Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus

Pope Francis A’ awarded the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, with the Grand Collar of the Order of Pope Pius IX, which constitutes the highest honor of the Holy See.

During a special ceremony held on Monday, 24 October 2022, in the framework of an official dinner hosted by the Ambassador of the Republic at the Holy See, Mr George Poullides, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, awarded the Grand Collar of the Order of Pope Pius IX to the President of the Republic, on behalf of Pope Francis, in the presence of senior Vatican officials.

Awarding the Collar, the Secretary of State of the Holy See said, inter alia, that “Cyprus constitutes a pearl of great value in the heart of the Mediterranean, as Pope Francis called it.”

He added that this highest honorary distinction is awarded in recognition of remarkable acts in various fields, including acts of courage in promoting peace and justice, human virtues and the common good.

He pointed out that the Grand Collar of the Order of Pope Pius IX is awarded to the President by Pope Francis in recognition of his gratitude for the President’s close relationship with the Vatican, as well as his respect towards the Pontiff and the Holy See, shown during his two terms of office as President of the Republic of Cyprus, and especially during the Papal visit to Cyprus last December.

“I would like to add, as confirmation of our common good will, that last year the Holy See appointed its first Commissary in Lefkosia. Once again, I would like to express my appreciation for the generosity of the Cypriot government to offer state land for the Apostolic Nunciature.

Thank you for your second visit to the Vatican and for the heartfelt and fruitful discussion we had this morning”.

On his part, the President of the Republic said, inter alia, that "it is a great honor for the Republic of Cyprus, the Cypriot people and for himself personally to be awarded with the Grand Collar of the Order of Pope Pius IX.

The words ‘Virtue and Value’ inscribed at the center of this distinguished decoration are indeed the guiding principles for all of us who have a responsibility to lead our countries and peoples.

In times full of challenges that torment humanity, the Holy Father, yourself and the Holy See continue to send messages of inspiration, courage and hope, the main goal being the peaceful coexistence of all citizens, regardless of their diversity, race, religion or gender.

These are the messages that guide our efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem. So that peace prevails among all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots as well as our brothers who belong to the religious groups of the Maronites, Latins and Armenians on the island, in order for Cyprus to become a model of a state of peaceful coexistence and collaborative creation.

A truly sovereign and independent state where the democratic institutions, human rights, the principles and values of European ideals and those of the United Nations are implemented and respected”.

Referring to the honorary distinction, President Anastasiades noted that “it constitutes another milestone in the continued strengthening and deepening of our bilateral relations and our mutually beneficial cooperation.”