Order of Pius IX
Papal order of knighthood founded on 17 June 1847 by Pope Pius IX.
It comprises four classes:
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" 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, golden epaulettes, white trousers, and a bicorned white plumed hat.
- Knights of the Great Ribbon who wear a wide dark blue silk ribbon 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 the Badge, who in addition to the star wear a badge of smaller design than the large plaque on the breast
- Commanders, who wear the decoration at the neck
- Knights who wear the star on the left breast
New Catholic Dictionary