What is a papal marquis?
A papal marquis is a layman who has received a high title of
nobility from the reigning pope. As Heads of State the popes are
competent to create nobles and confers knighthoods and other
decorations. All are recognised in international law. The papal
noble titles range from duke and duchess to marquis, to count and
countess. These noble titles are rarely conferred today. however,
Pope John Paul II did make several creations. Papal knighthoods are
given out regularly. American financier George MacDonald was
created a papal marquis for his generosity towards the church and
its charity. Rose Kennedy was created a papal countess in the early
1950s. Irish tenor John McCormick was a papal count. Genevieve
Brady, a wealthy Long Island patron of Vatican charities was
created a papal duchess.
Papal orders of knighthood include the Order of Christ, Order of
The Golden Spur, Order of Pius, Order of St Gregory, Order of St
Sylvester and the Order of The Holy Sepulcher.