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Order of St. Sylvester Pope and Martyr

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Order of St. Sylvester Pope and Martyr

The Order of St. Sylvester Pope and Martyr (Latin: Ordo Sanctus Silvestri Papae, Italian: Ordine di San Silvestro Papa), sometimes referred to as the Sylvestrine Order, is one of the chivalric orders awarded by the Pope. This Order was at one time united with the Order of the Golden Militia. It is now the fifth-ranking Papal Order.

Pope Pius X in his motu proprio of 7 February 1905, entitled Multum ad excitandos, divided the Sylvestrine Order into two orders of knighthood, one retaining the name of St. Sylvester and the other taking the ancient name of the Order, i.e. Order of the Golden Militia, or Golden Spur.

It is intended to award Roman Catholic laymen who are actively involved in the life of the church, particularly as it is exemplified in the exercise of their professional duties and mastership of the different arts. It is also conferred on non-Catholics, but more rarely than the Order of St. Gregory.

Awards of the Order are generally made on the recommendation of Diocesan Bishops, or of Apostolic Nuncios (nominations may be made by parish priests to their bishop for his consideration). Pope John Paul II extended membership in the Order to ladies as well as gentlemen. It is awarded directly by the Pope as Supreme Pontiff and head of the Catholic Church and as the Head of State of Vatican City.