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Order of Malta at World Youth Day, Portugal

The Order of Malta’s Portuguese Association has an extensive programme of activities for World Youth Day in Lisbon 1-6 August.
The Association has also set up, at its headquarters, a multimedia exhibition of the Order of Malta’s history and its activities, nationally and internationally, covering: the history of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta from its origins to the present day, its spirituality and pilgrimages, its medical, humanitarian and social activities worldwide, its humanitarian diplomacy, with a special section on its projects in Portugal.

Some hundred Order of Malta volunteers from eight nations have come to Lisbon. The Portuguese Association has organised a special residential ‘Villa Malta’ to welcome them.

The official WYD programme includes a ‘Vocational Fair’ in which all religious orders, Church initiatives, communities and international organisations present their proposals for a Christian pathway. The Order of Malta stand illustrates its spirituality and humanitarian works worldwide. Here, pilgrims from different countries can come into contact for the first time with the Order of Malta and learn about its humanitarian activities in their country.

The WYD was launched in 1985 by Pope John Paul II to promote meetings of spirituality and culture among young Catholics. The WYD at international level is celebrated every two or three years in a city chosen by the Pope. The last international meeting was held 22-27 January 2019 in Panama.

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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.