President General receives Brazil’s highest medal
The insignia was conferred in the grade of “Commendator” to brother Renato Lima
On December 16, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, 16th President General International of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP), received the highest decoration of the Brazilian government, granted by the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, the Medal of the Order of Rio Branco (“White River”).
This medal was created in 1963 and, each year, is intended to “reward those who have earned the recognition of the Brazilian government, serving to stimulate the practice of actions and deeds worthy of honorable mention as well as a distinction for meritorious services and civic virtues” (text of the rules of the Order of Rio Branco).
The “Order of Rio Branco” is a decoration awarded in five degrees: Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commendator, Officer and Knight. The medal of Renato Lima had the rank of “Commendator of the Republic”. The insignia is a four-armed, eight-pointed cross enameled in white, which has in the center a silver sphere with the Latin inscription “Ubique Patriae Memor“, which means: “Wherever I am, I will always have the homeland in my memory”.
Since taking office, President Lima de Oliveira has already received 12 titles of “Honorary Citizen” and three other Brazilian mentions: Legislative Merit Medal (2016), Pedro Ludovico Legislative Merit Medal – Goias Province (2016) and the Public Security Merit Medal – Federal District (2022).
“I dedicate all the mentions and awards I receive, as well as the titles of citizenship, to the fellow members around the world, because, in reality, this recognition is not for me, but for our dear members, who carry the Vincentian seed to every corner of the planet”, emphasized brother Renato.
He concluded: “We Vincentians do not seek any human recognition, only from God. However, by receiving these medals, Parliaments and Governments show that they publicly value the greatness of the Vincentian work to overcome poverty, exclusion, and social vulnerability”.
The word “commendator” means that the person awarded has distinguished himself by “contributing to the enhancement of society, either through his work or his social, economic and political influences”. It is not a noble title, and no remuneration is received for it.