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Order of Pius IX

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Order of Pius IX

The Order of Pius IX (referred to also as the Pian Order) is a Papal order of knighthood founded on 17 June 1847 by Pope Pius IX. It comprises four classes:

  • Knights of the Great Ribbon: who wear a wide dark blue silk ribbon (sash) bordered with red which extends saltire-wise from the left shoulder to the right side where the star of the order is suspended by a rosette, and on the breast a large diamond-studded badge
  • Commanders with Badge: who in addition to the star wear a badge of smaller design than that of Knights of the Great Ribbon on the breast
  • Commanders: who wear the decoration at the neck
  • Knights: who wear the star on the left breast

Pope Pius IX

Pope Piux IX
Pope Pius IX

The decoration is an eight-pointed star made of blue enamel, the spaces between the rays filled with gold flames. On the white medallion in the center the name of the founder surrounded by the words Virtuti et Merito ("Virtue and Merit") is engraved. The reverse side is the same save for the substitution of Anno 1847 for Pius IX. The rarely worn official uniform consists of an elaborately embroidered dark blue evening coat with golden epaulettes, white trousers, and a white-plumed bicorne hat.