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60th International Lourdes pilgrimage led by newly elected 80th Grand Master

British Association among the 7000 pilgrims joining Fra’Giacomo Dalla Torre

Lourdes, May 2018

The basilica, Lourdes

The basilica, LourdesThis is a special year in Lourdes – it marks the 160th anniversary of the Virgin’s apparitions to the 14-year-old Bernadette, it also marks the 60th anniversary of the Sovereign Order of Malta pilgrimages to Lourdes with their sick and disabled charges, and it records the first occasion that Fra’Giacomo Dalla Torre leads the pilgrimage as Grand Master. Elected on 2 May, he is the 80th Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta.
The contingent of members and friends of the British Association of the Order totalled over 200, including 57 sick pilgrims and 14 medical staff. For some, it was their first pilgrimage to Lourdes, for others, their 60th. And for all, the pilgrimage was a combination of work, whether carrying out duties in the hospice, or organising the annual picnic, or checking all the small but vital administrative details, or running the famed British shop. For all, it was a happy combination of devotion and commitment.

Fra'Giacomo greets a pilgrim

Fra’Giacomo greets a pilgrim

Lourdes-Via Crucis on the Prairie

Lourdes-Via Crucis on the Prairie

Candles as commemoration

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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.