Supreme Order of Christ, Knight Cross
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The roots of this Order are believed to trace back to 1319 and the Papal Bull issued by Pope John XXII that created a way to recognize Catholics who fought to protect Catholicism by battling infidels.
In 1905, the honours awarded by the papacy were reorganized, and this Order was made the highest ranking papal Order by Pope Pius. Prior to 1905, the Order was known as the Order of Christ, but the name was changed in 1905 to the Supreme Order of Christ.
This Order was traditionally awarded to Catholic Heads of State, or to anyone the Pope deems worthy. In 1966, Pope Paul VI restricted the recipients to Catholic Heads of State and made it so that it could only be conferred on extraordinary commemorative or celebratory occasions in the presence of the Pope. Thus the modern Order is rarely awarded.
As of 1993, following the death of King Baudouin I of Belgium, there are no living members of the Order.
Recipients of the Order are granted the title “Knight of the Order of Christ.”
The Order is also known as the Order of the Knights of Christ and the Order of Christ.
Early Knight awards were worn on a ribbon.
Recipients are bestowed with a prefix after being emitted into the Order, with Knight for men and Dame for women.
See Military Order of Christ PRT101 in the Orders of Portugal, and the Order of Christ BRA100 in the Orders of Brazil for more information.
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