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Sovereign Military Order of Malta

This article is about the modern Catholic military order. For its medieval predecessor, see Knights Hospitaller. For the period of actual rule in Malta, see History of Malta under the Order of Saint John.
"Knight of Malta" redirects here. For other uses, see Knight of Malta (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Malta.

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), officially the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta (Italian: Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta; Latin: Supremus Militaris Ordo Hospitalarius Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani Rhodiensis et Melitensis), commonly known as the Order of Malta, Malta Order or Knights of Malta, is a Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of a military, chivalric and noble nature. Though it possesses no territory, the order is a sovereign entity of international law and maintains diplomatic relations with many countries.

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta
Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta(Italian)
Supremus Militaris Ordo Hospitalarius Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani Rhodiensis et Melitensis(Latin)
Motto: Tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum(Latin)
"Defence of the faith and assistance to the poor"
Anthem: Ave Crux Alba(Latin)
Hail, thou White Cross
CapitalRome (Palazzo Malta 41°54′19″N12°28′50″E /41.90528°N 12.48056°E /41.90528; 12.48056Coordinates: 41°54′19″N12°28′50″E /41.90528°N 12.48056°E /41.90528; 12.48056 and Villa del Priorato di Malta 41°53′01″N12°28′39″E /41.88361°N 12.47750°E /41.88361; 12.47750)
Official languagesItalian
Religion
Catholicism
Government
Fra' Marco Luzzago
Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas
Albrecht von Boeselager
Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel
János Count Esterházy de Galántha
Sovereign subject of international law
• Establishment of the Knights Hospitaller
c. 1099
1113
Cyprus
1291–1310
Rhodes
1310–1523
Malta
1530–1798
• Sovereignty declared
1753
1805–12
• Seat in Rome
1834–present
Population
• Estimate
3 citizens
13,500 members
80,000 volunteers
42,000 employees
CurrencyMaltese scudoa
  1. Euro for postage stamps

SMOM claims continuity with the Knights Hospitaller, a chivalric order that was founded c. 1099 by the Blessed Gerard in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The order is led by an elected Prince and Grand Master. Its motto is Tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum ('defence of the faith and assistance to the poor'). The order venerates the Virgin Mary as its patroness, under the title of Our Lady of Philermos. Its modern-day role is largely focused on providing humanitarian assistance and assisting with international humanitarian relations, for which purpose it has had permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly since 1994.

Contents

The order has a large number of local priories and associations around the world, but there also exist a number of organizations with similar-sounding names that are unrelated, including numerous fraudulent (self-styled) orders seeking to capitalize on the name.

In the ecclesiastical heraldry of the Catholic Church, the Order of Malta is one of only two orders (along with the Order of the Holy Sepulchre) whose insignia may be displayed in a clerical coat of arms. (Laypersons have no such restriction.) The shield is surrounded with a silver rosary for professed knights, or for others the ribbon of their rank. Some members may also display the Maltese cross behind their shield instead of the ribbon.

In order to protect its heritage against fraud, the order has legally registered 16 versions of its names and emblems in some 100 countries.

Main article: Knights Hospitaller
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Summary

The headquarters of the Order of Saint John or the Knights Hospitaller was located in Malta from 1530 until 1798. It was technically a vassal of the Kingdom of Sicily, holding Malta in exchange for a nominal fee, but declared independence in 1753.

The Order of Saint John was expelled from Malta under the French occupation in 1798 and, from 1805 to 1812, many of its possessions in Protestant Europe were confiscated, resulting in the fragmentation of the order into a number of Protestant branches, since 1961 united under the umbrella of the Alliance of the Orders of Saint John of Jerusalem. The Congress of Vienna of 1815 confirmed the loss of Malta. The seat of the order was moved to Ferrara in 1826 and to Rome in 1834, the interior of Palazzo Malta being considered extraterritorial sovereign territory of the order. The grand priories of Lombardy-Venetia and of Sicily were restored from 1839 to 1841. The office of Grand Master was restored by Pope Leo XIII in 1879, after a vacancy of 75 years, confirming Giovanni Battista Ceschi a Santa Croce as the first Grand Master of the restored Order of Malta.

The Holy See was established as a subject of international law in the Lateran Treaty of 1929. In the following decades, the connection between the Holy See and the Order of Malta was seen as so close as to call into question the actual sovereignty of the order as a separate entity. This has prompted constitutional changes on the part of the Order, which were implemented in 1997. Since then, the Order has been widely recognized as a sovereign subject of international law in its own right.

