New York City, N.Y., Nov 6, 2013 / 16:48 pm
Pope Francis has declared Catholic philosopher, author, and teacher Alice von Hildebrand a Dame Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of St. Gregory in recognition of her work.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, formally invested her in the chivalric order Oct. 30 at a gala dinner in New York celebrating her 90th birthday.
Cardinal Burke said that Pope Francis conferred the honor to recognize her "outstanding and faithful service" and "in public recognition of the esteem in which she is held in the Church."
Membership in the Equestrian Order of St. Gregory, which dates back to 1831, is the highest honor a Pope can bestow upon a layman. Membership is given to individuals who have served the Church and society, and witnessed to their Catholic faith in an exemplary way.