The greatest identification is the address by Pope John Paul II: "You are well aware of the special physiognomy of the Sovereign Order of Malta, with its supranational, religious and charitable nature."
The Order of Malta is a Religious Order founded by a Papal Bull of Pope Pascal II in 1113 as the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, led by the Knights of Justice who are professed Friars, and the Grand Master who holds the precedence of a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, and is inspired by the devotion of the Knights and Dames of Malta at the Masses of the Order of Malta, and in the Defense of the Faith and the care of the sick and the poor. Throughout the nine hundred years as a Religious Order, the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta has been blessed by our Patron Saint John the Baptist and by the Saints and the Blessed Knights and Chaplains of the Order of Malta.
Dedication of the Conventual Church of St. John the Baptist in Malta
Saint Nuno Alvarez Pereira
Blessed Gerard Mecatti
Blessed Vilmos Apor
Saint Flora of Beaulieu
The Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Patron of the Order
Blessed Adrian Fortescue and Venerable Thomas Dingley
Blessed David Gonson
Beheading of St. John the Baptist, Patron of the Order
Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, Bishop of Milan
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Philermo, Patron of the Order
Saints Zachary and Elizabeth, Parents of St. John the Baptist
Blessed Peter of Imola
Blessed John XXIII
Blessed Gerard, Founder and First Grand Master of the Order
Blessed Charles of Austria
All Saints of the Order
Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Liesse (Our Lady Cause of Our Joy)
In the 900 year tradition of the Sovereign Order of Malta, HMEH Fra Matthew Festing is the 79th Grand Master in the succession from the Founder and first Grand Master Blessed Gerard in 1099 formalized by a Papal Bull of Pope Pascal II in 1113. The 78th Grand Master HMEH Fra Andrew Bertie confirmed in the 2007 Annual Report of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, "We are Hospitallers first before anything else", as we have been for nine hundred years since the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem joined the Hospital of our Founder Grand Master Blessed Gerard as Knights Hospitallers and Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, who have continued to serve in the hospitals of the Sovereign Order of Malta and in the care of the sick and the poor to the present time.
With permanent presence in 55 countries, through the intermediary of 6 Grand Priories, 6 Sub-Priories and 47 National Associations, the Sovereign Order of Malta is dedicated to the care of the sick and the poor, by 13,000 Knights and Dames of Malta, 80,000 volunteers, and 15,000 doctors, nurses and health care professionals, in more than 200 hospitals, medical centers, emergency relief and ambulance corps that provide aid for at least seven million persons in 120 countries worldwide, significantly by Malteser International.
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, as it is known in the United Nations, is sovereign, having diplomatic relations with more than 100 countries in the world, and is a Permanent Observer in the United Nations, and is a member of its Special Agencies UNESCO, UNHCR, UNHCHR, UNIDO, IAEA, WHO and WFP, and it has delegations or representations to international organizations including the European Community, the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in Geneva, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) in Rome, the International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM) in Bruxelles, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, the International Organization for Migration (ICM) in Geneva, and the Union Latina in Santo Domingo and Paris, in which it is identified by the abbreviation SMOM and its Cross on Shield and its Coat of Arms. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta issues SMOM passports to expedite emergency relief worldwide.
With the encouragement of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, over 1,800 Knights of Malta and Maltese sailors enlisted in the French Navy with the specific purpose of assisting the American Independence from the British. In 1783, Benjamin Franklin in his capacity as United States Ambassador to France, designed and had minted the first medal of the United States, entitled "Libertas Americana". This medal was presented to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta by Benjamin Franklin in recognition of its assistance to the United States in its war of independence.
Contributions to the charitable humanitarian services of the Order of Malta will be gratefully received at the Order of Malta, Canadian Association, 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K9, Telephone: 613-731-8897, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions are exempt from federal and provincial taxation as charitable contributions.