Order of Saint Sylvester, Pope and Martyr
Instituted by Pope Gregory XVI on October 31, 1841 to subsume the Order of the Golden Spur, the Order was then divided in two by Pope Pius X in 1905, one retaining the name of Pope Saint Sylvester and the other, the Golden Militia. The purpose of the Order is to recognise and reward lay men and women active in the apostolate in particular in the exercise of their professional duties, as well as masters of the different arts. Again there are three classes: Knights and Dames of the Grand Cross (GCSS); Knight and Dame Commanders with star (KC*SS, DC*SS) and without star (KCSS, DCSS); and Knights and Dames (KSS, DSS). The decoration of the Order is a gold cross of white enamelled surface in the centre of which is impressed the image of St. Sylvester surrounded by a blue enamelled circle bearing the inscription SANC. SYLVESTER P. M. in gold. The reverse portrays the Papal tiara and crossed keys with the dates of the Order’s restoration under Pope Gregory XVI and its renovation under Pope Pius X impressed in gold upon a blue circle. The ribbon of the decoration is black silk with three narrow red stripes. The feast day of St. Sylvester is December 31.