THE MOST HONOURABLE LEGION OF THE EAGLE OF CHRIST


 


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The Most Honourable Legion of the Eagle of Christ was re-established under the blessing of Pope St. John Paul II as a noble company by the Etrurian household and a group of Papal knights as a successor to the ancient Roman Legion of the Eagle. Its re-establishment took place on the 900th anniversary of the First Crusade.

The original "Legion of the Eagle" was a military unit of the Roman Empire tasked with defending the Empire against the barbarians and refers to the Legio IX Hispana (Spanish Legion), which was founded by Julius Caesar and re-activated by Caesar Augustus. It served mainly in Spain, Britain, and Germany. Their principal headquarters became York, and their mascot was the eagle. They earned their name, Hispana (Hispanic), during the Cantabrian Wars in Spain. Its Spanish home is León, its Germanic home is Speyer in the historic Duchy of Franconia, and its Italian home is Aquilea in the historic sovereign Patriarchate of Aquilea in Imperial Italy. The Legion was formally consecreated to Our Lord in 2020. In addition to the patronage of Christ, the patron saint of the Legion is Saint Patrick, the British Roman best known as Apostle to the Irish. The principle feast days are those of Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart, and St. Patrick.

Through the gift of Emperor Constantine the Great, the Roman Church became heir and successor to the Roman Empire. The Christian knights defended the Church, in part through the Crusades against the infidels. The Most Honourable Legion of the Eagle is under the patronage of the Anglican Patriarchate (Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church) and the leadership of the Etrurian Royal Household. Membership is limited to 10 Companions of Honour, in addition to the Companions of Justice (hereditary), and no more than 15 Supernumerary Companions (ad honorem). Companions are generally required to be Catholic and of noble lineage and to have rendered significant service at a high level to the Church or to humanity in general. Companions in all categories are considered honourary cousins to His Holiness and Eminence the Archfather-Prince of Rome.


Above: Chapel of Pope St. John Paul II in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican


Symbolism plays an important role in the Catholic Faith. These symbols help us to encounter, engage, and learn about our Faith. Nowhere is this greater than in the Holy Mass. Religious societies and orders also make much of symbolism, some of which are rooted deeply in antiquity. The insignia is known for its two-tone gold and silver design. Gold is used to represent the eternal light of Christ, and silver is used to represent purity and Evangelism (Psalm 11.7 "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.")


L: Julius Caesar. R: Caesar Augustus

The greater badge consists of a gold eagle, symbolic of the divine nature of Christ, pendant from a lapis lazuli stone (known for its Marian symbolism). It is worn suspended from a royal blue neck ribbon. Companions of Justice and Companions of Honour who also hold the Grand Cross of St. Stephen, the Grand Cross of Justice of Mary Immaculate, or both instead use a ribbon in a colour representing both or all three orders respectively as described below.

The lesser badge is worn suspended from a royal blue sash and consists of a blue cross with a gold eagle upon a red stone, together representing a stylised form of the aquila and standard of a Roman Legion. Companions of Justice also have a collar for wear with the church habit consisting of similar badge worn suspended from square links of gold.

Armorial of Companions


The star badge of the Legion is gold of eight point, with a central starburst of twelve points, coming from the twelve stars in Marian symbology. The five stars represent the five wounds of Christ. This symbolism is continued in the 5-pointed version of the star worn on the Legion's church cape.


Ladies' Decorations:
Greater Eagle and Cordon with Lesser Eagle
(Star identical to the one shown further above)

The motto is "Honor Virtutis Praemium," which translates as "Honor is the prize for virtue."

The modern Legion, re-established in 1996 on the 900th anniversary of the First Crusade, is the original and sole legitimate successor to the Roman "Legion of the Eagle" (Legio IX Hispana) as a Christian Order. Only those admitted as Companions by the Archfather or Grand Master enjoy the right to wear the Eagle insignia.


Greater Eagle, Cordon with Lesser Eagle,
and Star of Companions

Companions of Justice and Companions of Honour who also hold the Grand Cross of the Florentine Service Order and/or the Pontifical Order of Merit of wear the cross of that order in place of the regular Lesser Eagle. (Those who hold both use the cross of the Order of Merit pendant from the oak leaf cluster of the Florentine Service Order.)


Collar of a Companion of Justice


Informal Insignia
(N.b. For the Grand Cordons of the Three (or Two) Supreme Orders, the ribbon and jewel correspond to the sash of the combined insignia as described below. Shown here, the informal insignia with ribbon and jewel of the Three Supreme Orders.)

Insignia Charts


The Grand Cordon of the Three (or Two) Supreme Orders

Companions of Justice and Companions of Honour who also hold the
Grand Cross of St. Stephen, the Grand Cross of Justice of Mary Immaculate, or both
use a combined form of the insignia pendant from a cordon in a colour
representing both or all three orders respectively.

The Grand Cordon of the Three Supreme Orders

The Eagle, St. Stephen, and Mary Immaculate

The Grand Cordon of the Two Supreme Orders

Class I: The Eagle and St. Stephen
Class II: The Eagle and Mary Immaculate

Companions who hold two or three of the specific orders
refer to the honour and the insignia as the Grand Cordon of the Two (or Three) Supreme Orders.

Purple: Legion of the Eagle and the Grand Cross of St. Stephen
Light Blue: Legion of the Eagle and the Grand Cross of Justice of Mary Immaculate
Scarlet: Legion of the Eagle, the Grand Cross of St. Stephen, and the Grand Cross of Justice of Mary Immaculate

On the sash of Two Supreme Orders or Three Supreme Orders, those with the Grand Cross of the Florentine Service Order suspend the correct version of the Lesser Eagle from the oak leaf cluster of that order's regular insignia. Those with the Pontifical Order of Merit use that cross instead of the Lesser Eagle. Those with both the Service and Merit Crosses use the cross of the Order of Merit pendant from the oak leaf cluster of the Grand Cross of the Florentine Service Order.

Recipients of the Grand Cordon of the Three and Two Supreme Orders


Greater Eagles of the Three (or Two) Supreme Orders


Example of the Greater Eagle of the Three Supreme Orders.


Star of the Grand Cordon of the Three Supreme Orders, of the Two Supreme Orders (St. Stephen),
and of the Two Supreme Orders (Mary Immaculate).


Grand Collar of the Three Supreme Orders
(Companion of Justice of the Eagle of Christ, Grand Collar of St. Stephen,
and Bailiff Grand Cross of Justice of Mary Immaculate)


Florentine Service Order
and
the Pontifical Order of Merit of St. Stephen & Our Lady of Walsingham

 

The Florentine Service Order and the Order of Merit are extensions of the Legion of the Eagle of Christ. They recognise significant service and merit respectively. The Order of Merit is limited to no more than ten living members.

Florentine Service Order Website
Pontifical Order of Merit Website


Hereditary Officers

Sovereign - H.H.E. the Archfather
Prince Grand Master - H.I.R.H. the Grand Prince of Etruria
Hereditary Deputy Grand Master - H.E. the Count di Santa Croce

Appointed Officers

Marshal
Deputy Marshal
Chancellor
Vice Chancellor
Registrar
Eagle King of Arms

 

In Memoriam Chev. John Refieuna,
Chancellor of the Legion of the Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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