Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice

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Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice
Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.jpg
Obverse of the current medal
Awarded by The Pope
Country  Vatican City
EligibilityLaity and clergy
Awarded forRewarding those who in a general way deserve well of the pope on account of services done for the Church and its head.
StatusCurrently awarded
Established17 July 1888
Next (higher)Teutonic Order
Next (lower)Benemerenti medal
Current ribbon
Croce pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (1888-1908).png
Ribbon 1893-1908
Ribbon 1888-1893

The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (Latin: For Church and Pope) decoration is an award of the Roman Catholic Church. It is also known as the "Decoration of Honour".[1] It is currently conferred for distinguished service to the church by lay people and clergy.[2]


The medal was established by Leo XIII on July 17, 1888, to commemorate his golden sacerdotal jubilee and was originally bestowed on those men and women who had aided and promoted the jubilee, and by other means assisted in making the jubilee and the Vatican Exposition successful.[3]

In 1898 it became a permanent papal distinction.[4] Pius X reduced the classes to a single one in 1908.[4]


1888 version[edit]

The medal may be cast in gold, silver or bronze. On the medal is a cross made octangular by fleurs-de-lis fixed in the angles of the cross. The arms of the cross narrow towards the center, with slightly indented ends, approaching the form of the patonce cross. In the center of the cross is a small medal with the image of Leo XIII, the words "Leo XIII P. M. Anno X" (tenth year of his pontificate) circle the image. In the center of the reverse side are the papal emblems. The motto Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice is stamped in the circle surrounding the emblems.

On the obverse side of the medal, the branches of the cross are comets, which, with the fleurs-de-lis, form the coat of arms of the Pecci family. Stamped on the reverse side are the words "Pridie" (on the left branch), "Kal" (on the top branch), and "Januar" (on the right branch) and the year "1888" (at the foot of the cross). The medal's ribbon is red, with delicate lines of white and yellow on each border and is worn on the right side of breast.[5]

Current version[edit]

The current version is only awarded in gold. The obverse depicts the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul.[6] On the left arm of the cross is the inscription Pro Ecclesia (For Church), on the right arm of the cross is Et Pontifice (And Pope). At the point of the top arm of the cross is the coat of arms of the reigning Pope. At the points of the other arms are small Greek crosses. Below the depiction of the Saints is the Latin name of the Pope. The reverse depicts a Greek cross.


See also[edit]

Category:Recipients of the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice

External links[edit]


  1. ^ ODM of the Vatican: Cross of Honour "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice"
  2. ^ Jubilee awards. Archived December 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia . 1913 – via Wikisource.
  4. ^ a b "Ehrenzeichen (auch als ""Ehrenkreuz"" bezeichnet) ""Pro Ecclesia et Pontefice""". Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  5. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Pontifical Decorations
  6. ^ "Cardinal Brady confers Papal award of the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice – 'for the Church and the Pontiff' – to Mr Joe Fallon | Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference". Retrieved 2012-05-28.