Order of Centurions
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven.
TIME DEUM ET
There are two symbols representing the Order of Centurions: Labarum & Gladius Vitis. They are incorporated in the Shield of the Order and the Medal of the Order
He will lift up an ensign to the nations from far
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him
LABARUM -- By tradition the Labarum was ordered to be carried before the legions of Constantine after he had a vision in the heavens of a "cross of light" and the Greek words EN TOUTO NIKA (conquer by this) and a subsequent nocturnal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ who told him conquer under His sign. Constantine directed that a spear be covered in gold with a crosspiece representing a cross, and that the image of the chi-rho, the first two Greek initials in the name Christ, be placed above the crosspiece encircled by a crown/wreath. A banner hung from the crosspiece of imperial (Tyrian) purple and gold cloth. Constantine had this Labarum carried before his legions as he defeated a much larger pagan Roman force outside of Rome. He directed some of his men to place the chi-rho on their shields and he wore it on his helmet. Constantine selected 50 men, called the Praepositi Laberorum, to form a color guard to protect the Labarum. Constantine later recognized these men and organized them into the Golden Chivalry - Torquati (so named for their gold collars) and Perfectissimi (Most Perfect Knights).
The Labarum of the Order of Centurions appears with "LEGIO CHRISTI" (Christ's Legion) across the top of the imperial banner, and the initials "IHSV" from the Latin phrase "IN HOC SIGNO VINCES" (Under this Sign Conquer) and finally MMIII, the year of the founding of the Order of Centurions. See service mark policy
Eusebius of Caesarea The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine | Labarum - Sozomen
TIME DEUM ET
GLADIUS-VITIS -- The sign of Order of Centurions contains a Centurion's Vine Staff (vitis) with two Roman short swords (gladius) crossed before it symbolizing the Centurions of Caesarea, Capernaum, and Calvary and members of the Order of Centurions. Above the Roman arms is the Crown of Thorns worn by our Lord at his trial and crucifixion and the letters: INRI which stand for the words inscribed on His Cross: IESUS NAZARENUS REX IUDAEORUM in Latin. It was also written in Greek and Aramaic and means "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews". The Crown above the Roman arms symbolizes our Lord's sovereignty over Centurions. It also is witness to the confession of faith on Good Friday by the Centurion at Calvary; he beheld Jesus on the cross with the Crown of Thorns and the Inscription and confessed Him as the Son of God. Below the Roman arms is the Motto of the Order: TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM meaning Fear God and do what is Right. The words "Centurions", "Legio Christi", "Church Militant" and "Order of Centurions", often appear with the symbol/shield as does the date of the establishment of the Order - MMIII. See service mark policy
SHIELD OF THE ORDER (NOTIONAL)
Note: This shield has not been fabricated by the Order of Centurions; however, any registered centurion may fabricate his own in any material within the scope of our service mark policy
The Shield of the Order (notional) is elliptical. It's boat shape relates to the idea of the early church in a boat (from whence we get the word Nave for the place of the congregation) with imperial Roman Purple" trim on a white background. It shows the gladius-vitis on one side with the words "MMIII * ORDO CENTURIONUM * IHSV" on the left arc and "TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM" on the other arc. The other side of the medal shows the chi-rho inside a wreath. Below it is the date of the Battle of Saxa Ruba: 312 AD. On the left arc is written "CENTURIO - IN HOC SIGNO VINCES" and on the other arc "LEGIO CHRISTI * ECCLESIA MILITANS". It may be worn with a chain or "Imperial Roman Purple" cord or ribbon.
MEDAL OF THE ORDER
Note: This medal is in hand and is offered gratuitously in conjunction with a donation of $10.00 US for registered centurions. Contact primus pilus for details. A centurion may fabricate his own in any material within the scope of our service mark policy
The disk shown is an authorized circular form of the medal of the Order. It may be in color or metal. The colors are, background: white, Gladius, bronze blades and brown hilts, Vitis - wood tone, letters, black, crown of thorns, wood-tone, The Alpha and Omega Greek letters are incorporated. These were often shown with the Chi_Rho, or alone, as a sign of Christ, who said, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" [Rev 1:8]. The phrases of the Order encircle the symbol in an unbroken ring. This technique of printing is similar to many coins and medallions struck by the Roman Empire in the time of the Centurions. The medal is in antique bronze (color), which was a common metal for jewelry and medallions. The ring around the Gladius-Vitis symbolizes the eternal nature of the Church and the Godhead. The words are ORDO CENTURIONUM (Order of Centurions), IN HOC SIGNO VINCES (In this sign conquer) and TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM (Fear God and do what is right). Each of these phrases used by the Order is separated by a six-pointed star (which is representative of the basic shape of the Gladius-Vitis and the Chi Rho). Imaginary lines between the stars form a triangle within the circle, a sign of the Trinity. The disk is authorized for wear and use only by registered centurions and legionaries (who may be registered in cohorts) in good standing. Centurions may obtain the medal exclusively through the Order of Centurions. The medal may be fabricated as a lapel pin, a breast medal, a medallion, or a coin as resources become available. (The 1st edition of this medal is 1 inch diameter with a pin and butterfly clutch.)
