Grand Master’s Official Visit to Malta
June 17 2023
The Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Fra’ John Dunlap, made an official visit to the Republic of Malta on 16 and 17 June. This was the Grand Master’s first official visit abroad since his election last May. He was accompanied by the Grand Commander Fra’ Emmanuel Rousseau and the Grand Chancellor Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo.
On Saturday, 17 June, the Grand Master was received by President George William Vella at San Anton Palace. During the meeting, the deep friendship and close cooperation between the Republic of Malta and the Sovereign Order of Malta was reaffirmed. President Vella stated: “I have congratulated the Grand Master on his election. I have also stressed the importance of Malta’s historical and unique ties with the Order of Malta, reinforced by our common values and principles.” After the meeting, Mgr. Charles Jude Scicluna, Metropolitan Archbishop of Malta, and Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, Apostolic Nuncio to Malta, joined the Order’s delegation for breakfast.
Among other engagements, the Grand Master visited the exhibition of tapestries donated by Grand Master Ramon Perellos in St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta. Subjected to an important and long restoration, these tapestries are considered some of the most significant of the Baroque era. The Grand Master, together with the Order of Malta’s delegation, then prayed in the crypt of the Co-Cathedral, which contains the tombs of eleven of the Grand Masters who led the Order of Malta from 1522 to 1623, as well as that of Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing, who died in 2021 in Valletta.
On 16 June, the Grand Master attended mass celebrated in the Collegiate Church of St. Lawrence, in Birgu (Vittoriosa) together with President Daniel Gera de Petri Testaferrata and members of the Order of Malta’s Maltese Association. After mass, the Grand Master received the title of Honorary Canon of the Chapter of St. Lawrence.
Renewal of the concession of Saint John’s Cavalier
On 15 June, Grand Chancellor Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo met the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Malta, Ian Borg. During the meeting, an agreement was reached to continue the use of Saint John’s Cavalier, the 16th-century fortification in Valletta, seat of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta’s embassy. The agreement extends the concession until 2037. “We look forward to continuing our great relationship that goes back almost five centuries and to cooperating further on humanitarian commitments,” Minister Borg said in a tweet at the end of the meeting.
More images of the Grand Master’s visit are available here (16th June):
and here (17th June):