Ecclesiastical decoration

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Star of Order of St. Sava

An ecclesiastical decoration is an order or a decoration conferred by a head of a church.

Catholic ecclesiastical decorations[edit]

Orders, decorations, and medals of the Holy See[edit]

Award Notes
Blessed sword and hat Gift offered by popes to Catholic monarchs or other secular recipients in recognition of their defense of Christendom
Golden Rose Conferred as a token of reverence or affection to churches and sanctuaries, royalty, military figures, and governments
Fidei et Virtuti Decoration for military merit bestowed by the Holy See during the Italian unification
Pro Petri Sede Decoration for military merit bestowed by the Holy See in the Second Italian War of Independence
Benemerenti medal For long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church
Jerusalem Pilgrim's Cross Support for Christian holy sites during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Lauretan Cross Merit in relation to the Basilica della Santa Casa
Papal Lateran Cross Recognition of merit bestowed by the Cathedral chapter of the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran with authorization of the Holy See.
Per Artem ad Deum Medal Presented by the Pontifical Council for Culture in recognition of the achievements which contribute to the promotion of dialogue between the diversity of cultures in the contemporary world and thus promote man as an individual
Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Conferred for distinguished service to the Roman Catholic Church by lay people and clergy

Other Catholic distinctions[edit]

Award Presented by Recognizes
James Cardinal Gibbons Medal Catholic University of America Distinguished and meritorious service to the Roman Catholic Church, the United States of America, or The Catholic University of America
John Courtney Murray Award Catholic Theological Society of America Work on religious liberty
Laetare Medal University of Notre Dame Outstanding service to the Catholic Church and society
Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch Syriac Catholic Church Lay order. Recognised as legitimate ecclesiastical decorations by the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry (2006):[1]
Order of Saint Michael (Bavaria) Archbishop of Cologne Military order
Order of Saint Nicholas (Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton) Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton Lay order
Pacem in Terris Award Quad Cities Pacem in Terris Coalition Individual achievements in peace and justice, not only in their country but in the world
Patriarchal Order of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem Melkite Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch Promote Catholic faith and to support religious, cultural and social works of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the Holy Land. Recognised as legitimate ecclesiastical decorations by the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry (2006):[1]
Patronal Medal Catholic University of America, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Distinguished service in the advancement of Marian devotion, theology, or general appreciation of the place of Mary in the life of the Catholic Church
Paul VI Prize Paul VI Institute Individuals or institutions who, with their studies and their works, have contributed to the growth of the religious meaning in the world
Ratzinger Prize Ratzinger Foundation Those who perform promising scholarly research relating to or expounding upon Pope Benedict XVI's work
Saint Albert Award Society of Catholic Scientists To a Catholic scientist whose life and work give witness to the harmony that exists between the vocation of scientist and the life of faith[2]

Local ecclesiastical distinctions[edit]

Eastern Orthodox ecclesiastical decorations[edit]

Several autocephalous churches of the Eastern Orthodox communion award ecclesiastical decorations.

Award Given by Recognizes
Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Laity for service to those portions of the Eastern Orthodox Church under the patriarch's particular guidance. The archons are organized in two orders:
    • The "Order of Saint Andrew" (est. 1966) for Archons subject to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
    • The "Brotherhood of the Most Holy Lady Pammakaristos" (est. 1991) for the rest of the world
Order of Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow Russian Orthodox Church Services in the revival of spiritual life in Russia
Order of Saint Righteous Grand Duke Dmitry Donskoy Russian Orthodox Church Courageous service to the Russian state or contributions to cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Armed Forces
Order of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church Meritorious achievements in the arts, science, education and religion.
Patriarchal Cross of Romania Romanian Orthodox Church Ecclesiastical service

Others include:

Anglican Communion[edit]

In addition to the Lambeth degree, the Archbishop of Canterbury awards the following to recognise outstanding service in various fields.[8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ecclesiastical Decoration". International Commission for Orders of Chivalry. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  2. ^ "St. Albert Award". The Society of Catholic Scientists. Archived from the original on 2022-05-21.
  3. ^ "Ehrenkreuzes des Abtes von Lilienfeld" (in German). Archived from the original on 2020-02-20. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  4. ^ "» The Order of St. Nicholas". Melkite Eparchy of Newton. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  5. ^ "The Maronite Central Council Medal, About Us - Central Council of the Maronite Societies". Central Council of the Maronite Societies. Archived from the original on 2016-04-03. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  6. ^ "Great Cross of the Maronite Central Council, About Us - Central Council of the Maronite Societies". Central Council of the Maronite Societies. Archived from the original on 2016-04-03. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  7. ^ "The King of Morocco Mohamad VI Awards Prince Alwaleed His 60th Honorary Medal". Kingdom Holding Company. 2011-12-18. Archived from the original on 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  8. ^ "Archbishop of Canterbury announces new set of awards". The Archbishop of Canterbury. March 21, 2016. Archived from the original on Jul 7, 2017.
  9. ^ "Episcopal Nominee Information for Rev. Dr. Charles S. G. Boayue, Jr" (PDF). The Advance Journal. NCJ United Methodist Church. 2: 46. 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  10. ^ Hodges, Sam (6 September 2016). "World Methodist Conference concludes in Houston". United Methodist News Service. Retrieved 7 January 2020.