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The Grand Masters

First Grand Master

The Blessed Gerard

Circa 1040 – 1120

The founder and first Grand Master of the Order was born around 1040 in Scala, a village a few kilometres from Amalfi in southern Italy. In the second half of the 11th century he went to Jerusalem where he began to work in the hospital next to the church of St. Mary Latin, built by Amalfi merchants to receive pilgrims and tend the sick.

Legend has it that in 1099, during the Siege of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, Blessed Gerard threw bread to them from the walls but when he was arrested the bread had miraculously turned into stones.

To build up the institution he ran, Blessed Gerard transformed it into a religious order dedicated to St. John Baptist. On 15 February 1113, Pope Paschal II officially recognised the monastic community of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. The pope’s document gives an indication of the role and importance of the Order’s founder and demonstrates the significance of the service offered to the pilgrims and the poor in the Jerusalem hospital. It also gives a list of its hospitals and hospices in France and Italy, proving that the order established by Blessed Gerard – a few decades after its foundation – was not limited to the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem but already had a European dimension.

Blessed Gerard died in Jerusalem on 3 September 1120. His directions and his example constitutes the basis for the Order’s first written Rule issued by Fra’ Raymond de Puy – second Grand Master – between 1145 and 1153.
The Catholic Church considers him blessed and remembers him on 13 October.

1100


2Fra’ Raymond du Puy1120 – c. 1158/60
3Fra’ Auger de Balbenc. 1158/60 – 1162/3
4Fra’ Arnaud de Comps1162 – 1163
5Fra’ Gilbert de Aissailly1163 – c.1169/70
6Fra’ Gastone de Murolsc. 1170 – c. 1172
7Fra’ Joubert de Syriec. 1172 – 1177
8Fra’ Roger de Moulins1177 – c. 1187
9Fra’ Ermengard d’Aps1188 – c. 1190
10Fra’ Garnier de Naplous1189/90 – 1192
11Fra’ Godefroy de Donion1193 – 1202

1048 Jerusalem

The birth of the Order of St. John dates back to around 1048. Merchants from the ancient Marine Republic of Amalfi obtained from the Caliph of Egypt the authorisation to build a church, convent and hospital in Jerusalem, to care for pilgrims of any religious faith or race.

The Order of St. John of Jerusalem – the monastic community which ran the hospital – became independent under the guidance of its founder, Blessed Gérard.

1200


12Fra’ Alfonso of Portugal1203 – 1206
13Fra’ Geoffrey Le Rat1206 – 1207
14Fra’ Guérin de Montaigu1207 – c. 1227/8
15Fra’ Bertrand de Thexisc. 1228 – 1231
16Fra‘ Guerin1236 – c. 1239/40
17Fra’ Bertrand de Comps1239/40 – 1242
18Fra’ Pierre de Viellebride1239/40 – 1242
19Fra’ Guillaume de Chateauneuf1242 – 1258
20Fra’ Hugues de Revel1258 – 1277
21Fra’ Nicolas de Lorgue1277 – 1284
22Fra’ Jean de Villiers1284/5 – c. 1293/4
23Fra’ Odon de Pins1294 – 1296
24Fra’ Guillaume de Villaret1296 – 1305

1300


25Fra’ Foulques de Villaret1305 – 1319
26Fra’ Helion de Villeneuve1319 – 1346
27Fra’ Dieudonné de Gozon1346 – 1353
28Fra’ Pierre de Corneillan1353 – 1355
29Fra’ Roger de Pins1355 – 1365
30Fra’ Raymond Berenger1365 – 1374
31Fra’ Robert de Juliac1374 – 1376
32Fra’ Jean Fernandez de Heredia1376 – 1396
33Fra’ Riccardo Caracciolo1383 – 1395
34Fra’ Philibert de Naillac1396 – 1421

1400


35Fra’ Antonio Fluvian de Riviere1421 – 1437
36Fra‘ Jean de Lastin1437-1454
37Fra’ Jacques de Milly1454 – 1461
38Fra’ Piero Raimondo Zacosta1461 – 1467
39Fra’ Giovanni Battista Orsini1467 – 1476
40Fra’ Pierre d’Aubusson1476 – 1503

1500


41Fra’ Emery d’Amboise1503 – 1512
42Fra’ Guy de Blanchefort1512 – 1513
43Fra’ Fabrizio del Carretto1513 – 1521
44Fra’ Philippe de Villiers de l’Isle-Adam1521 – 1534
45Fra’ Pierino del Ponte1534 – 1535
46Fra’ Didier de Saint-Jaille1535 – 1536
47Fra’ Jean de Homedes1536 – 1553
48Fra’ Claude de la Sengle1553 – 1557
49Fra’ Jean de La Vallette-Parisot1557 – 1568
50Fra’ Pierre de Monte1568 – 1572
51Fra’ Jean l’Evesque de La Cassière1572 – 1581
52Fra’ Hugues Loubenx de Verdala1581 – 1595
53Fra’ Martin Garzez1595 – 1601

1600


54Fra’ Alof de Wignacourt1601 – 1622
55Fra’ Luis Mendez de Vasconcellos1622 – 1623
56Fra’ Antoine de Paule1623 – 1636
57Fra’ Jean-Paul de Lascaris-Castellar1636 – 1657
58Fra’ Martín de Redín1657 – 1660
59Fra’ Annet de Clermont-Gessant1660
60Fra’ Raphael Cotoner1660 – 1663
61Fra’ Nicolas Cotoner1663 – 1680
62Fra’ Gregorio Carafa1680 – 1690
63Fra’ Adrien de Wignacourt1690 – 1697
64Fra’ Ramon Perellos y Roccaful1697 – 1720

1700


65Fra’ Marc’Antonio Zondadari1720 – 1722
66Fra’ Antonio Manoel de Vilhena1722 – 1736
67Fra’ Raymond Despuig1736 – 1741
68Fra’ Manuel Pinto de Fonseca1741 – 1773
69Fra’ Francisco Ximenes de Texada1773 – 1775
70Fra’ Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc1775 – 1797
71Fra’ Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim1797 – 1802

1800


72Emperor Paul I of Russia1799 – 1801 (de facto)
73Fra’ Giovanni Battista Tommasi1803 – 1805
74Fra’ Giovanni Battista Ceschi a Santa Croce1879 – 1905

1900


75Fra’ Galeazzo von Thun und Hohenstein1905 – 1931
76Fra’ Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere1931 – 1951
77Fra’ Angelo de Mojana di Cologna1962 – 1988
78Fra’ Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie1988 – 2008

2000


79Fra’ Matthew Festing2008 – 2017
80Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto2018 – 2020

Lieutenants of the Grand Magistry

1Fra’ Innico Maria Guevara-Suardo1805-1814
2Fra’ André Di Giovanni1814-1821
3Fra’ Antoine Busca1821-1834
4Fra’ Carlo Candida1834-1845
5Fra’ Philippe di Colloredo-Mels1845-1864
6Fra’ Alessandro Borgia1865-1872
7Fra’ Giovanni Battista Ceschi a Santa Croce1872-1879
8ra’ Antoine Hercolani Fava Simonetti “ad interim”1951-1955
9Fra’ Jean Charles Pallavicini “ad interim”1988 (January-April)
10Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto2008 (February-March) 

Lieutenants of the Grand Master

Fra’ Pio Franchi de’ Cavalieri
(during 75th Grand Master’s illness)
1929-1931
Fra’ Ernesto Paternò Castello di Carcaci1955-1962
Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto2017 – 2018
Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas2020 April –
About

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.

FAQ

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.