Order of St. Gregory the Great
The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great , was established on September 1, 1831, by Pope Gregory XVI
Pope Gregory XVI
Pope Gregory XVI , born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari, named Mauro as a member of the religious order of the Camaldolese, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1831 to 1846...

, seven months after his election.

It is one of the five orders of knighthood of the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

. The order is bestowed on Catholic men and women (and in rare cases, non-Catholic men) in recognition of their personal service to the Holy See and the Church, unusual labours, support of the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, and the good example set in their communities and country.

The Order 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)

Its motto is Pro Deo et Principe (For God and Prince).

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 honoured 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 honour that had been conferred on them, by unswerving fidelity to God and to the sovereign Pontiff.

This honour has no particular obligations to the 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 Prince). It is suspended from a red and gold ribbon. In ecclesiastical heraldry
Ecclesiastical heraldry
Ecclesiastical heraldry is the tradition of heraldry developed by Christian clergy. Initially used to mark documents, ecclesiastical heraldry evolved as a system for identifying people and dioceses. It is most formalized within the Catholic Church, where most bishops, including the Pope, have a...

, laypersons awarded the rank Grand Cross display a red and gold ribbon surrounding the shield in their coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

, while other ranks place an appropriate ribbon below the shield.

Vestments and accoutrements

The difference between the civilian and military costumes is the former wears the cross hanging from a green crown of laurel, whereas the latter have the cross hanging from a trophy. It is interesting to note that neither of the two documents issued by Gregory XVI says a word about a special uniform for the Knight of St. Gregory. A green uniform was later prescribed by Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX
Blessed Pope Pius IX , born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was the longest-reigning elected Pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving from 16 June 1846 until his death, a period of nearly 32 years. During his pontificate, he convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, which decreed papal...

. 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 glove
Leather glove
A leather glove is a fitted covering for the hand with a separate sheath for each finger and the thumb. This covering is composed of the tanned hide of an animal , though it is not uncommon in recent years for the leather to be synthetic.- Common uses :A common use for leather gloves is sporting...

s, 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 Knight Commander Knight Commander with Star Knight Grand Cross


Members of the order have no privileges, except the right of riding on a horse inside Saint Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

 in Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

, a right that has not recently been exercised.

Knights Grand Cross of the Order are entitled to be addressed with the style His/Her Excellency
Excellency is an honorific style given to certain members of an organization or state.Usually, people styled "Excellency" are heads of state, heads of government, governors, ambassadors, certain ecclesiastics, royalty, aristocracy, and military, and others holding equivalent rank .It is...

in front of their name.

Notable members

  • Carl A. Anderson
    Carl A. Anderson
    Carl Albert Anderson, KSG is the thirteenth and current Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus. Anderson is vice president of the Washington session of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family....

    , Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus
    Knights of Columbus
    The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in the United States in 1882, it is named in honor of Christopher Columbus....

  • Walter Annenberg
    Walter Annenberg
    Walter Hubert Annenberg was an American publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat.-Early life:Walter Annenberg was born to a Jewish family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 13, 1908. He was the son of Sarah and Moses "Moe" Annenberg, who published The Daily Racing Form and purchased The Philadelphia...

    , created TV Guide
    TV Guide
    TV Guide is a weekly American magazine with listings of TV shows.In addition to TV listings, the publication features television-related news, celebrity interviews, gossip and film reviews and crossword puzzles...

  • Július Binder
    Július Binder
    Dr. h. c. doc. Ing. Július Binder is a famous Slovak engineer, a manager and a former Movement for a Democratic Slovakia member of the Slovak parliament....

    , 2004, civil engineer and member of Slovak parliament
  • Sir George Bowyer, 6th Baronet
    Sir George Bowyer, 6th Baronet
    Sir George Bowyer, 6th Baronet and 2nd Baronet, KStJ, GCSG, KCPO was a British politician. He sat in the House of Commons in two periods between 1807 and 1818, first as a Tory and then as a Whig....

    , Knight Grand Cross.
  • Patrick Burns, 1914, Canadian rancher, meat magnate, and senator
  • Sir Matt Busby
    Matt Busby
    Sir Alexander Matthew "Matt" Busby, CBE, KCSG was a Scottish football player and manager, most noted for managing Manchester United between 1945 and 1969 and again for the second half of the 1970–1971 season...

    , CBE
    CBE and C.B.E. are abbreviations for "Commander of the Order of the British Empire", a grade in the Order of the British Empire.Other uses include:* Chemical and Biochemical Engineering...

