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The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta, better known as the Order of Malta, has a two-fold nature. It is one of the most ancient Catholic Religious Orders, founded in Jerusalem in around 1048. At the same time it has always been recognised by nations as an independent subject of international law.


The Order's mission is summed up in its motto "Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum" – live the faith and assist those who suffer. 


The Order of Malta works in the field of medical and social care and humanitarian aid, in over 120 countries, supported by the diplomatic relations it currently has with 104 nations. The Order also runs hospitals, medical centres, day hospitals, nursing homes for the elderly and the disabled, and special centres for the terminally ill. In many countries the Order's volunteer corps provide first aid, social services, emergency and humanitarian interventions.

Malteser International, the Order’s worldwide relief agency, works in the front line providing humanitarian aid in situations of natural disasters and civil conflicts. It is completely neutral and impartial.


The head of the Order is the 79th Prince and Grand Master Fra' Matthew Festing, elected for life. The Grand Master is assisted by a governing council (called the Sovereign Council).

Today, the Order is present in 54 countries. It has 6 Grand Priories, 6 Subpriories and 47 National Associations. The Order is made up of more than 13,500 Knights and Dames.


Activities are funded essentially by its members. Funds come from private donations and vary according to different countries and situations. Resources for hospitals and medical activities usually come from agreements stipulated with the national health and social systems. The same is true for emergency services. In developing countries, activities are often backed by grants from governments, the European Commission or other international organisations. Funds also come from donations or benefactors' contributions to Order's activities.

Order Of Malta - Key Figures (2017 - 2018) (pdf)

Press Release

The Sovereign Order of Malta uses first resumed donation from CPVG trust for the disabled in Lebanon

Rome, 09/02/2018

The Government of the Sovereign Order of Malta is pleased to announce that the donations from the trustees of the ‘Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust’ (CPVG) have resumed. The new first donation will fund assistance projects for young Lebanese who are mentally and physically impaired.

Since 1998, young volunteers from the Order of Malta worldwide have joined forces to manage holiday camps serving disabled Lebanese boys and girls in the Al Fadi Center in Chabrouh. This facility – the only one in the Middle East fully equipped to organize holiday camps for the disabled – hosts over 600 guests per year.

The Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust is a charitable trust registered with the Charities Commission of New Zealand whose mission is to provide financial support to Roman Catholic Institutions.

The resumption of donations follows the decision by the Prosecutor of the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, to unfreeze the funds in CPVG and allow the trustees to continue donating to various Roman Catholic causes.

The donations will in particular help to bring relief to those affected by wars and turmoil in the Middle East, to populations suffering from hunger in Africa and to communities hit by natural disasters, to promote programmes for social integration, through the humanitarian, medical and social projects of the Order of Malta around the world.

The government of the Order thanks Msgr. Silvano Tomasi and Mr. Marc Odendall for having facilitated the good relations with the trustees since 2012. The Order also expresses its gratitude to the trustees of CPVG for recognising the value of the humanitarian work performed by the Order worldwide, for reactivating its donation program for the benefit of those in need, and for their integrity and patience shown over the years.

On 1st March 2017 the order signed an agreement with the trustees of CPVG, www.orderofmalta.int/press-release/11440, whereby under the terms of this agreement, and subject to proper reciprocal due diligence, the CPVG accepted to proceed to make regular donations to various causes of the Order of Malta worldwide over a period of 7 years. Following external due diligence carried out by Promontory Financial Group, the Sovereign Order of Malta’s Board of Auditors has given its consent for the enactment of the agreement and acceptance of the funds.

The CPVG Charitable Trust had contacted representatives of the Order of Malta during 2011-2012 and started donating to various causes of the Order in 2013. It was then obliged to interrupt its donations due to a legal procedure initiated in 2013, which was retracted by the Order in 2015 and the case has now been closed by the Geneva Prosecutor in December 2017.


Registered Charity number 1103567