Gilbert Chagoury’s Awards and Recognition
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Gilbert Chagoury was given the Founder’s Award, which is considered to be the organization’s highest award, by Danny Thomas in 1985 in recognition of their generous gifts to the hospital.
In 1988, Rose-Marie was named, ‘Woman of the Year,’ by St. Jude’s and in 1990, Gilbert was named, ‘Man of the Year,’ in recognition of their extraordinary contributions given to the world acclaimed St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
The Order of Saint Gregory the Great
In 1990, acknowledging his merit, generosity and faith, the Vatican awarded and bestowed upon Gilbert, the Order of Saint Gregory the Great at the rank of Commander.
One of the five orders of knighthood of the Holy See, The Order of Saint Gregory the Great, is given to: “gentlemen of proven loyalty to the Holy See who, by reason of their nobility of birth and the renown of their deeds or the degree of their munificence, are deemed worthy to be honoured by a public expression of esteem on the part of the Holy See”.
In October 1998, Pope John Paul II honored Gilbert and his family with a private audience.
In 2009, Gilbert received the Grand Cross, which is the highest distinction of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
In May 2000, Gilbert Chagoury was honored by the French Government with the distinction of Commander at the Order of Arts et des Lettres. This award is given by the Minister of Culture of France to recognize significant contributions to the arts, and literature.
Ordre National du Bènin
Gilbert’s service to the Republic of Benin as an economic advisor was recognized when he was awarded the Ordre National du Bènin with the rank of Commander by the President of the Republic in 2001.
The National Order of the Cedar
Gilbert was given the honor of being awarded the rank of Commander at the Order of the National Cedar by the President of the Lebanese Republic in 2005.
The National Order of the Cedar is considered the highest decoration in Lebanon, and it comprises five grades including: Knight, Officer, Commander, Grand Officer and Grand Cordon. This honor is given for by the President for, “great services rendered to Lebanon, for acts of courage and devotion of great moral value, as for years in public service”.
Ordre National du Tchad
In 2005, acknowledging the services rendered to Chad in particular and Africa in general, the President of the Republic of Tchad honored Gilbert Chagoury with the Ordre National du Tchad at the rank of Commander.
Gilbert and Ronald Chagoury Receive the Honor of the Order of St. Gregory the Great
Gilbert and Ronald Chagoury were both honored by the Vatican in the spring of 2009 when Gilbert received the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, and Ronald Chagoury became a Commander of the same order.
In his address at the Headquarters of the Congregation for Oriental Churches, Vatican City, on March 12, 2009, His Eminence Cardinal Leonardo Sandri said:
“Excellencies, dear friends,
Today is a day of joy for our congregation as it is for the Chagoury family. I have the honour of presenting on behalf of the Holy Father, whose gesture we appreciate greatly, the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint-Gregory-the-Great to His Excellency, Ambassador Gilbert Chagoury and Commander of the Order of Saint-Gregory-the-Great to His Excellency, Ambassador Ronald Chagoury.
Let us look into the reasons for these two distinguished honours, which the Pope has conferred.
In the case of His Excellency Mr. Gilbert Chagoury, in his role as Ambassador of St Lucia to the Holy See, one understands immediately the consideration of the Sovereign Pontiff. But another significant aspect links the ambassadors Gilbert and Ronald Chagoury: it is the sense of sharing amongst those in material and/or spiritual need.
Lent is the time when the Lord makes us gift, to prepare by internal renewal for the celebration of Easter. The means the tradition offers to us biblically, are prayer, mercy and alms. These are highly Christian actions and must be accomplished according to an evangelic style; in other words to please God who scans our hearts, and does not want that the left hand knows what the right hand gives.
Generosity towards those most in need, according to our potential; in other words charity in the name of Christ who loved us to the point of giving his life, is the emblem of our Christian being. The Maronite Church, to which Gilbert and Ronald Chagoury belong, has always encouraged and cultivated this sensitivity.
We wish to thank them today for their generosity in support of the activities of this Congregation, to which the Pope entrusted the duty to encourage “the movement of charity” in support of the Oriental catholic churches, in particular in favour of the Holy Land, of the dear Lebanese nation – from which you both originate – like other countries of the Middle East, where the Oriental Catholics have their land of origin.
It is this way that Christian charity will help them to remain on the lands on which they first received the Gospel.
Thank you, dear ambassadors, for what you have achieved and what you are yet to achieve on behalf of those who may have been tempted to lose hope.
Thank you for the exercise of charity, which is a distinction of a good Christian.
I would also like to cordially greet the friends that you have invited to this occasion, particularly His Excellency Monsignor Boulos Tabet, Apostolic Nuncio, and eminent son of the Maronite Church.
In the name of His Holiness, I bestow upon you the insignia of the Grand Cross and of Commander of the Order of Saint-Gregory-the-Great.
We congratulate you, we address our most cordial wishes to you and, again, we thank you!”