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Every 24 June is marked around the world as thousands of members of the Order of Malta celebrate St John’s Day

London, 24 June 2013

Brompton Oratory, St John's Day Mass

Brompton Oratory, St John’s Day Mass

In churches around the world, members, friends and volunteers of the Order of Malta marked St John’s Day – the feast day of the patron saint of the Order – with a solemn Mass and celebrations.

In London, the President of the British Association, Richard Fitzalan Howard, and the Grand Prior of England, Ian Scott, greeted the British members of the Order family at a service in the Brompton Oratory. The celebrant was the Right Reverend Alan Hopes, Bishop-Elect of East Anglia and Conventual Chaplain ad honorem and the homily was preached by the conventual chaplain of the Grand Priory ad honorem, the Reverend Antony Conlon, who reminded that the work of the Order is rooted in a proud tradition to care for society’s marginalised, a work that is as necessary today as it was when the Order was founded almost a thousand years ago.

President and Grand Prior greet an honoured member

President and Grand Prior greet an honoured member

The occasion also celebrated the conferring of decorations on special members of the congregation, all of whom have offered particular and dedicated service to the Order in Britain – through their work with sick pilgrims at Lourdes, at the St John’s Hospice in North London, in the care homes run by the Orders of St John Care Homes Trust across four counties and in many quiet ways – and who have gone about the Order’s mission to care for the poor and the sick with exceptional commitment.

Photos: Julian Andrews

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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.