It maintains diplomatic relations with 110 states, enters into treaties and issues its own passports, coins and postage stamps. Its two headquarters buildings in Rome enjoy extraterritoriality[citation needed] , similar to embassies, and it maintains embassies in other countries. The ANSA news agency has called it "the smallest sovereign state in the world". The three principal officers are counted as citizens.[citation needed] Although SMOM has been a United Nations General Assembly observer since 1994, this was granted in view of its "long-standing dedication [...] in providing humanitarian assistance and its special role in international humanitarian relations"; the same category is held by other non-state entities such as the International Olympic Committee and International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Order has 13,500 Knights, Dames and auxiliary members. A few dozen of these are professed religious. Until the 1990s, the highest classes of membership, including officers, required proof of noble lineage. More recently, a path was created for Knights and Dames of the lowest class (of whom proof of aristocratic lineage is not required) to be specially elevated to the highest class, making them eligible for office in the order.

The order employs about 42,000 doctors, nurses, auxiliaries and paramedics assisted by 80,000 volunteers in more than 120 countries, assisting children, homeless, handicapped, elderly, and terminally ill people, refugees, and lepers around the world without distinction of ethnicity or religion. Through its worldwide relief corps, Malteser International, the order aids victims of natural disasters, epidemics and war. In several countries, including France, Germany and Ireland, local associations of the order are important providers of medical emergency services and training. Its annual budget is on the order of 1.5 billion euros, largely funded by European governments, the United Nations and the European Union, foundations and public donors.

Founding

Blessed Gerard, founder of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. Copper engraving by Laurent Cars, c. 1725.

The birth of the Knights Hospitaller 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 that ran the hospital for the pilgrims in the Holy Land – became independent under the guidance of its founder, the religious brother Gerard.

With the Papal bull Pie postulatio voluntatis dated 15 February 1113, Pope Paschal II approved the foundation of the Hospital and placed it under the aegis of the Holy See, granting it the right to freely elect its superiors without interference from other secular or religious authorities. By virtue of the Papal Bull, the hospital became an order exempt from the control of the local church. All the Knights were religious, bound by the three monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

The constitution of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem during the Crusades obliged the order to take on the military defence of the sick, the pilgrims, and the captured territories. The order thus added the task of defending the faith to that of its hospitaller mission.

As time went on, the order adopted the white, eight-pointed Cross that is still its symbol today. The eight points represent the eight beatitudes that Jesus pronounced in his Sermon on the Mount.

Cyprus

When the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land fell after the Siege of Acre in 1291, the order settled first in Cyprus.

Rhodes

In 1310, led by Grand Master Fra' Foulques de Villaret, the knights regrouped on the island of Rhodes. From there, the defense of the Christian world required the organization of a naval force; so the Order built a powerful fleet and sailed the eastern Mediterranean, fighting battles for the sake of Christendom, including Crusades in Syria and Egypt.

In the early 14th century, the institutions of the Order and the knights who came to Rhodes from every corner of Europe were grouped according to the languages they spoke. The first seven such groups, or Langues (Tongues) – from Provence, Auvergne, France, Italy, Aragon (Navarre), England (with Scotland and Ireland), and Germany – became eight in 1492, when Castile and Portugal were separated from the Langue of Aragon. Each Langue included Priories or Grand Priories, Bailiwicks, and Commanderies.

The Order was governed by its Grand Master, the Prince of Rhodes, and its Council. From its beginning, independence from other nations granted by pontifical charter and the universally recognised right to maintain and deploy armed forces constituted grounds for the international sovereignty of the Order, which minted its own coins and maintained diplomatic relations with other states. The senior positions of the Order were given to representatives of different Langues.

In 1523, after six months of siege and fierce combat against the fleet and army of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the Knights were forced to surrender, and left Rhodes with military honours.

Malta (Kingdom of Sicily)

Bust portrait of a Knight of Malta

The order remained without a territory of its own until 1530, when Grand Master Fra' Philippe de Villiers de l'Isle Adam took possession of the island of Malta, granted to the order by Emperor Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and his mother Queen Joanna of Castile as monarchs of Sicily, with the approval of Pope Clement VII, for which the order had to honour the conditions of the Tribute of the Maltese Falcon.

Protestant Reformation

The Reformation which split Western Europe into Protestant and Catholic states affected the knights as well. In several countries, including England, Scotland and Sweden, the order was dissolved. In others, including the Netherlands and Germany, entire bailiwicks or commanderies (administrative divisions of the order) experienced religious conversions; these "Johanniter orders" survive in Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden and many other countries, including the United States and South Africa. It was established that the order should remain neutral in any war between Christian nations.[citation needed]

Colonies in the Caribbean

Map of the colonies of the order in the Caribbean during the 17th century

From 1651 to 1665, the Order of Saint John ruled four islands in the Caribbean. On 21 May 1651 it acquired the islands of Saint Barthélemy, Saint Christopher, Saint Croix and Saint Martin. These were purchased from the French Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique which had just been dissolved. In 1665, the four islands were sold to the French West India Company.

