Annual celebration for patron saint of the Order of Malta, St John Baptist
Emphasis on the charitable works of the Order
London, 21 June 2019
The Brompton Oratory
Every year, right around the world, the Order of Malta marks the feast day of its patron saint, St John Baptist, with a solemn Mass in all the countries where the Order has a presence. In Britain, the annual event has taken place at the Brompton Oratory in London, celebrated by the Lord Bishop of East Anglia, Alan Hopes.
Members file in The importance of hands that heal Fr.Gerard Skinner gave the homily, and reminded the congregation that “the hand of the Lord was with St John and is with each of you – to lend your hands, to practise charity, carrying out good works.”
Many members and volunteers received medals in recognition of their work to help those in need. In Britain the Order runs soup kitchens and a breakfast club for the homeless, tea parties for the elderly lonely, and 73 residential care homes in four counties.
The day is also marked by the Grand Master’s annual audience with the Pope. Fra’Giacomo Dalla Torre outlined the Order’s latest key projects, including the recent developments in prison ministry in Britain, Portugal and the United States.
The Sovereign Order of Malta has a presence in over 100 countries. Its 13,500 members, 80,000 permanent volunteers and qualified staff of 42,000 professionals – most of whom are medical personnel and paramedics – form a worldwide network caring for the poor and the sick. The Order of Malta both supports and directly manages several hundred medical centres, 20 hospitals and 110 homes for the elderly, as well as first-aid and ambulance crews.