Ecclesiastic Merit Cross, Part II, 1859-1917


Figure 1: Ecclesiastic Cross in gold on Combatant ribbon. Image from the author’s archive

Figure 2: Ecclesiastic Cross in gold on Non-combatant ribbon. Image from the author’s archive












The Ecclesiastic Merit Cross was issued from 1801 to the end of the empire in 1918.  They were issued to recognize distinguished wartime service by military Field Chaplains which involved personal sacrifice and or bravery while ministering to the troops under fire or at the front. During the period in which these crosses were issued they went through a number of changes. This blog will continue the discussion of the crosses issued from 1859 until the end of the empire in 1918.

Designer: Unknown


  • Vincent Mayer and Sons
  • Freidrich Rothe

Number Issued: 

  • The Gold Cross was issued 75 times from 1801-1918
    • 1801 to 1859 = 57 
    • 1864 to 1866 = 8 
    • 1866 to 1911= 1 
    • 1915 to 1918= 9 
  • The Silver Cross was issued 1,990 times from 1801 to 1918
    • 1801 to 1911= 55
    • 1914 to 1918 =  1,935

Case:  Unknown


Figure 3: Ecclesiastic Merit Cross combatant ribbon. Image from the author’s archive

Figure 4: Ecclesiastic Merit Cross non-combatant ribbon. Image from the author’s archive


  • A 40 mm wide ribbon which for combat service is white with three 8 mm wide red stripes separated by four 4 mm wide white stripes.  For civil service the ribbon is white.
  • The ribbon was straight from 1801 to 1848 and tri-fold thereafter.
  • A small rectangular ribbon for this decoration was introduced in October 27, 1917.  

Attachments:  On December 13, 1916 bronze gilt crossed swords were authorized to be worn on the combatant ribbon of this cross when warranted.  

Figure 5: Silver Ecclesiastic Cross on combatant ribbon wiht swords. Image from the author’s archive.

Miniature: miniatures of this cross are known to exist.

Figure 6: Ecclesiastic Cross in gold on Combatant ribbon miniature. Image from the author’s archive

Known Gold Ecclesiastic Merit Cross Recipients:

Vidonia Uprising, 1848

  • Johann von Goldberg

Tyrol Campaign, 1848

  •  Johann Baldauf
  • Martin Zotterer

Hungary Campaign, 1848-49

  • Josef Franz
  • Peter Gessiorowski
  • Franz Hinovsky
  • Nicefor Kriss
  • Franz Ponocny
  • Hugo Suschitzky

Italian Campaign, 1848-49

  • Joesf Aksanovic
  • Josef Bednarovic
  • Georg von Bojtor
  • Adolf Czerhas
  • Didabus Fantsovich
  • Johann Klerz
  • Michail Kutuzow
  • Augustine Landt
  • Franz Laurentschitsch
  • Josef Mashizh
  •  Johann Michal
  • Wenzel Mostl
  • Stephan Schaffner
  • Josef Schmalzl
  • Gustav Turinsky

Italian Campaign, 1859

  • Bortolomeo Molner-Veit
  •  Sabas Poppovicia
  • Karl Pospischel
  • Dr. Anton Rocei
  • Alexander Schmid
  • Jacob Schmidt
  • Johann Szuphay
  • Dionys Thalson
  • Franz Tscharmann
  • Robert Trykall
  • Johann Wichta
  • Anton Wolf
  • Nickolaus Zitz

Battle of Magenta, 1859

  • Klement Litynski

Battle of Arbuguano, 1859

  • Dionys Cserveny

Battle of Solferino, 1859

  • Karl Bancalari
  • Josef Seidl
  • Josef Sulak
  • Johann Tribaltschick

Battle of Helgoland, 1864

  • Matthias Sablic

War in Denmark, 1864

  • Johann Guszkiewicz

Battle of Lissa, 1866

  • Albert Milecetich

Campaign in Prussia, 1866

  • Anton Czerny
  • Ludwig Kiss
  •  Johann Pospischell
  • Karl Salzmann
  • Franz Sitarski

Bosnia & Herzegovina, 1878

  • Thomas Fabian

World War I, 1914-1918 (Typical recipients)

  • Emmerich Bjelik, Apostolic Field Vicar and Bishop, 1915
  • Andreas Vegas, Field Superior First Class, 1915
  • Viktor Varady, Field Superior First Class, 1915
  • Paul Boldea, Greek Orthodox Field Priest, 1916
  • Jan Korsic, Navy Superior , 1916
  • Leonard Rendl, Consistory Superintendent for the apostolic vicarage, 1916
  • Prince Max Sasky, Dr of Divinity, 1917
  • Stephan Proskurnicki, Superintendent of Field Curates, Silver Cross in 1915 and Gold Cross in 1917
  • Franz Josef Hammerle, Field Curate,  Silver Cross in 1915 and gold Cross in 1918

Figure 7: Field Chaplain wearing the Ecclesiastic Cross in gold on war ribbon with swords

Figure 8: Fieldbischof Emmerich Bjelik wearing the Ecclesiastic Cross in gold on war ribbon

I hope you have enjoyed the second part of the discussion of the Ecclesiastic crosses as issued from 1859-1917. Until next time I hope you continue to enjoy the fascinating study of orders, medals and decorations.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Join now to start taking advantage of the member benefits including the Journal of the Orders and Medals Society, Ribbon Bank, Library, Annual Conventions, Publication Program and much more!
Join Now!

Site Login