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66th Order of Malta pilgrimage to Lourdes

Seven thousand members, volunteers, sick pilgrims, carers and friends have joined Grand Master Fra’ John Dunlap in the Order’s 66th annual pilgrimage to the Grotto of Massabielle, the heart of the miracle of Mary at Lourdes, where the virgin appeared to the young Bernadette. Among the pilgrims from 47 nationalities are 750 young, aged 8 to 35, 230 priests, 12 deacons, 881 sick pilgrims, 231 doctors and 152 nurses.

The Pontifical Mass on Sunday will be celebrated by Cardinal Gianfranco Ghirlanda, Cardinal Patron of the Order of Malta; Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, former papal delegate, will also be present. In addition to the Grand Master, the members of the Sovereign Council, Monsignor Luis Manuel Cuña Ramos, new Prelate of the Order of Malta

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Mission

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.

Government

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.

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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.