Round Medallion with the bust of Pope Benedict XV (1915-1922) facing right, 50x32 mm, surrounded by the inscription "BENEDICTUS XV PONT. MAX." and below, right, the maker`s signature "S.J." (Stefano Johnson, Milan), within a separately-made laurel wreath with green enameled leaves and orange-red enameled berries and the bow tying the branches, the reverse with round medallion, bearing the motto "BENE MERENTI", and the well-visible, 4 thin tubes with inserted pins, mounting the medallion to the wreath, rectangular upper loop and finely chiseled Trophy suspension, large, round ring and original ribbon. An extremely rare decoration, superb condition. The Medal for Military Merit was the highest honour besides the Orders, given to Officers of the armed corps in defence of the Holy See, first instituted by Pope Gregorius XVI after the Napoleonic wars, then renewed by each subsequent Pope, until Paul VI. I RR!