The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice is an honour awarded by the Pope to members of the clergy and laity for service to the Catholic Church. It is also known as the Benemerenti Medal (Cross of Honour or Decoration of Honour).
The medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice was instituted by Pope Leo XIII on 17 July 1888 to commemorate his golden sacerdotal jubilee. It was bestowed on those who had merited well by assisting in making the jubilee and the Vatican Exposition successful. This decoration was made a permanent distinction in October 1898. Its object is to reward those who in a general way deserve recognition from the Pope on account of services done for the Church and its head.
The medal is made of gold in the shape of a cross. Its obverse is engraved with an image depicting the Apostles St Peter and St Paul. On the left arm of the cross is the inscription Pro Ecclesia (For Church), and on the right arm of the cross is Et Pontifice (And Pope). At the point of the top arm of the cross is the coat of arms of the reigning Pope. At the points of the other arms are small Greek crosses. Below the depiction of the Saints is the Latin name of the Pope. The reverse depicts a Greek cross. The medal is attached to a ribbon in the colours of the Vatican, yellow and white, and attached to a gold pin. The decoration is to be worn on the right side of the breast.
Cat: Episcopal/ Papal Medal