Papal Lateran Cross
|Papal Lateran Cross
Pontificia Croce Lateranense
Obverse and reverse of the medal
|Awarded by The Holy See|
|Type||Three degree medal (Gold, Silver, and Bronze)|
|Eligibility||Practicing Roman Catholics|
|Established||February 18, 1903|
|Next (higher)||Benemerenti Medal|
|Equivalent||Jerusalem Pilgrim's Cross|
The Lateran Cross was commissioned by Pope Leo XIII, and instituted on February 18, 1903. The distinction was created as a recognition of merit, and is named in honor of the Basilica of St. John in Lateran in Rome. Initially, it was awarded for donations regarding the restoration of the Lateran Basilica.
The decoration consists of a Greek cross displaying the image of St. John the Evangelist on the right, St. John the Baptist on the left, St. Peter at top, and St. Paul at the bottom. Christ the Redeemer is displayed at the center of the cross. The reverse side of the cross is engraved with the names, in Latin, of each saint depicted (Joanes, Batis, Petrus, Paulus), as well as the symbol of Christ (P and X inside a circle).
A button located above the cross is inscribed with the phrase: Sacrosancta lateranensis ecclesia - omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput (The sacred and holy church of the Lateran - the mother and the head of all of the churches of the city and the world).
The medal has been crafted in a number of designs: with or without an adjoining circle, as well as a solid medal with a cross in relief. The accompanying ribbon is red with blue stripes along the sides.
Notable individuals who received this honor include:
- Max Corvo (United States)
- William Joseph Donovan (United States)
- Ricardo Lancaster-Jones y Verea (Mexico)
- Wolfgang Mayer-König (Austria)
- Constancio C. Vigil (Argentina)
- Storia Illustrata, n. 248, July 1978. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.
- Antiques A to Z, HOLY SEE or VATICAN ORDERS - DECORATIONS - MEDALS
- Jörg C. Steiner. "Das Ehrenkreuz der Erzbasilika St. Johann vom Lateran". www.ordenskunde.info (in German). Retrieved 2015-10-31.
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