Order of Christ (Portugal)

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Order of Christ
(Ordem Militar de Cristo)
OrderOfCristCross.svg
Emblem of the Order
Award of Flag of Portugal.svg Portuguese Republic
TypeHonorific Order
Religious affiliationSecular
RibbonRed
EligibilityPortuguese and foreign military personnel
Awarded forOutstanding military merit
StatusCurrently awarded
Grand MasterPresident of the Portuguese Republic
Established1319 (founded)
1789 (secularized)
Precedence
Next (higher)Order of the Tower and Sword
Next (lower)Order of Aviz
Ordem cristo.jpg
Decorations of the Order
 
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For Papal order of knighthood, see Supreme Order of Christ.
Order of Christ
(Ordem Militar de Cristo)
OrderOfCristCross.svg
Emblem of the Order
Award of Flag of Portugal.svg Portuguese Republic
TypeHonorific Order
Religious affiliationSecular
RibbonRed
EligibilityPortuguese and foreign military personnel
Awarded forOutstanding military merit
StatusCurrently awarded
Grand MasterPresident of the Portuguese Republic
Established1319 (founded)
1789 (secularized)
Precedence
Next (higher)Order of the Tower and Sword
Next (lower)Order of Aviz
Ordem cristo.jpg
Decorations of the Order

The Military Order of Christ (Ordem Militar de Cristo) previously the Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Ordem dos Cavaleiros de Nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo) was the former Knights Templar order in Portugal, after the suppression of the Templars in 1312, by direct order of the Pope Clement V. It was founded in 1318, with the protection of the Portuguese King Dinis I, who refused to pursue and persecute the former knights as had occurred in all the other sovereign states under the Catholic Church influence.

Under heavy influence from Philip IV of France, Pope Clement V had the Knights Templar annihilated throughout France and most of Europe on charges of heresy, but King Denis of Portugal re-instituted the Templars of Tomar as the Order of Christ, largely for their aid during the Reconquista and in the reconstruction of Portugal after the wars. King Denis negotiated with Pope Clement's successor John XXII for the new order's recognition and right to inherit the Templar assets and property.

History[edit]

The order's origins lie in the Knights Templar, founded circa 1118. The knights saw their persecution by the King of France and eventual disbandment by the Pope in 1312. With this, the King Dinis I of Portugal created the Order of Christ in 1317 for the knights that were able to survive their mass slaughter throughout Europe.[1] In Portugal, the order saw great riches and importance within the Age of Discoveries.

In 1789, the Queen Maria I of Portugal secularized the order.[1] In 1910, with the end of the Portuguese monarchy, the order was extinguished. However, in 1917, the order was revived and the Grand-Master of the Order was to be the President of Portugal. The Military Order of Christ, together with the Military Orders of Aviz and of St. James of the Sword form the group of the "Ancient Military Orders", governed by a Chancellor and a Council of eight members, appointed by the President of the Republic, to assist him as Grand Master in all matters concerning the administration of the Order. The Order, despite its name, can be conferred on civilians and on military, Portuguese and foreigners, for outstanding services to the Republic, in parliament, in the government, in the diplomatic service, in the Courts of Justice, on public authorities or on the Civil Service.[2]

Grades and Badges[edit]

The Order of Christ, as awarded by the Portuguese government today, comes in five classes:[3]

Insignia[edit]

Bars of the Military Order of Christ
PRT Order of Christ - Grand Cross BAR.png
Grand Cross
PRT Order of Christ - Grand Officer BAR.png
Grand Officer
PRT Order of Christ - Commander BAR.png
Commander
PRT Order of Christ - Officer BAR.png
Officer
PRT Order of Christ - Knight BAR.png
Knight

People associated with the Order of Christ[edit]

Star and riband of a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Christ

Locations associated with the Order of Christ[edit]

Entities using the cross of the order in their insignia[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. 

  1. ^ a b Wikisource-logo.svg "Order of the Knights of Christ". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  2. ^ "ANTIGAS ORDENS MILITARES". Bem-vindo a pagina oficial do Grao-Mestre das Ordens Honorificas Portuguesas (in Portuguese). Presidência da República Portuguesa. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "GRAUS E INSÍGNIAS DA ORDEM MILITAR DE CRISTO". Bem-vindo a pagina oficial do Grao-Mestre das Ordens Honorificas Portuguesas (in Portuguese). Presidência da República Portuguesa. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 

Bibliography[edit]