    , manager of Manchester United
  • Angelo Branca
    Angelo Branca
    Angelo Ernest Branca was a judge in British Columbia's Supreme Court and Court of Appeal from 1963 until 1978, a prominent Italian-Canadian leader, especially of the Vancouver Italian community, and a Canadian amateur middleweight boxing champion.- Early life :Angelo Branca was born in what is now...

    , 1977, Canadian judge
  • Charles, Count of Limburg Stirum
    Charles, Count of Limburg Stirum
    Count Charles Gaëtan Corneille Marie François-Xavier Ghislain of Limburg Stirum, GCVO, GCSG , a Count of the Holy Roman Empire and Knight of the Golden Fleece , was a member of the House of Limburg-Stirum...

    , Knight Grand Cross.
  • Arthur Calwell
    Arthur Calwell
    Arthur Augustus Calwell Australian politician, was a member of the Australian House of Representatives for 32 years from 1940 to 1972, Immigration Minister in the government of Ben Chifley from 1945 to 1949 and Leader of the Australian Labor Party from 1960 to 1967.-Early life:Calwell was born in...

    , Australian cabinet minister and former Labor Party leader
  • Frank Carson
    Frank Carson
    Frank Carson is a Northern Irish comedian and actor, best known on television in series such as The Comedians and Tiswas.-Early life:...

    , noted Irish comedian and philanthropist
  • G. K. Chesterton
    G. K. Chesterton
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

    , British essayist, poet, novelist, and historian
  • Sir Henry Cooper, 1978, British boxer.
  • John A. Creighton
    John A. Creighton
    Count John A. Creighton was a pioneer businessman and philanthropist in Omaha, Nebraska who founded Creighton University...

    , 1898, businessman and philanthropist in Omaha
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska, United States, and is the county seat of Douglas County. It is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 20 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River...

  • John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute
    John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute
    John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute KT, KSG, KGCHS was a landed aristocrat, industrial magnate, antiquarian, scholar, philanthropist and architectural patron.-Early life:...

  • Leo Crowley
    Leo Crowley
    Leo Thomas Crowley was a member of the cabinet of President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the head of the Foreign Economic Administration. Previously he had served as Alien Property Custodian and as chief of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation...

    , 1929 director U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is a United States government corporation created by the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933. It provides deposit insurance, which guarantees the safety of deposits in member banks, currently up to $250,000 per depositor per bank. , the FDIC insures deposits at...

  • Rodrigo Augusto da Silva
    Rodrigo Augusto da Silva
    Rodrigo Augusto da Silva a Brazilian senator for life, minister and a privy counsellor of Emperor Peter II of Brazil. He was a member of the Silva de Carvalho family from São Paulo, the son of José Manuel da Silva and nephew of financier Benedito Antonio da Silva...

    , Knight Grand Cross of the First Class - Brazilian senator, minister and author
  • Roy E. Disney
    Roy E. Disney
    Roy Edward Disney, KCSG was a longtime senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, which his father Roy Oliver Disney and his uncle Walt Disney founded. At the time of his death he was a shareholder , and served as a consultant for the company and Director Emeritus for the Board of Directors...

    , 1998
  • Isidore Dockweiler, 1924 - Philanthropist and statesman
  • W. Patrick Donlin
    W. Patrick Donlin
    W. Patrick Donlin was a Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Supreme Advocate of the Knights of Columbus.-Biography:A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Donlin graduated from Saint Mary's College and the University of Wisconsin Law School. In 1985, he was appointed a Knight of the Order of St....

    , American judge and Supreme Advocate of the Knights of Columbus
    Knights of Columbus
    The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in the United States in 1882, it is named in honor of Christopher Columbus....

  • Hermanegild Marcos Antonio Drago
    Hermanegild Marcos Antonio Drago
    Hermanegild Marcos Antonio Drago, was a Pakistani Catholic doctor who was revered across communal lines in the south of Pakistan, for his work in health, education and social welfare....

    , Pakistani physician
  • George Forbes, 7th Earl of Granard
    George Forbes, 7th Earl of Granard
    George Arthur Hastings Forbes, 7th Earl of Granard KP was an Irish peer and soldier, styled Viscount Forbes from 1836 to 1837....

    , Knight Grand Cross.
  • John W. Gallivan
    John W. Gallivan
    John W. Gallivan is an American newspaper publisher, cable television pioneer, and civic leader. A major figure in the promotion and development of Salt Lake City and Utah's ski industry, he was instrumental in starting the campaign to bring the 2002 Olympic Winter Games to Salt Lake City...

    , publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune
    The Salt Lake Tribune
    The Salt Lake Tribune is the largest-circulated daily newspaper in the U.S. city of Salt Lake City. It is distributed by Newspaper Agency Corporation, which also distributes the Deseret News. The Tribune — or "Trib," as it is locally known — is currently owned by the Denver-based MediaNews Group....

  • Hector P. Garcia
    Hector P. Garcia
    Hector Perez Garcia was a Mexican-American physician, surgeon, World War II veteran, civil rights advocate, and founder of the American G.I. Forum. As a result of the national prominence he earned through his work on behalf of Hispanic Americans, he was instrumental in the appointment of Mexican...

    , Mexican-American civil rights leader
  • Bob Hope
    Bob Hope
    Bob Hope, KBE, KCSG, KSS was a British-born American comedian and actor who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in radio, television and movies. He was also noted for his work with the US Armed Forces and his numerous USO shows entertaining American military personnel...

    , 1998, American entertainer (convert to Catholicism)
  • Dolores Hope
    Dolores Hope
    Dolores Hope, DC*SG was an American singer, philanthropist and wife of actor/comedian Bob Hope.-Early life and career:...

    , philanthropist and entertainer (Dame of St. Gregory with Star)
  • Myles Keogh
    Myles Keogh
    Myles Walter Keogh was an Irishman who fought in Italy during the 1860 Papal War before volunteering for the Union side in the American Civil War . During the war years, he was promoted from the rank of Captain to that of Major, finally being awarded the brevet rank of Lieutenant Colonel...

    , 1861, Irish papal soldier - served in Italy and the United States
  • Leon Klenicki
    Leon Klenicki
    Rabbi Leon Klenicki was an advocate for interfaith relations, particularly between Jews and Catholics. He served as interfaith director of the Anti-Defamation League...

    , 2007, American rabbi who advocated interfaith relations
  • Kenneth Langone
    Kenneth Langone
    Kenneth Langone, is a venture capitalist, investment banker and financial backer of The Home Depot, and a former director of the New York Stock Exchange. He was elected as director of Yum! Brands effective October 7, 1997, and is a member of the Audit Committee. Langone is also a trustee of New...

    , American investment banker
  • Dorothy Leavey
    Dorothy Leavey
    Dorothy E. Risley Leavey was an American philanthropist and co-founder of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation.Dorothy Risley was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1897. She grew up in Cleveland, Chicago and Butte, Montana. She attended the University of Montana and worked as a legal secretary...

    , American philanthropist
  • Gilbert Levine
    Gilbert Levine
    Sir Gilbert Levine, KC*SG is an American conductor. He is considered an "outstanding personality in the world of international music television."-Education:...

    , 1994, American conductor
  • Ricardo Montalbán
    Ricardo Montalbán
    Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino, KSG was a Mexican radio, television, theatre and film actor. He had a career spanning six decades and many notable roles...

    , 1998, Mexican-born American-based actor and philanthropist
  • Maurice Gerard Moynihan
    Maurice Gerard Moynihan
    Maurice Gerard Moynihan was a senior Irish civil servant, co-drafter of the 1937 Constitution of Ireland, Secretary of the Government of the Irish Free State in 1937, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland in 1960, and Knight Commander of the Papal Order of St...

    , 1959, Secretary of the Government of the Irish Free State
    Irish Free State
    The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

     and Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland
  • Adolfo Müller-Ury
    Adolfo Müller-Ury
    Adolfo Muller-Ury was a Swiss-born American portrait painter and impressionistic painter of roses and still life.-Heritage and early life in Switzerland:...

    , 1923, Swiss-born American portrait painter
  • Rupert Murdoch
    Rupert Murdoch
    Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

    , 1998
  • Francis Martin O'Donnell
    Francis Martin O'Donnell
    Francis Martin O'Donnell, KC*SG, KM, KCMCO, is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to the Slovak Republic. He is a retired former UN official who served most recently as the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Ukraine, from 30...

    , 2007, retired former UN representative, Ambassador and Knight of Malta
  • Frank Patterson
    Frank Patterson
    Frank Patterson was an internationally renowned Irish tenor following in the tradition of singers such as Count John McCormack and Josef Locke. He was known as "Ireland's Golden Tenor".- Early life :...

