Pontifical Equestrian Order
of St. Gregory the Great
Ordo Sancti Gregorii Magni (Latin)
Knight Commander's cross of the
Order of St. Gregory the Great
Awarded by the Holy See
TypePapal order of knighthood
MottoPro Deo et Principe (Latin)
("For God and Ruler")
StatusBestowed by authority of the Pope as temporal sovereign of Vatican City State
SovereignPope Francis
  • Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GCSG)
  • Knight/Dame Commander with Star (KC*SG/DC*SG)
  • Knight/Dame Commander (KCSG/DCSG)
  • Knight/Dame (KSG/DSG)
Former gradesKnight/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.[1]

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)[2] 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.

History and appointment

See also: St. Gregory the Great

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 Catholic Church – except for the general ones stated above.


Knight's badge in the military division

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

Knight/Dame Commander with Star

Knight Commander and 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 (3 January 1998). "Pope Bestows Knighthood on 64 Prominent L.A. Catholics". LA Times. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  3. ^ "The Pontifical Order of Saint Gregory the Great". Papalknights.org.uk. Association of Papal Orders in Great Britain of Pius IX, Saint Gregory and Saint Sylvester. Archived from the original on 26 December 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  4. ^ Noonan, James-Charles Jr. (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. ^ "Blakeney, Frederick Joseph (1913–1990)". Frederick Joseph Blakeney. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  7. ^ a b c 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.
  8. ^ "Cardinal Confers Papal Awards on Three Outstanding Australians". Catholic Communications. Archdiocese of Sydney. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  9. ^ Diccionario bibliographico portuguez, 1859, p. 342
  10. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis 13 (1921) [1]
  11. ^ a b Acta Apostolicae Sedis 22 (1930)
  12. ^ "Alice von Hildebrand". Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  13. ^ Charles von Hügel by Anatole von Hügel
  14. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis 108 (2016) [2]
  15. ^ "'Heart, soul' of NSW Labor dead at 87". Special Broadcasting Service. 9 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  16. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis 97 (2005) [3]
  17. ^ "Kawar appointed envoy at UN | Jordan Times". 4 June 2014.
  18. ^ Johnson, Lawrence A. (11 May 2012). "Muti receives highest papal honor at the Vatican". Chicago Classical Journal.
  19. ^ ""The Pope's Maestro," Sir Gilbert Levine Conferred with Papal Honor". Archdiocese of Washington. 31 January 2016. Archived from the original on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016./
  20. ^ a b c John Dart (3 January 1998). "Pope Honors Rupert Murdoch, Roy Disney, Bob Hope". LA Times (Archived Article). Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  21. ^ "POPE HONORS 2 WRITERS.; Makes G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc Knight Commanders". The New York Times. 25 May 1934.
  22. ^ Fürstin Gloria von Thurn und Taxis erhält päpstlichen St.-Gregorius-Orden Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Bistum Regensburg.
  23. ^ Albert Gubay 'overwhelmed' with Papal award - website BBC News, 23 February 2011
  24. ^ "Former Sheffield MP honoured today with papal knighthood". The Star. February 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  25. ^ "John Hume knighted by Pope Benedict". BBC News. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  26. ^ Jacometti, Ignazio Entry by Simona Sclocchi in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 62 (2004)
  27. ^ Gwyn A., Williams (1992). "Writ‌ing on the Line - Professor Gwyn A Williams on Saunders Lewis". Archived from the original on 12 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  28. ^ "Fundação Oscar Niemeyer". Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  29. ^ "Leadership". Risshō Kōsei Kai. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  30. ^ Pentin, Edward (15 January 2018). "Vatican: Papal Honor for Pro-Abortion Politician Not a Sign of Support". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  31. ^ "Hemeroteca ABC". Hemeroteca.abc.es. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  32. ^ Tubb, Gerard (9 November 2011). "Fans Flock To Cathedral Service For Sir Jimmy". Sky News. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
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  35. ^ "accessed 14 September 2007". Nndb.com. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  36. ^ Unlabelled press clipping of contemporary obituary, in Royal Birmingham Society of Artists archives
  37. ^ Fortis, Mulier (29 May 2013). "Mulier Fortis: Dame Joanna's Investiture..." Mulier Fortis. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  38. ^ "Remembering pro-life heroes". Catholic Herald. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  39. ^ "Count John A. Creighton Dead: Nebraskan Who Founded Colleges Was Ennobled by the Pope", New York Times. 8 February 1907.
  40. ^ Marc Naylor. The Independent, London, 1 January 1994.
  41. ^ Jude Patrick Dougherty obituary, philosophy.catholic.edu. Accessed 27 November 2022.
  42. ^ Schiavone, Michael J. (2009). Dictionary of Maltese Biographies Vol. 2 G–Z. Pietà: Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza. p. 891. ISBN 9789993291329.
  43. ^ "Catholic Herald - Archives".
  44. ^ British Theatrelog volume 1 issue 8, TQ Publications, 1978, p. 14
  45. ^ "Papal Honour for Mawby". The Contemporary Music Centre Ireland. 20 April 2006. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  47. ^ Pembroke College Record. Oxford. 1995. p. 92.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  48. ^ Gallantry magazine online Archived 24 August 2004 at the Wayback Machine accessed 31 January 2008
  49. ^ "Pope Honours 29". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  50. ^ "British Society for the Turin Shroud - Issue #47". shroud.com. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  51. ^ Ryelandt, Joseph (grandson of the knight of the same name), Histoire de la famille Ryelandt et des familles alliées (Brussels, 2003; a private publication; a copy has been deposited in the National Library), p. 120.
  52. ^ Karaula 2009, p. 148.
  53. ^ "Ann Widdecombe awarded papal honour". Indcatholicnews.com. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  54. ^ Charles Olweny (17 April 2017). "Dr. Kyalwazi Memorial Lecture: About Prof. Sebastian Kakule Kyalwazi". Association of Surgeons of Uganda. Kampala, Uganda. Retrieved 10 July 2023.

General and cited references

  • 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.