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Cross of the Order pro Merito Melitensi

The Order pro Merito Melitensi is the order of merit of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, established in 1920. It is awarded to recipients who have brought honour to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, promoted Christian values and charity as defined by the Roman Catholic Church. Unlike Knights or Dames of the Order of Malta (which is a military order of chivalry), those decorated with the Order pro Merito Melitensi are not invested in a religious ceremony, do not swear any oath or make any religious commitment. It may therefore be bestowed upon non-Catholics. Conferees include prominent statesmen, such as Presidents Ronald Reagan, who received it while still in office, and George H.W. Bush.

The order comprises three ranks, including Commander, now rare in the Order of Malta, and has no nobiliary grades, thus being comparable to numerous orders of merit around the world, including the Papal orders, France's Legion of Honour and Britain's Order of the British Empire.

In addition to membership of the order, a medal is awarded in three classes: gold, silver and bronze.

Contents

Order pro Merito MelitensiEdit

Collar of the Order pro Merito MelitensiEdit

  Pro Merito Melitensi Collar – Military Class
  Pro Merito Melitensi Collar – Civilian Class
Single grade, usually bestowed to Heads of State only.

Cross of the Order pro Merito MelitensiEdit

Military ClassEdit

  Grand Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi – Special Class
  Grand Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
  Grand Officer Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
  Commander Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
  Officer Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
  Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi

Civilian Class – GentlemenEdit

  Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi – Special Class
  Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi
  Grand Officer Cross pro Merito Melitensi
  Commander Cross pro Merito Melitensi
  Officer Cross pro Merito Melitensi
  Cross pro Merito Melitensi

Civilian Class – LadiesEdit

 
  • Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi – Special Class
  • Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi
  • Cross pro Merito Melitensi with Badge
  • Cross pro Merito Melitensi with Crown
  • Cross pro Merito Melitensi with Shield
  • Cross pro Merito Melitensi

Ecclesiastics ClassEdit

  Grand Cross pro Piis Meritis Melitensi
  Cross pro Piis Meritis Melitensi

Medal of the Order pro Merito MelitensiEdit

Old style (1920–1960)Edit

  Gold Medal pro Merito Melitensi
  Silver Medal pro Merito Melitensi
  Bronze Medal pro Merito Melitensi

Military ClassEdit

  Gold Medal with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
  Silver Medal with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
  Bronze Medal with Swords pro Merito Melitensi

Civilian ClassEdit

  Gold Medal pro Merito Melitensi
  Silver Medal pro Merito Melitensi
  Bronze Medal pro Merito Melitensi

The Order pro Merito MelitensiEdit

Classes of the Order pro Merito MelitensiEdit

The Order pro Merito Melitensi comprises the following classes:

  • the Collar
  • the Cross
  • the Medal

The Collar pro Merito MelitensiEdit

The Collar does only have one single grade, but it has instead two divisions, namely "Collar pro Merito Melitensi" for Civilians and "Collar with Swords pro Merito Melitensi" for the Military. The Collar is only awarded to Heads of State.

The Cross pro Merito MelitensiEdit

The Cross is bestowed upon both civilians and military personnel, comprising several grades:

  • Knight or Dame Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi – Special Class
  • Knight or Dame Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi
  • Knight or Dame Grand Officer pro Merito Melitensi (with Badge for women)
  • Knight (or Dame) Commander pro Merito Melitensi (with Crown for women)
  • Knight or Dame Officer pro Merito Melitensi (with Coat of arms for women)
  • Cross (Knight or Dame) pro Merito Melitensi

N.B: these decorations are "with Swords" for serving military and "without Swords" for civilians.

The Cross "pro piis meritis" pro Merito MelitensiEdit

When awarded to ecclesiastics, it has the same cross as awarded to civilians and military personnel. Nevertheless, this ribbon is black crossed with two thin red lines and comprises only two grades :

  • Grand Cross "pro piis meritis" pro Merito Melitensi,
  • Cross "pro piis meritis" pro Merito Melitensi.

The Medal pro Merito MelitensiEdit

This class has three grades: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

RibbonsEdit

There are only three different types of ribbons for both the medal and the crosses.

Cross of Merit, Ecclesiastical Cross of Merit, Civil Cross of Merit, Military
     
Ribbon
Black ribbon
with thin red stripes
White ribbon
with large red stripes
Red ribbon
with large white stripes

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Orders of Knighthood, Awards and the Holy See, by H.E. Cardinale and Peter Bander-van Duren, 3rd ed. 1985

External linksEdit