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Pope Francis receives Lieutenant of the Grand Master Fra’John Dunlap

At the traditional papal audience for 24 June, Feast of the Order’s patron saint, John the Baptist, the Order of Malta updates His Holiness on its works worldwide. Each year has its focus and this year it is the Order’s remarkable work in Ukraine and the surrounding countries. The Order’s medical and social activities in the Middle East were also outlined.

Since 24 February, Order teams have worked tirelessly to support Ukraine IDPs and refugees. The aid includes medical and social assistance, distribution of meals and medicines and first aid goods, transport and accompaniment services, reception points located in various locations in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

Pope Francis commended the Order in its continued commitment to the victims of war and many world conflicts.

The Order’s constitutional reform was also addressed. The Pope encouraged the Lieutenant of the Grand Master to work to find the broadest possible consensus on the changes that must strengthen and unite the Order of Malta.

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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.