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Today: Order of Malta’s 37th International Summer Camp for  young disabled opens

450 young people – staff, volunteers, young disabled – from over 22 countries have arrived in Bassano Romano (Viterbo) at the Monastery of San Vincenzo Martire for a week of vacation and volunteering and to share in the fun and for personal and spiritual growth, guided by the theme: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19).

In the planning for three years – due to the pandemic –  the three Grand Priories of Italy, in cooperation with the Association of Italian Knights of the Order of Malta and with the indispensable logistical support of the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps – have organised  a wide range of activities, workshops, shows, trips and excursions to learn about some of the wonders of Rome and its surroundings (Rome – the Colosseum, the Borghese Gallery; to Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence; and to Tarquinia).

The Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ John Dunlap, has sent a special message: “I welcome all of you who come from outside Italy to participate in this experience which, I am sure, will remain in your hearts for the rest of your lives. My thanks go to the Italian organisers for the masterful work they have done in these past three years to set up the camp in the best Italian tradition. Being available to those in need reflects the highest ideals which have guided the Order of Malta’s action for over 900 years.”

On Tuesday August 2 the entire group will meet in Rome for High Mass in the Vatican, celebrated by Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, the Pope’s Special Delegate to the Order of Malta.

The International Summer Camp for the young disabled was launched in 1983 and has been held in a European country each year, attracting ever more guests and volunteers. As well as the international one, the Order also organises numerous summer camps at European locations and since 2017, in South-East Asia.

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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.