The Illustrious Royal Order of Saint Januarius was founded on 3 July 1738 by Charles of Bourbon, King of Naples and Sicily, to celebrate his marriage to Princess Maria Amalia Walburga of Poland and Saxony. It is the premier Order of Knighthood of the Royal House of Bourbon Two Sicilies and was created to honour the Patron Saint of Naples.
The Order’s membership consists of only one rank of Knight. The Order is rarely bestowed and consists of a maximum of twenty worthy gentlemen professing the Catholic Faith. Membership is traditionally drawn from the Royal Families of Europe and the high aristocracy of the Two Sicilies. Princes of the Royal House of Bourbon Two Sicilies are considered “supernumerary” knights.
The Order is a Roman Catholic institution intended to foster true chivalry and Christian brotherhood. Its main duty, is to “increase, at all costs, the Holy Religion” and “virtuously operate” to be “a heroic example of piety towards God and loyalty towards their Prince”.
The decoration is formed by a cross with four forked arms edged in gold, bordered by a fess of white enamel, with flames in red enamel edged by four golden lilies. On the front, the image of Saint Januarius with the cruets and the Pastoral, in golden, white red blue and green enamels; on the reverse in the middle, the Cruets in golden and red enamels, placed on a golden Book of Gospel, all bordered by two palms in green enamel. The ribbon is red and swayed. The inscription is “IN SANGUINE FOEDUS”.
His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro,
In the category of Knight