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Spiritual Commitment

The Grand Priory of England

The Grand Priory of England was established around 1144. It was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540 and not restored until 1993 – nearly 450 years later. 

The role of the Grand Priory is to care for the members’ spiritual life and set an example of Christian living – the continuing of the Order’s one thousand year tradition of ‘tuitio fidei’. Members of the Grand Priory may take extra vows (poverty, chastity and obedience) to become Professed members of the Order of Malta. Their lives are dedicated to prayer and good works.

The 56th Grand Prior of England, Frà Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, succeeded Frà Matthew Festing, on his election as Grand Master of the Order, in 2008 and held the position until his death on 14 June 2011. The 57th Grand Prior, Ian Scott, was installed on 13 October 2011, retired in 2019. 

The current Grand Prior is Fra’ Max Rumney, who was installed on 8 September 2022.

More information about: The Grand Priory of England.

The Religious Inspiration of the Order

The Order of Malta has been a religious Order since 1113, the year it was recognised by Pope Paschal II. As a religious Order, it is linked to the Holy See, but at the same time it is independent as a sovereign subject of international law. In this respect the religious character of the Order coexists with its full sovereignty. The Grand Master is at the same time head of a sovereign State and head of a religious Order. In this second capacity the Holy Roman Church gives him the rank of Cardinal. The Order of Malta is a lay religious Order according to Canon Law, where some of its members are religious – they have professed the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience – and others have taken a special vow of obedience, while the great majority of the knights and dames are lay members. The Grand Master of the Order is elected from among the Professed Knights of Perpetual Vows. The eight-pointed Cross which symbolises the Order represents the eight Beatitudes and is thus a visual memento of its spirituality. According to the Constitutional Charter, members of the Order are required to maintain exemplary Christian behaviour in their private and public life, contributing to the maintenance of the Order’s traditions.

According to Constitutional Charter rules, the Pope appoints a Cardinal as his representative to the Order, the Cardinalis Patronus, whose duty it is to promote the spiritual interests of the Order and of its members and to maintain relations with the Holy See. The Pope also appoints the Prelate of the Order from the three candidates proposed by the Grand Master. The Prelate is the ecclesiastic superior of the Order’s clergy. 

The Order remains true to its inspiring principles: defence of the Faith and service to the suffering. Its members share the same vocation and strive together for solidarity, justice and peace, based on the teaching of the Gospels and in the closest communion with the Holy See. They are involved in active and dynamic charity supported by prayer. No Knight or Dame is such by privilege of birth or merits acquired, but for having answered to the call to be where there is a material or moral need, where there is suffering. Wherever they settled, the Knights Hospitallers always established first a Hospital and Hospice and then, if they needed to, built defence fortifications. What does being a Hospitaller mean in the Third Millennium? It means dedicating oneself to easing suffering and to bringing the balm of Christian charity to the sick, anywhere in the world, not only in hospitals but also in private homes and nursing homes in the shantytowns of destitute populations. The Order does not only dedicate itself to the sick, but to the socially isolated, the victims of persecution and the refugees of any race and religious faith as well.

Saints of the Order

March 22Blessed Clemens August von Galen
April 1stSaint Nuno Alvares Pereira
May 18Blessed Gerard Mecatti
May 23Blessed Vilmos Apor
May 28Saint Ubaldesca
June 12Saint Flora of Beaulieu
June 19Blessed Gerland
July 1Saint Nicasius
July 8Blessed Adrian Fortescue
July 12Blessed David Gonson
July 14Saint Toscana
August 30Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster
26 SeptemberSaint Pope Paul VI
October 5Blessed Peter Pattarini of Imola
October 8Saint Hugh
October 11Saint Pope John XXIII
October 13Blessed Gerard
October 21Blessed Charles of Austria

Venerables and Servants of God, members of the Order of Malta

Ven. Thomas Dingley

Ven. Patrocinio Chillida Manes

Ven. Visitacion Solè Yvern

Ven. Pope Pius XII

Sancha de Aragon, Servant of God

Victoria de Azcón, Servant of God

Rafael Merry del Val, Servant of God

Zita, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, Servant of God

Fra’ Andrew Bertie, Servant of God

Saints linked to the Order of Malta

Blessed Garcia Martinez (January 3)

Dedication of the Convent Church Major of our Order in Malta (February 20)

St. John the Baptist (birth: June 24, martyrdom: August 29)

Our Lady of Philerme (September 8)

Saints Zachary and Elisabeth (September 23)

Feast of all Saints of the Order of Malta (November 19)

Our Lady of Liesse (December 2nd)




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.