    , 1984, noted Irish tenor
    The tenor is a type of male singing voice and is the highest male voice within the modal register. The typical tenor voice lies between C3, the C one octave below middle C, to the A above middle C in choral music, and up to high C in solo work. The low extreme for tenors is roughly B2...

  • Charles Poletti
    Charles Poletti
    Charles Poletti was an American lawyer and politician. He was the 46th Governor of New York in 1942, and was the first Italian-American governor in the United States.-Early life and education:...

    , 1945, Governor of New York, Army officer in charge of post World War II civil affairs in Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

  • Gil J. Puyat, Senate President of the Philippines
    The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

    , Educator, Businessman, Philanthropist.
  • John J. Raskob
    John J. Raskob
    John Jakob Raskob, KCSG was a financial executive and businessman for DuPont and General Motors, and the builder of the Empire State Building. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1928 to 1932 and a key supporter of Alfred E. Smith's candidacy for President of the United...

    , financial executive and businessman (DuPont, General Motors); built the Empire State Building
    Empire State Building
    The Empire State Building is a 102-story landmark skyscraper and American cultural icon in New York City at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet , and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 ft high. Its name is derived...

  • Joseph Ryelandt
    Joseph Ryelandt
    Joseph Ryelandt was a Belgian classical composer.-Life:Joseph Victor Marie Ryelandt was born in Bruges, into a wealthy bourgeois family, for whom culture, tradition, and the Roman Catholic religion mattered. So did music, which the family practiced a lot...

    , Belgian composer
  • Paul Salamunovich
    Paul Salamunovich
    Paul Salamunovich KCSG is an American choral conductor and educator.He is the Music Director Emeritus of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, after having served as Music Director from 1991 to 2001. He served as Director of Music at St. Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood, California, for 60...

    , 1969, American choral conductor and expert on Gregorian chant
    Gregorian chant
    Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic liturgical music within Western Christianity that accompanied the celebration of Mass and other ritual services...

  • Sir Jimmy Savile
    Jimmy Savile
    Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, OBE, KCSG was an English disc jockey, television presenter and media personality, best known for his BBC television show Jim'll Fix It, and for being the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC music chart show Top of the Pops...

     KBE, 1990, English Radio DJ and television presenter/broadcaster
    A presenter, or host , is a person or organization responsible for running an event. A museum or university, for example, may be the presenter or host of an exhibit. Likewise, a master of ceremonies is a person that hosts or presents a show...

  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver
    Eunice Kennedy Shriver
    Eunice Kennedy Shriver, DSG a member of the Kennedy family, sister to President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward Kennedy, was the founder in 1962 of Camp Shriver, and in 1968, the Special Olympics...

    , 2006, American, founder of the Special Olympics
    Special Olympics
    Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 3.1 million athletes in 175 countries....

  • Thomas Stonor, 7th Lord Camoys, 2006, Knight Grand Cross, Lord Chamberlain
  • Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis
    Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis
    Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis is a princess, by marriage, of the German Thurn und Taxis House.-Biography:Gloria was born on 23 February 1960, the daughter of Joachim, Count...

    , 2008, Dame Commander with Star
  • Otto von Habsburg
    Otto von Habsburg
    Otto von Habsburg , also known by his royal name as Archduke Otto of Austria, was the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary from 1916 until the dissolution of the empire in 1918, a realm which comprised modern-day Austria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia,...

    , Knight Grand Cross, Archduke Otto of Austria was the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary.
  • Charles von Hügel
    Charles von Hügel
    Charles von Hügel was an Austrian army officer, diplomat, botanist and explorer, now primarily remembered for his travels in northern India during the 1830s...

    , Knight Grand Cross
  • Roger Wagner
    Roger Wagner
    Roger Wagner, KCSG was an American choral musician, administrator and educator.-Early life:Wagner was born in Le Puy, France. His younger brother was actor and voiceover artist Jack Wagner. Roger Wagner was immersed in music from his youngest years...

    , American choral conductor
  • Mordecai Waxman
    Mordecai Waxman
    Mordecai Waxman, KCSG , was a prominent rabbi in the Conservative Jewish movement for nearly 60 years. He served as rabbi of Temple Israel in Great Neck, New York for 55 years from 1947 through his death in 2002...

    , 1998, Prominent rabbi in the Conservative movement
    Conservative Judaism
    Conservative Judaism is a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid-19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s.Conservative Judaism has its roots in the school of thought known as Positive-Historical Judaism,...

External links

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