Order of St. Gregory the Great

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]

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   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
Order of St. Gregory the Great.png
Ribbon bar of the order

The order is one of the five orders of knighthood of the Holy See. The 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 the examples they set in their communities and their countries.

History and appointmentEdit

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.


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 accoutrementsEdit

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

Notable membersEdit

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 ClassEdit

Knight/Dame Commander with StarEdit

Knight Commander and Dame CommanderEdit


  • Doctor Jean-Yves Gosselin became a Knight of Saint Gregory the Great, at the Mass of Thanksgiving, Notre Dame Cathedral, Ottawa ON, Canada, 22 April 1987

bestowed by Vatican Nuncio Pietro Sambi, with Commander of Vatican Gendarmeria Domenico Giani, present at The Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C. March 2011

See alsoEdit


  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; Religion: Non-Catholics Bob Hope, Rupert Pope Honors Rupert Murdoch, Roy Disney, Bob Hope". 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, 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. ^ 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.
  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. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis 108 (2016) [1]
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  12. ^ ""The Pope's Maestro," Sir Gilbert Levine Conferred with Papal Honor". Archdiocese of Washington. 31 January 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016./
  13. ^ List of Lord Mayors of Dublin#1841.E2.80.931900
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  20. ^ http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/kawar-appointed-envoy-un
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  27. ^ Tubb, Gerard (9 November 2011). "Fans Flock To Cathedral Service For Sir Jimmy". Sky News. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  28. ^ "Savile was serial sex abuser of teenage girls, say police". The Times. London, UK. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. (subscription required)
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  38. ^ http://www.papalknights.org.uk/page3.htm
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  42. ^ "Count John A. Creighton Dead: Nebraskan Who Founded Colleges Was Ennobled by the Pope," New York Times. 8 February 1907. Retrieved 1/22/08.
  43. ^ Obituary: Marc Naylor "Independent" London 1 January 1994
  44. ^ Schiavone, Michael J. (2009). Dictionary of Maltese Biographies Vol. 2 G–Z. Pietà: Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza. p. 891. ISBN 9789993291329.
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  • 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 linksEdit