Supreme Order of Christ

Order of Christ (actually order of the Knights of Christ, latin Militia Domini Nostri Jesus Christ, Italian Ordine Supremo del Cristo ) is now the highest awarded by the Pope of Merit.


On March 14, 1319 issued by Pope John XXII. ex in the Bull Ad ea quibus consent to the establishment of the Portuguese Order of Christ, the knights had to live according to the Rule of the Order of Calatrava. From many sources indicate that the Pope had reserved in the Bull, the right to appointment of papal knights to the Order of Christ. The original text of the bull award includes this privilege not, but it does not contradict the practice that the Pope had given his consent to the appointment of knights or had a say.

In its present form the Papal Order of Christ was organized on 7 February 1905 by Pope Pius X and is the highest award of the Vatican.

The Order of Merit is rarely given, especially to heads of state and outstanding statesmen of the Catholic faith, the special merits have acquired either the Catholic Church or to the society.

The owners bear the title of Knight of the Order of Christ, the Militia Domini Nostri Jesus Christ is called.

Order signs and carrying method

The religious character is the same as that of the Portuguese Order of Christ: a red paws cross, which is covered with a white Latin cross. The religious character on a golden royal crown.

All Knights also received the Collar of at the ceremony, because the Order may only be worn on a Collar of and has no ribbon. It consists of three members: the papal coat of arms, the cross of the Order within a laurel wreath and between them golden braid. The silver medal star is achtstrahlig and has in the center medallion religious cross, which is surrounded by a green enameled laurel wreath.

Position within the hierarchy

There is the following ranking of the Papal Order of Merit and Honour:

Support of the Papal Order of Christ

See also: Category: Carrier of the Papal Order of Christ

The only Protestant who received the Order, was Otto von Bismarck ( 1885). Another German Knight of the Order was the Catholic Konrad Adenauer, which he in September 1963 by Pope Paul VI. was awarded.