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Grand Master’s keynote address to the diplomatic corps

Rome 8 January 2013

The Grand Master greets ambassadors

The Grand Master greets ambassadors

The Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing, received today at the Magistral Villa on the Aventine the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Sovereign Order of Malta for the annual audience at the start of each year. It is the occasion on which he updates the Ambassadors with a keynote speech on the worldwide activities carried out by the Order during the previous year, and its current concerns. 

The Sovereign Order of Malta has bilateral diplomatic relations with 104 countries. It is a unique humanitarian diplomatic network to assist in furthering the Order’s charitable works for those in need.   
Read the text of the Grand Master’s keynote address

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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.