Magnificent Grand Officer’s Set comprising Breast Star and Neck Badge.
Breast Star. Large eight-pointed rayed silver star; the face with a gilt Latin cross with black enamel inlay, a palm wreath between the arms, imposed centrally and bearing a circular medallion with a polychrome enamel depiction of the Nativity within a deep blue enamel ring inscribed ‘JERUSALEM MERE DES EGLISES’ (French = Jerusalem Mother of Churches); the reverse plain with pin for wear; diameter 94.13mm (3.71 inches).
Neck badge. Large silver-gilt Latin cross with black enamel inlay, a palm wreath between the arms, on hinged patriarchal crown suspension, a ball-tipped finial at the base; the face plain; the reverse with a central black enamel cross and inscribed in black letters ‘in this victory’‘ and dated ‘in the year 312’ at the base; height excluding suspension loop 110.21mm (4.34 inches), width 44.15mm (1.74 inches); on original full neck ribbon with ties.
The Patriarch of Jerusalem awards the Order to those who have made a significant contribution to the work of the Church. The phrase in this victory is better-known rendered in its Latin version: ‘in hoc signo, vinces’ (in this sign, you will conquer) which is purported to have been seen in a vision in the sky by the Emperor Constantine I on the evening before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge on 28 October in AD312 in which he defeated Maxentius.
This event was of great significance because Constantine converted to Christianity and, with his authority throughout the Western Roman Empire secured, it became the main religion of the Roman Empire following the Edit of Milan in AD313 and eventually of Europe.
The Order is rarely found.