Military Order of Christ

Ordem Militar de Cristo

  • Order was founded in 1318, with the protection of the Portuguese King Dinis I, who refused to pursue and trial the former knights as it occurred in all the other sovereign states under the Catholic Church influence.
  • On 1 December 1918 order was restored. Order awarded to 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.
  • Order have five classes.
  • The badge of the Order is a gilt cross with enamel. During the monarchy there were separate badges for civil and military knights: civil knights wore a badge similar to the modern version, but with the Sacred Heart of Christ above it; military knights had a completely different insignia, this being a gilt, white enamelled Maltese Cross with enamelled oval shields (each bearing a design similar to the Coat of arms of Portugal minus the red border) between the arms of the cross, the whole surrounded by a wreath of palm; the central disc was in white enamel, with a miniature of the modern badge in it; the badge was topped by a gilt crown.
  • The star has 22 asymmetrical arms of rays, in gilt for Grand Cross and Grand Officer, and in silver for Commander. The central disc is in white enamel, with a miniature of the modern badge in it. During the monarchy the Sacred Heart of Christ was placed at the top of the star.
  • Denis - King of Portugal and the Algarve.