collar, Grand Cross and Grand Officer, and in silver for Commander. The central disc is in white enamel, with a miniature of the modern badge in it. During the monarchy the Sacred Heart of Christ was placed at the top of the star.
  • The ribbon of the Order is plain lilac.



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