[Our thanks to Centurion Michael of Texas who advised and assisted in the design of the disk, and noted a similarity between the Gladius-Vitis and the Chi-Rho and also to Fulvio and his wife of Italy for translation assistance]
Based on the Medal and a 1901 drawing of coin for Roman Legion Pay of Constantine c.336 The Life of Christ as Represented in Art
Modified to show Chi-Rho as it appears on the coin, and lettering for the Order
CHALLENGE COIN OF THE ORDER
Note: This coin is now available. Contact primus pilus for details. A registered centurion may fabricate his own in any material within the scope of our service mark policy
The Challenge Coin shall be the Order of Centurions Medal on one side and a replica of a military pay coin in the reign of Constantine on the other side. The coin displays the Labarum with two legionaries. Christ Church Militant "ECCLESIA MILITANT" and the name of the Legion "LEGIO CHRISTI" is inscribed below the Labarum, replacing Roman inscriptions.
MEDALLION OF THE ORDER
Note: This concept includes either the coin or the lapel pin Medal of the Order and a custom made mount. The Registered Centurion may fabricate on according to these instructions and wear it in accordance with the service mark policy
The Medallion of the Order of Centurions is the Medal of the Order mounted in a wreath. Centurion may use either the Lapel Pin, or the Coin of the Order to fabricate a Medallion, or some other acceptable material to fabricate his medallion. The example above shows a wooden or metal wreath into which a Coin of the Order has been inserted. This wreath is the same design that surrounds the Labarum of the Order of Centurions, and is ancient.
OTHER SYMBOLS IMPORTANT TO THE ORDER
The acrostic "ICHTHUS" is the Greek word for "fish" (Iota, Chi, Theta, Upsilon, and Sigma.) The English alphabet rendering is IXOYE. It was used as a symbol for Christians in the fish form in the 1st and 2nd Centuries especially, and the words were said to have stood for the phrase, "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior" (“Iesous Christos, Theou Uios, Soter"). This was used as a creed by early Christians, first in Alexandria and by sailors it spread through the Empire. When early Christians met along the way, the fish could be used as a sign of recognition. One Christian would, with his foot, make and arc in the dirt as a challenge-sign, the other would make the other arc to complete the figure of the fish as the counter-sign. The fish represents the feeding of the 5,000 and communion. The fish was used on houses, in the catacombs, and elsewhere to identify safe places for Christians. It is recognized as such in the Order of Centurions. The ICHTHUS may also be shown as a wheel when the letters are placed one on another as is shown in these photos from Ephesus. Another design that many think was used for a Christian acrostic is the Rotas Square.. Quo Vadis— "When Vinitius first met Ligia, she drew something on the sand—and ran away. A fish!" Clement of Alexandria told the people to use a dove or fish as their seal. It was Tertullian who wrote (in "De Baptismo") "But we, being little fishes, as Jesus Christ is our great Fish, begin our life in the water, and only while we abide in the water are we safe and sound." Optatus of Milevis about AD 385 wrote, "The Greek word fish, in one word, by each letter embraces a crowd of sacred names." Origen wrote, "Christ is metaphorically called the Fish" as does Augusine who wrote, "becasue he was able to live in the abyss of this mortality as in the depths of water, that is without sin"
The Aquilae, literally eagle, was a symbol of every legion of Rome, including Christian legions. The Aquilae has come to stand for the word of God, and the Aquilea shown above has done so for a very long time in the Chapel of the Centurion. See more about the Legio Aqiulae.
SERVICE MARK POLICY
The symbols originated by the Order are protected by copyright law and are service marks of the Order of Centurions. They may be used by members on personal items and correspondence for their own personal use. They may be used by chartered Cohorts for the exclusive use of their membership. They may not be used on items sold for excess above cost except to members and persons associated with the Order. (and note, the excess funds are to be applied to non-profit activities in accordance with IRS rules, as the Order is a Non Profit Religious Organization). Whenever used, they should be displayed with the motto and may use the words "Centurion", "Optio", "Legionary", "Axuillia", "Order of Centurions", or similar words used by the Order.
Updated 4/23/2006 to make the policy plural to cover all graphics generated by the Order which are used to identify the Order or its members, and to clarify the policy for profits on sales, being excess funds for non-profit activities.
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