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Pope Francis nominates the new Prelate of the Sovereign Order of Malta

Grand Master acknowledges the retiring Prelate and welcomes his successor to the important role

Rome, 4 July 2015

Monsignor Jean Laffitte

Monsignor Jean LaffittePope Francis has today nominated Monsignor Jean Laffitte as the new Prelate of the Sovereign Order of Malta. He succeeds Monsignor Angelo Acerbi, who is retiring after 14 years in the post.

Born in France, at Oloron-Sainte-Marie in 1952, Monsignor Laffitte graduated in Political Science at the University of Toulouse in 1973. He attended courses at the University of Cambridge in 1979 and the University of Salamanca in 1980, and entered the Pontifical French Seminary in Rome in 1984, reading philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and moral theology at the John Paul II Pontifical Institute. 

In welcoming Monsignor Laffitte, the Grand Master of the Order Fra’ Matthew Festing acknowledged with great warmth the work and dedication of the retiring Prelate, Monsignor Angelo Acerbi: “It is with the deepest gratitude that I thank Monsignor Acerbi for his dedication and commitment over these 14 years and for the strong spiritual guidance he has given the Order. And I extend to Monsignor Jean Laffitte a most cordial welcome and good wishes for the work he now undertakes with us.” 

The Prelate of the Order is the ecclesiastic superior of the Order’s clergy. 

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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.