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London Requiem celebrated for Fra’Matthew Festing

London, 14 December

A Requiem Mass for Fra’Matthew Festing, 79th Grand Master of the Order, took place on 14 December at the church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, celebrated by the Rev.Fr.Ronald Creighton-Jobe, Cong.Orat. Fra’ Matthew died in Malta on 12 November.

At the front of the nave, the symbols of the crown and collar of the Grand Masters were laid down. The symbolic coffin was covered in red and not black because Fra’Matthew was Prince and Grand Master. It was laid on the floor because that is an ancient right of Knights of Malta as a sign of humility.

The event was attended by Fra’Matthew’s family, members of the Order, and many friends. In his homily, Fr.Ronald spoke of the former Grand Master’s dedication to the poor and the sick and his determination always to do his best. He also observed that Fra’Matthew had a special talent for friendship, and a personal warmth as he went about his duties, always thanking those whose commitment helped those in need.

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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.