Order of St. Gregory the Great
|Order of St. Gregory the Great
Ordo Sancti Gregorii Magni
|Knight Commander's cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great (1841)|
|Type||An honorary Order of Knighthood of the Holy See, but not necessarily of the Roman Catholic Church.|
|Motto||PRO DEO ET PRINCIPE|
|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 of the First Class (GCSG/DCSG)
Knight/Dame Commander with Star (KC*SG/DC*SG)
Knight/Dame Commander (KCSG/DCSG)
|Former grades||Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Second Class|
|Established||Established on 1 September 1831|
|Next (higher)||Order of 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.
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) 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:
- Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the First Class (GCSG/DCSG)
- Knight/Dame Commander with Star (KC*SG/DC*SG)
- Knight/Dame Commander (KCSG/DCSG)
- Knight/Dame (KSG/DSG)
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.
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. 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.
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/Dame Grand Cross of the First Class
- Sir George Bowyer, 6th Baronet, Knight Grand Cross.
- Charles, Count of Limburg Stirum, Knight Grand Cross
- Abdón Cifuentes Knight Grand Cross of the First Class
- General Sir Peter Cosgrove, 2013, Knight Grand Cross, Governor-General of Australia
- João Carlos Saldanha de Oliveira Daun, 1st Duke of Saldanha, Knight Grand Cross of the First Class
- Rodrigo Augusto da Silva, Knight Grand Cross of the First Class
- George Forbes, 7th Earl of Granard, Knight Grand Cross.
- Frank Hanna III, American entrepreneur and philanthropist
- Riccardo Muti, 2012, conductor, Knight Grand Cross of the First Class
- Thomas Stonor, 7th Lord Camoys, 2006, Knight Grand Cross, Lord Chamberlain
- Otto von Habsburg, Knight Grand Cross, Archduke Otto of Austria was the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary
- Alice von Hildebrand, 2013, Dame Grand Cross.
- Charles von Hügel, Knight Grand Cross
- Count Christopher de Paus (1930)
- Duke Carl Ludvig Fouché d'Otrante (1930)
Knight/Dame Commander with Star
- Arthur Calwell, Australian cabinet minister and former Labor Party leader
- G. K. Chesterton, British essayist, poet, novelist, and historian
- Dolores Hope, philanthropist and entertainer (Dame Commander of St. Gregory with Star)
- Francis Martin O'Donnell, 2007, Ambassador and Knight of Malta, previously in UN service for 32 years
- Gilbert Levine, 2005, American conductor
- Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis, 2008, Dame Commander with Star
- Wilfred Von der Ahe, 1998, Knight Commander with Star, founder of Vons supermarket chain
- Albert Gubay, 2011, Knight Commander with Star, founder of Kwik Save supermarket chain
- Carol Benesch, Silesian and Romanian architect, KCSG
- Patrick Burns, 1914, Canadian rancher, meat magnate, and senator
- Matt Busby, CBE, manager of Manchester United
- Roy E. Disney, 1998
- Bob Hope, 1998, American entertainer (convert to Catholicism)
- John Hume, 2012, Irish politician and co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize
- Maurice Gerard Moynihan, 1959, Secretary of the Government of the Irish Free State and Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland
- Rupert Murdoch, 1998
- Charles Poletti, 1945, Governor of New York, Army officer in charge of post World War II civil affairs in Italy
- John J. Raskob, financial executive and businessman (DuPont, General Motors); built the Empire State Building
- Carlo Emanuele Ruspoli, 3rd Duke of Morignano, 2004.
- Paul Salamunovich, 1969, American choral conductor and expert on Gregorian chant
- Jimmy Savile OBE, 1990, English Radio DJ and television presenter/broadcaster (at present subject to a request for annulment from the Archbishop of Westminster)
- Roger Wagner, American choral conductor
- Mordecai Waxman, 1998, Prominent rabbi in the Conservative movement
- Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus
- Luis Antonio Eguiguren Escudero, Peruvian Politician and Lawyer
- Walter Annenberg, created TV Guide
- Július Binder, 2004, civil engineer and member of Slovak parliament
- Joe Benton, Member of Parliament for Bootle, UK
- Thomas Bodkin, lawyer, art historian, art collector and curator
- Joanna Bogle, 2013, British journalist and author
- Angelo Branca, 1977, Canadian judge
- Etienne J. Caire, 1929, Louisiana businessman and politician
- Frank Carson, noted Irish comedian and philanthropist
- Henry Cooper, 1978, British boxer.
- John A. Creighton, 1898, businessman and philanthropist in Omaha.
- John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute
- Leo Crowley, 1929 director U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- Isidore Dockweiler, 1924 – Philanthropist and statesman
- W. Patrick Donlin, American judge and Supreme Advocate of the Knights of Columbus
- Hermanegild Marcos Antonio Drago, Pakistani physician
- John W. Gallivan, publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune
- Hector P. Garcia, Mexican-American civil rights leader
- Henryk Górecki, Polish composer
- Myles Keogh, 1861, Irish papal soldier – served in Italy and the United States
- Leon Klenicki, 2007, American rabbi who advocated interfaith relations
- Kenneth Langone, American investment banker
- Dorothy Leavey, American philanthropist
- Ricardo Montalbán, 1998, Mexican-born American-based actor and philanthropist
- Colin Mawby, 2006, English chorale conductor and composer
- Adolfo Müller-Ury, 1923, Swiss-born American portrait painter
- Alfred O'Rahilly, 1954, Irish academic and author
- Frank Patterson, 1984, noted Irish tenor
- Valentin J. Peter, 1950, businessman and philanthropist in Omaha, Nebraska
- Dr. Manuel de la Pila Iglesias (1932), a Puerto Rican physician
- Gil J. Puyat, Senate President of the Philippines, Educator, Businessman, Philanthropist.
- Joseph Ryelandt, Belgian composer
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 2006, American, founder of the Special Olympics
- Michael Somare, 1992, Papua New Guinean, first prime minister of Papua New Guinea
- Ann Widdecombe, British politician 
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