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Just got this one. Apparently these are three Turkish awards on what looks like a wartime bar. Ribbon #2 might be the Liakat medal with a better-than-nothing sword device, #4 is the TWM. Any idea what #3 is?


Edited by webr55
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Yes. It's from the Vatican: the Pilgrim's Cross to the Holy Land, at that time given in bronze, silver, and gold.

Created in 1901 and bestowed "on the spot" by the Catholic Father Custodian of the Holy Land (when it was under Ottoman rule).

An official Vatican decoration which still exists, it was bestowed with an award document.

I think I've probably seen about 4 on medal groups in 40 years, so this will make a SUPERB addition to the revived Ribbon Bar Article here. :cheers:

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I'm actually amazed that more of these do NOT show up, given that Jerusalem was behind Ottoman lines until 1917, with the Kaiser's hospital etc etc.

Imagine: on one day, awarded to a German... and the very next day, to a British Catholic! :speechless1::cheeky:

Lucky lucky you! :cheers:

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Yup. I think, under Paul VI, it was altered and is now a different (?) design.

Leo XIII was its creator and remained on the design regardless of which Pope was living at the time one was granted.

Not sure of the SPECIFICS of HOW one got this. Rolling through on a tour bus now doesn't do it. Pilgrims MAY have had some sort of card that got punched or stamped at every major holy site, which when ALL had been checked off, gained them this. "Donations" may also have changed hands.

Nobody in my families has been there since the 13th century, so my information is a bit outdated. :catjava::cheeky:

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I guess the wearer was a Catholic officer (or equivalent...) who was in Jerusalem during WW1. I wonder if #2 is maybe not a Liakat, but the Medjdie order 4th or 5th class. That would make this one a junior officer... or a chaplain???

According to Geile's register, there were only two (!!) wearers of the "Ehrenkreuz f?r Jerusalem-Pilger" in the DOA 1908/09: Dr. jur. Georg Antoni, mayor of Fulda and Papal "Geheimk?mmerer", and Josef Maria Friesenegger, reverend in Augsburg and also Geheimk?mmerer. (Both had other awards, so it's neither of these).

The more I look at it, the more I'm convinced that this was some kind of Catholic Feldgeistlicher stationed in the Ottoman Empire.

Edited by webr55
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As Rick notes, this Pilgrims' Cross existed in this form from 1901 through "reforms" of the 1980s. From the inception, the grade depended on the number of pilgrimages to the Holy Land or the amount of "DONATIONS" contributed. In 1975, for example, the gold class recognized ten or more visits, silver 5-9 and bronze 1-4. "Donations" at that time were US$5 for bronze, $25 for silver and $50 for gold (silver gilt)---don't see how insignia costs were paid at those prices, let alone a significant "donation". {Guess the numbers had not been adjusted for years somewhat like the Japanese Red Cross criteria!} Sometime in the 1930s the "Jerusalem" bar illustrated signified a "special" award (no specific number of visits or contribution amount) but following WW 2 that bar was also presented to non-Catholics granted the honor. Apparently due to misunderstandings on the part of the Italian insignia supplier, the bar accompanied just about ALL awards after about 1960.

Because the award was presented under delegated authority of the "Custos" of the Holy Places or Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem--usually a Dominican also involved in the Papal Order of the Holy Sepulchre , French awardees, among others, could not apply for permission to wear it until the post WW II 4th republic.

First time I've seen this on a German bar but some Austrian and Italian groups include it. Many American got this decoration--James Risk received the gold cross with bar and David Garrison had the silver cross.

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Here is a litte more info on this award. Also called the Medal of the Holy Land.

This Medal was designed by Leo XIII (Dec. S.C.P.F. 2 May. 1901), who empowered the Custodian of the Holy Land to bestow it upon pilgrims who presented a certificate of good, moral Christian life from their parish priest and a genuinely religious intention in making the journey to the Holy Land. It serves as a testimonial and souvenir of the pilgrimage. The decoration is a cross similar to that of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, save that the four small crosses are crutched instead of being simple of form. A medallion with the inscription LEO XIII CREAVIT. ANNO M.C.M. occupies the centre of the large cross. On each branch of the large cross are graven figures of the Annunciation, Nativity, Baptism of Christ, and Last Supper respectively. On the crutched-shaped extremities are the words, CHRISTI AMOR CRUCIFIXI TRAXIT NOS. On the reverse side of the cross, the figure of Christ appears in the centre of the medallion. On the branches are representations of the Agony in the Garden, Flagellation, Crowning with Thorns and Crucifixion, and on the extremities of the branches the words SIGNUM SACRI ITINERIS HIERSOLIMITANI. It is worn on the left breast suspended from a red ribbon with four small blue transverse bars bordered with white, which in turn are edged with dark yellow. There are three classes of medals: gold, silver, and bronze, adapted to the condition of pilgrims and the services they have rendered to the Holy Land. The recipient must pay the cost of the medal and bestow an alms of at least two dollars towards the maintenance of the Holy Places. Each year the custodian must inform the Propaganda how many decorations have been bestowed and the amount of the alms given (Dec. S. C. P. F., 10 June, 1901).

Popes Pius VII and Pius IX conferred special decorations which were temporary and not permanent. The former bestowed a medal for military bravery, and another for zeal and courage in stamping out the brigandage, which had taken such hold in the Papal States during the seven years of the French occupation. The latter conferred the Mentana and Castelfidardo medals upon the papal and French soldiers who came to his help at those places.

Pontifical decorations are bestowed either by motu pro prio, and then forwarded by the secretary of state, or upon petition, when they are expedited through the chancery. The most certain and expeditious mode of procuring the coveted decoration is by a petition from the bishop of the diocese of the person to be honoured. The petition must state the name, age, country, in short, a brief history of the life of the applicant, bringing out in relief the eminent labours or work in science, literature, arts, controversial or other religious writings, or generous and self-sacrificing gifts or endowments made or done for society, the Church or its head, which are deemed worthy of papal recognition and reward. This petition must be endorsed by the ordinary of the applicant. The endorsement of another than the diocesan bishop will not suffice. The petition is sent to an agent at Rome, who presents it to the cardinal chancellor of the orders, who not only registers the petition and the endorsement of it by the bishop, but also seeks information from other sources as to the character of the party and his eminent good works.

Here the Silver version:

Edited by Taz
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Rick shamed me into digging into Peter Bander van Duren's 1985 revision of Cardinale's, Orders of Knighthood, Awards and the Holy See. Pp 111-112 fully describes the cross and notes that it is an award instituted by the Papacy but not conferred by the Holy See, as bestowal was delegated to the Custos of the Holy Land. "These marks of distinction cannot therefore be qualified as pontifical."

However, van Duren's 1987 work, The Cross on the Sword , states [p. 139 & 156-7] that the Holy Land Pilgrim's Cross was replaced with two new awards around 1977. {N.B. I have seen a Pilgrim's Cross document dated 1981} These are the Palm of Jerusalem [conferred by the Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in 3 classes for 'special services or charitable work towards the Order'] and the Pilgrim's Shell [awarded by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (CUSTOS) and the Grand Prior of Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem on behalf of the Grand Master to members of the Order who make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem].

Unless there are subsequent changes, the Palm of Jerusalem award is mainly for, and the Pilgrim's Shell exclusively for, members of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Maybe this belongs in a Vatican thread?

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