Skip to comments.KNIGHTS OF MALTA MARK OVER 900 YEARS OF SERVICE TO CHURCH
Posted on 07/08/2013 1:14:02 PM PDT by robowombat
KNIGHTS OF MALTA MARK OVER 900 YEARS OF SERVICE TO CHURCH
EWTN NEWS 09/02/2013 Following centuries of humanitarian service and, at times, military combat, the Knights of Malta have begun commemorations of their 900th anniversary that include a large solemn procession to the tomb of St. Peter Feb. 9.
This is a very special anniversary and over 4,000 of the Orders members and volunteers are expected to arrive from all corners of the world, Albrecht Boeselager, Grand Hospitaller of the Knights of Malta, told Vatican Radio. He said the anniversary observance will help the knights thank happily the Lord for how he has guided us through history.
The observance includes a Mass at St. Peters Basilica celebrated by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State. Pope Benedict XVI will meet with the knights after the Mass.
The Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, as the Order is officially known today, was founded in Jerusalem in about 1048. Pope Paschal II formally recognized the Order and put it under the protection of the Holy See in a papal bull issued Feb. 15, 1113.
Boeselager said loyalty to the Pope and service to the Church has been a vital part of our identity in the 900 years since.
The Order is sovereign and independent. It has its own diplomatic corps accredited to national governments and it has a permanent observer mission to the United Nations.
Its present head is the English-born Grand Master Fra Matthew Festing. The Orders grand master has the ecclesiastical rank of cardinal but cannot vote in papal conclaves. About 60 Knights of Malta are professed knights vowed to chastity, poverty, and obedience, though most of its 13,500 members are lay men and women from around the world.
Knights and Dames of Malta must be Catholics who maintain exemplary Christian behavior in their private and public life and must maintain the Orders traditions, the Knights of Malta website says.
The symbols of the Order include the famous Maltese Cross, whose eight points symbolize the eight beatitudes.
Jean-Pierre Mazery, the Orders Grand Chancellor, told Vatican Radio the Knights of Malta are builders of peace.
We do not depend on anyone, we do not defend territories, we do not take part in conflicts, we act only to help people, regardless of nationality, race or religion.
The Order now operates in 120 countries. Its members offer medical, social and humanitarian support with the aid of 80,000 volunteers and 25,000 doctors, nurses and paramedics.
Boeselager said Syria is now a priority for the Order and it is increasing its efforts that presently help about 10,000 refugees among the 1.5 million people displaced by the fighting between rebel forces and the Syrian government. Malteser International, the Orders relief agency, is distributing survival kits and hygiene kits to those in or near Damascus, Aleppo, Hama and Homs. The Order is also helping refugees in countries neighboring Syria.
The Knights of Malta are also focused on the Democratic Republic of Congo and its use of sexual violence as a tool of war. They intend to reach out to the new poor, including places like Europe with rising unemployment and decreasing welfare spending.
The Order reopened the Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem in 1990, a special maternity hospital located less than 500 yards from the traditionally recognized birthplace of Jesus Christ. The hospital has the only neonatal intensive care unit in the West Bank and operates a special mobile clinic. The hospital has delivered over 55,000 babies.
The Knights of Malta were originally founded to support poor pilgrims in the Holy Land. Their mission soon included the military defense of the pilgrims and the Order eventually had armies and fleets at its command. Its lengthy history includes periods of corruption, reform, military glories and major defeats across Europe and the Mediterranean.
The Orders headquarters moved to Cyprus in the late 13th century after Christians lost control of the Holy Land, then moved again to Rhodes. In 1523, after a six-month siege from the fleet and army of the Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the heavily outnumbered knights left Rhodes having suffered heavy casualties. The Order then set up headquarters in Malta in 1530.
Under the leadership of Grand Master Fra Jean de la Vallette, the Order in 1565 successfully defended Malta against an attempted Turkish invasion in the hard-fought and gruesome Great Siege of Malta. The modern-day Maltese capital Valetta is named for him.
The Orders fleet played a role in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, a key turning point in the history of Europe that helped check Ottoman expansion.
Napoleon Bonaparte took control of Malta in 1798 and the Knights of Malta were forced to leave again because their code forbade them from taking up arms against other Christians.
The Order resettled in Rome in 1834, where it remains to this day with a worldwide focus on humanitarian work, not combat.
With all the petro bucks the Saudis have and the supposed obligation to practice works of charity for the 'faithful' how is it that a Christian charity has to fill this gap in maternal care for the 'faithful'.
The defense of Malta is one of the greatest episodes of courage and perseverance in military history.
And all over a silly falcon too....
GREAT ADMIRATION for these utterly incredible valiant Christian warriors!
I would have thought the Maltese held a grudge against the Germans for the destruction wrought on the island in WW2, but that is not the case at all. They pride themselves as a very forward looking people, anything is possible, sky’s the limit.
GREAT ADMIRATION for these utterly incredible valiant Christian warriors!
THE Maltese cross, symbol of the Knights of the Church of St. John the Baptist, Hospitallers
Actually there are more than 3 groups descendent of the original Hospitallers of Malta. All have historically defensible claims of connection to the pre-Reformation order of Knights or, monks militant, but NOT all are Roman Catholic. One group is connected to the UK, another to Germany, another to, the white Russians (that is the Eastern Orthodox Russian Czar).
In Germany, hospitals, as well as Red Cross functions are funded by Hospitallers using this symbol:
"Recently, the Catholic-sponsored Order (SMOM) took the Ecumenical Order to Court in the U.S. over charges of Trademark violations. The charges were successfully defended and the SMOM charged with fraudulent behaviour during the Application process.
After much dispute and historical analysis, the SMOM was found to have "obtained four of its trademarks by engaging in fraud during the application process", and "ignored the rights of The Florida Priory and its parent international organization". "The court also found that since the two organizations share a common history prior to 1798, references to that history are appropriate and do not constitute false advertising under The Lanham Act."
The Ecumenical Order established a case that they were the unbroken line of the Order, who left Malta and Catholicism after surrendering to Napoleon and found refuge in Russia, whereas the SMOM was re-established under Catholic Auspices in 1834."
They were not part of the Freemasons, right?
The Republic of Malta, GC and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta are two different entities. The former is nation state consisting of the island of Malta and several smaller islands. The latter is a landless Sovereign order that is independent of any national government. It is the last of it’s kind.
No, sort of the opposite of Freemasonry as they were and are basically a Roman Catholic order devoted to charity and being warriors.
It's a little more complicated than that. The original order, residing in Malta, was conquered and disbanded by Napoleon in 1798. Remaining members fled throughout Europe--some landing in Russia, others in Germany--and while remaining firmly Christian, neither group required loyalty to the Bishop of Rome. The English Hospitallers come through the German order. Only in 1834, was the Roman Catholic branch re-established...
Arguably, the ecumenical branch(es) of Hospitallers have a stronger, more-direct, unbroken provenance to the original order, than the Roman Catholic order of Hospitallers.
ALL though, follow the grand tradition of caring, charitable Christian warrior monks--who so valiantly fought for Christian freedom throughout the Middle Ages into the Renaissance.
A great book. And perhaps, one day, a movie!