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Mass in St Peter’s Basilica for the Order’s International Summer Camp Youth

A colourful array of national flags and the happy babel of many languages accompanied the 450 participants at the Order of Malta’s 37th International Summer Camp for young people with disabilities who piled into buses to take them to the special Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, celebrated by Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, the Pope’s Special Delegate to the Order of Malta.

They were joined by the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ John Dunlap, the Grand Hospitaller, Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel and the President of the Italian Association, Riccardo Paterno’ of Montecupo. Numerous Order of Malta chaplains concelebrated the Mass.

In his homily the Cardinal spoke of “the mutual exchange of help, closeness, affection and friendship you create here that completes and confirms the intuition of our beloved founder, Blessed Gerard, who with hospitality and solidarity answered the Gospel invitation, ‘follow Me and I will make you fishers of men’, the motto of this year’s camp.”

After Mass and a group photograph, the participants were guests of the Arma dei Carabinieri for a delicious breakfast in their barracks, before unfurling their flags and heading back to Bassano Romano.

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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.