Order of Charity, Type II, I Class Grand Cross (white-black distinction)
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The Order of Charity (Orden Civil de Beneficencia) was founded by Queen Isabel II/Isabella II on May 17, 1856. It was established in recognition of the charity, solidarity, courage and valor of those volunteers who attended the cholera infection in Spain between 1854 and 1855.
The Order was awarded to those individuals, whatever their social class, profession or occupation, who spontaneously, or by delegation of authority, rendered extraordinary services to the needy in time of public calamities. It was awarded also to those who had made voluntary donations according to their fortunes.
Originally, the Order consisted of I Class, II Class, and III Class. The Grand Cross was added in 1910.
The Order was suspended by the First Spanish Republic in 1868, and it was re-instituted by the Restoration in 1875. In 1931, it was abolished again by the Second Spanish Republic, and restored in 1940 by General Francisco Franco. It was finally abolished in 1989, and it was replaced by the Civil Order of Social Solidarity.
The Order's badge was modified in 1910, and four different distinction were created relating to the services rendered for the recipient.
The Order is classified into Types based on the badge's change of 1910. Type I includes the Order's first design from 1856 to 1910; and Type II includes the Order's second design from 1910 to 1989 in its four distinctions.
The Purple-white distinction was awarded in recognition of meritorious acts relating to public health.
The Purple-black distinction was awarded in recognition of meritorious public health services involving personal risk of life.
The Black-white distinction was awarded in recognition of meritorious charitable acts involving personal risk of life.
The White distinction was awarded in recognition of meritorious acts and services within charities and public health.
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