The Grand Commander is the religious superior of the Professed Knights and of the Knights and Dames in Obedience. His duties include: spreading the principles of the Faith, supervising Priories and Subpriories, compiling reports on visits to be sent to the Holy See on the state and life of the Order, and seeing to the religious aspects of the activities of Professed Knights and Knights in Obedience. In particular he is in charge of instructing the members of the Sovereign Order in the fulfilment of the principles of Tuitio Fidei e Obsequium Pauperum (living the Faith and caring for the poor and the sick). The Grand Commander also takes care of the Magistral Palace Chapel and the organisation of pilgrimages. He acts as Lieutenant ad Interim in the case of the death, resignation from office or permanent incapacity of the Grand Master.
Profile of the Grand Commander
H.E. the Venerable Bailiff
Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein
Born in Innsbruck on January 21, 1937.
He studied in Innsbruck at the Faculty of Law, and graduated in the spring of 1962. He then studied philosophy at the Università Gregoriana in Rome. After military service, he trained as a Lawyer, a profession which he practised from 1970 to 2002 in Innsbruck.
In 1968 he was one of the founders of Malteser Hilfedienst in North Tyrol, the Austrian volunteers Corps of the Order, and of Malteser Hospitaldienst Austria (MHDA). Between 1971 and 1979 he led the Innsbruck group of volunteers, and between 1977 and 1979 he was Commander. From 1979 to 1986 he was on the board of directors of MHDA. For four years he was in charge of the MHDA hospital train for the pilgrimages to Lourdes.
He entered the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in 1970, becoming a Professed Knight in 1984. He was elected member of the Sovereign council by the Chapter General of 1984 and was appointed Grand Commander of the Order by the Chapter General of 1994, position he held until 2004.
He was elected Grand Commander again by the Chapter General which took place on 30-31 May 2014.