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The Prince and Grand Master

Religious superior and Sovereign of the Order of Malta

The Grand Master is elected for life from the Professed Knights by the Council Complete of State.

According to the Constitution, as the religious Superior and Sovereign, he must fully dedicate himself to the development of the works of the Order and to set an example of living by Christian principles, to all the members of the Order.

He is vested with supreme authorities. Together with the Sovereign Council, the Grand Master issues the legislative measures not covered by the Constitution, promulgates government acts, manages Common Treasure assets, ratifies, international agreements and the summoning of the Chapter General.

The States with which the Order has diplomatic relations recognise the Grand Master with the prerogatives, immunities and honours reserved for Heads of State. The title of Most Eminent Highness is bestowed on the Grand Master and the Holy Roman Church confers him the rank of Cardinal.

The Grand Master resides at the Order’s seat of government the Magistral Palace in Rome.

From 29 April 2020, following the death of Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, the Sovereign Order of Malta was governed by a Lieutenant ad interim H.E. Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas. From 8 November 2020, the Order’s electing body, the Council Complete of State, elected a Lieutenant of the Grand Master for one year, in accordance with the Order’s Constitution. He is Fra’Marco Luzzago..

Fra’ Marco Luzzago succeeds Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, Prince and 80th Grand Master, who died on 29 April.

The Lieutenant of the Grand Master – who will remain in office for one year – addressed the members of the Council Complete (the Order’s electing body): ‘…I can only assure you of my maximum commitment to address the challenges that lie ahead of us in the coming months. First of all, the reform of the Constitutional Charter and the Code carried on with such fervour by our late Fra’ Giacomo, whom at this moment I remember with emotion.’

Profile of Lieutenant
Fra’ Marco was born 1950 in Brescia.  He studied  medicine at the Universities of Padua and Parma, before being called to manage his family’s property interests. This led on to business activities in the consumer industry and large-scale retail distribution, an area in which he continued to be involved in for many years.
Fra’ Marco joined the Sovereign Order of Malta in 1975 in the Grand Priory of Lombardy and Venice and took his solemn religious vows in 2003. He began attending the Order of Malta’s international pilgrimages to Lourdes and the national pilgrimages to Assisi and Loreto. Since 2010 he has dedicated his life completely to the Order of Malta, moving to the Marches to care for one of the Order’s Commanderies.

Since 2011 he has been Commander of Justice in the Grand Priory of Rome, where he holds the position of Delegate of the Northern Marches and head of the library. Since 2017 he has been Councillor of the Order of Malta’s Italian Association. Fra’ Marco Luzzago is related to Pope Paul VI.

The role of the Lieutenant of the Grand Master
According to the Order of Malta’s Constitution, the Lieutenant of the Grand Master remains in office for one year with the same powers as the Grand Master. He must reconvene the Council Complete of State before the end of his mandate.

The Lieutenant of the Grand Master must devote himself fully to the development of the Order’s works and be an example for all members in religious observance. He has supreme authority. Together with the Sovereign Council, he issues the legislative provisions not provided for by the Constitutional Charter, promulgates the acts of the government and ratifies international agreements.

The Lieutenant of the Grand Master resides in the Order of Malta’s seat, the Magistral Palace in Rome.



The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.