The Patrician Green Sash
In 1868 when the Papal States were invaded a group of Irish volunteers went to defend the town of Pio Nono, but sheer force of numbers told and the town fell. One of these volunteers, John Howlin of Wexford, who had experienced the Pio Nono battlefield and a French prison camp, heard of the Patrician Brothers when he returned to Ireland. He needed no coaxing to enrol under their flag of Saint Patrick. When he entered the congregation he took the name Aloysius.

In February of 1883 Brother Aloysius was in Rome on behalf of the Brothers working towards gaining recognition of the Brothers as a Religious Congregation. He was able to obtain a private audience with Pope Leo XIII who had been the Archbishop of Perugia under whom Aloysius had served as an Irish volunteer. During this audience Aloysius asked the Pope if the Brothers could have permission to wear a green sash as a part of their religious habit in honour of Saint Patrick. Pope Leo granted the petition.

It wasn't until more than five years later on the 15th August, 1888, that the Brothers wore the sash for the very first time. This distinctive badge of the Patrician Brothers is thus a souvenir, perhaps the only permanent one, of the gallant Irish swords taken up in defence of the Pope's temporal power.

Brothers wearing their green sash for a Final Profession in India in 2011
and a First Profession in America in 2010. Brothers can decide whether to wear either
a black or white soutane. The decision is usually based on the climate.