Order of St. Gregory the Great

For the monastic order, see Sylvestrines.
Order of St. Gregory the Great
Ordo Sancti Gregorii Magni  (Latin)
Knight Commander's cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great (1841)
Awarded by

The Pope
Type An honorary Order of Knighthood of the Holy See, but not necessarily of the Roman Catholic Church.
Motto Pro Deo et Principe  (Latin)
("For God and Ruler")
Eligibility Roman Catholic laity
Status Bestowed by authority of the Pope as the monarch of the Holy See and as the temporal sovereign of the Vatican City State.
Sovereign His Holiness Pope Francis, as of April 2013
Grades (w/ post-nominals)
  • Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GCSG)
  • Knight/Dame Commander with Star (KC*SG/DC*SG)
  • Knight/Dame Commander (KCSG/DCSG)
  • Knight/Dame (KSG/DSG)
Former grades Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Second Class
Established Established on 1 September 1831
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 to that seat by the College of Cardinals.[1]

The Order of St. Gregory the Great is one of the five Orders of Knighthood of the Holy See. This special honor is bestowed upon Roman Catholic men and women (and sometimes in rare cases to non-Catholics[2]) in recognition of their personal service to the Holy See and to the Roman Catholic Church, through their unusual labors, their support of the Holy See, and their excellent examples set forth in their communities and their countries.

The Order of St. Gregory the Great has four "classes" in civil and military divisions:

The motto of the Order of St. Gregory the Great is Pro Deo et Principe ("For God and Ruler").

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 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.[3]

The awarding of the Order of St. Gregory the Great presents no particular obligations on the recipients toward the Roman 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.[4] 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.[5]

Vestments and accoutrements

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 Commander
Knight Commander with Star
Knight Grand Cross

Notable members

Juan Mariano de Goyeneche y Gamio, 3rd Count of Guaqui and Grandee of Spain, wearing the Grand Cross and sash of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.

Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the First Class

Knight/Dame Commander with Star

Knight/Dame Commander


See also


  1. Begni, Ernesto; Grey, James C.; Kennedy, Thomas J. (1914). The Vatican: Its History, Its Treasures. Letters and Arts Publishing Company. p. 515. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  2. Dart, John (1998-01-03). "Pope Bestows Knighthood on 64 Prominent L.A. Catholics; Religion: Non-Catholics Bob Hope, Rupert Murdoch and Roy Disney will also be inducted into Order of St. Gregory the Great.". LA Times. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  3. "The Pontifical Order of Saint Gregory the Great". Association of Papal Orders in Great Britain website. Association of Papal Orders in Great Britain of Piux IX, Saint Gregory and Saint Sylvester. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  4. 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.
  5. MacErlean, Andrew Alphonsus (1912). The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church, Volume 4. Robert Appleton Co. pp. 667–668.
  6. 1 2 3 Gorman, W. Gordon (1885). Converts to Rome : A list of about four thousand Protestants who have recently become Roman Catholics. London: W. Swan Sonnenschein and Co. pp. 1, 3.
  7. "Cardinal Confers Papal Awards on Three Outstanding Australians". Catholic Communications. Archdiocese of Sydney. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  8. Diccionario bibliographico portuguez, 1859, p. 342
  9. ""The Pope's Maestro," Sir Gilbert Levine Conferred with Papal Honor". Archdiocese of Washington. 31 January 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  10. List of Lord Mayors of Dublin#1841.E2.80.931900
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  13. Charles von Hügel by Anatole von Hügel
  14. 1 2 Acta Apostolicae Sedis 22 (1930)
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  16. Fürstin Gloria von Thurn und Taxis erhält päpstlichen St.-Gregorius-Orden, Bistum Regensburg.
  17. 1 2 3 John Dart (1998-01-03). "Pope Honors Rupert Murdoch, Roy Disney, Bob Hope". LA Times (Archived Article). Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  18. "John Hume knighted by Pope Benedict". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  19. "Hemeroteca ABC". Hemeroteca.abc.es. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  20. Tubb, Gerard (9 November 2011). "Fans Flock To Cathedral Service For Sir Jimmy". Sky News. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  21. "Savile was serial sex abuser of teenage girls, say police". The Times. London. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. Subscription required
  22. "accessed 14 September 2007". Nndb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  23. Unlabelled press clipping of contemporary obituary, in Royal Birmingham Society of Artists archives
  24. http://www.stthom.edu/About/Online_Newsroom/Success_Stories/Success_Story_Detail.aqf?Content_ID=104607
  25. "Count John A. Creighton Dead: Nebraskan Who Founded Colleges Was Ennobled by the Pope," New York Times. 8 February 1907. Retrieved 1/22/08.
  26. Schiavone, Michael J. (2009). Dictionary of Maltese Biographies Vol. 2 G–Z. Pietà: Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza. p. 891. ISBN 9789993291329.
  27. http://archive.catholicherald.co.uk/article/20th-march-1987/3/home-news-in-brief
  28. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=81206426
  29. British Theatrelog volume 1 issue 8, TQ Publications, 1978, pg 14
  30. http://www.indianchristianity.com
  31. Gallantry magazine online accessed 31 January 2008
  32. "Papal Honour for Mawby". The Contemporary Music Centre Ireland. 20 April 2006. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  33. Karaula 2009, p. 148.
  34. "Ann Widdecombe awarded papal honour - Independent Catholic News". Indcatholicnews.com. 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  35. "British Society for the Turin Shroud - Issue #47". shroud.com. Retrieved 2015-10-27.


  • Karaula, Željko (2009). "Pisma crnogorskog pjesnika, svećenika i diplomata Jovana Sunečića bosansko-đakovačkom i srijemskom biskupu Josipu Jurju Strossmayeru (1881. - 1887.)". Diacovensia (in Croatian). Đakovo: Katolički bogoslovni fakultet u Đakovu (12). ISSN 1849-014X. 

External links

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