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Pope Francis receives Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre and the government of the Sovereign Order

“I follow you, I pray for you, proceed along this path”

Rome, 23 June 2017

Pope Francis receives Fra'Giacomo Dalla Torre in audience for St John's Day

Pope Francis receives Fra’Giacomo Dalla Torre in audience for St John’s Day

Pope Francis this morning received Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre, Lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, in the Vatican. He was accompanied by the members of the Order’s government. This was the first audience with the Pope since Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre was elected on April 29. “I follow you, I pray for you, proceed along this path,” he said.

During the audience the reform of the Constitutional Charter was discussed, launched to bring the Order of Malta more in line with the requirements of an institution that has expanded and significantly increased its global presence in recent years.

Key projects aid refugees, the displaced, and migrants

Fra’Giacomo spoke of the Order of Malta’s key projects for assisting the host of refugees, displaced persons and migrants all over the world, in the countries bordering Syria, including Lebanon and Turkey, in the African countries devastated by conflicts and famine, especially South Sudan, and in the countries of migrant transit and arrival, including Italy and Germany. With its 120,000 volunteers and operators and over 2000 projects in 120 countries, the Order of Malta provides health care and social and psychological care to the most vulnerable. Alongside the emergency projects to rescue communities in difficulty, the Order of Malta’s traditional mission to care for those in need continues. “The Holy Father was very affectionate and paternal and very attentive to the human and spiritual aspects of our work,” Frà Giacomo said.

Diplomatic endeavours support respect for human rights

Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre also described the Order’s activities in the diplomatic sphere in promoting respect for international humanitarian laws and human rights and in participating in international summits. Next week the Order’s representatives will attend the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Berlin.

The delegation led by Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre was then received by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

By tradition, the meeting with the Pope was on the occasion of the feastday of St. John the Baptist, patron saint of the Sovereign Order of Malta, celebrated on June 24. 

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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.