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Newly appointed Cardinal Patron celebrates first Mass for the Order of Malta at the Order’s San Giovanni Hospital, Rome

2 December 2014

Grand Master Fra'Matthew Festing greets Cardinal Burke

Grand Master Fra’Matthew Festing greets Cardinal Burke

The heavy rains falling over Rome did not dampen the spirits of the many excited patients, staff, friends and members of the Order, who joined the Grand Master, members of the Sovereign Council, the Grand Prior of Rome and members of the Grand Priory, who all gathered to welcome Cardinal Leo Raymond Burke to celebrate his first Mass for the Order. 

His Eminence expressed his pleasure at being able to greet so many of the Order family and to see at first hand the Hospital, which specialises in treating patients recovering from a coma – ‘il Repartino’ is well known throughout Italy and there is always a waiting list of patients. ‘The Sovereign Order of Malta has a fine tradition which combines its two missions of ‘tuitio fidei, obsequium pauperum’ (bearing witness to the faith and caring for those in need). Its activities today affect and support people in many countries of the world. Your inspiration, which is the deepest Christian faith, both sustains you and informs your work.’ 

‘This special Mass was a happy and significant occasion for the Order family and we warmly welcome our new Cardinal Patronus,’ said Fra’ Matthew Festing. 

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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.