Great siege of Malta

Main article: Great Siege of Malta

In 1565, the Knights, led by Grand Master Fra' Jean de Vallette (after whom the capital of Malta, Valletta, was named), defended the island for more than three months during the Great Siege by the Ottomans.

Battle of Lepanto

The Battle of Lepanto (1571), unknown artist, late 16th century
Main article: Battle of Lepanto

The fleet of the order contributed to the ultimate destruction of the Ottoman naval power in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, led by John of Austria, half brother of King Philip II of Spain.

French occupation of Malta

Emperor Paul of Russia wearing the Crown of the Grand Master of the Order of Malta (1799).

Their Mediterranean stronghold of Malta was captured by the French First Republic under Napoleon in 1798 during his expedition to Egypt, following the French Revolution and the subsequent French Revolutionary Wars. Napoleon demanded from Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim that his ships be allowed to enter the port and to take on water and supplies. The Grand Master replied that only two foreign ships could be allowed to enter the port at a time. Bonaparte, aware that such a procedure would take a very long time and would leave his forces vulnerable to British Admiral Horatio Nelson, immediately ordered a cannon fusillade against Malta. The French soldiers disembarked in Malta at seven points on the morning of 11 June and attacked. After several hours of fierce fighting, the Maltese in the west were forced to surrender.

Napoleon opened negotiations with the fortress capital of Valletta. Faced with vastly superior French forces and the loss of western Malta, the Grand Master negotiated a surrender to the invasion. Hompesch left Malta for Trieste on 18 June. He resigned as Grand Master on 6 July 1799.

The knights were dispersed, though the order continued to exist in a diminished form and negotiated with European governments for a return to power as part of the agreement between France and Holy Roman Empire during the German mediatisation. The Russian Emperor, Paul I, gave the largest number of knights shelter in Saint Petersburg, an action which gave rise to the Russian tradition of the Knights Hospitaller and the Order's recognition among the Russian Imperial Orders. The refugee knights in Saint Petersburg proceeded to elect Tsar Paul as their Grand Master – a rival to Grand Master von Hompesch until the latter's abdication left Paul as the sole Grand Master. Grand Master Paul I created, in addition to the Roman Catholic Grand Priory, a "Russian Grand Priory" of no fewer than 118 Commanderies, dwarfing the rest of the Order and open to all Christians. Paul's election as Grand Master was, however, never ratified under Roman Catholic canon law, and he was the de facto rather than de jure Grand Master of the Order.

By the early 19th century, the order had been severely weakened by the loss of its priories throughout Europe. Only 10% of the order's income came from traditional sources in Europe, with the remaining 90% being generated by the Russian Grand Priory until 1810. This was partly reflected in the government of the Order being under Lieutenants, rather than Grand Masters, in the period 1805 to 1879, when Pope Leo XIII restored a Grand Master to the order. This signaled the renewal of the order's fortunes as a humanitarian and religious organization.

On 19 September 1806, the Swedish government offered the sovereignty of the island of Gotland to the Order. The offer was rejected since it would have meant the Order renouncing their claim to Malta.

Exile

The French forces occupying Malta expelled the Knights Hospitaller from their country.

During the seventeen years that separated the seizure of Malta and the General Peace, "the formality of electing a brother Chief to discharge the office of Grand Master, and thus to preserve the vitality of the Sovereign Institute, was duty attended to". The office of Lieutenant of the Magistery and ad interim of Grand Master was held by the Grand Baillies Field Marshal Counto Soltikoff, Giovanni Tommasi, De Gaevera, Giovanni y Centelles, De Candida and the Count Colloredo. Their mandates complexively covered the period until the death of the Emperor Paul in 1801.

The Treaty of Amiens (1802) obliged the United Kingdom to evacuate Malta which was to be restored to a recreated Order of St. John, whose sovereignty was to be guaranteed by all of the major European powers, to be determined at the final peace. However, this was not to be because objections to the treaty quickly grew in the UK.

Bonaparte's rejection of a British offer involving a ten-year lease of Malta prompted the reactivation of the British blockade of the French coast; Britain declared war on France on 18 May.

The 1802 treaty was never implemented. The UK gave its official reasons for resuming hostilities as France's imperialist policies in the West Indies, Italy, and Switzerland.

Palazzo Malta, Rome, Italy

After having temporarily resided in Messina, Catania, and Ferrara, in 1834 the precursor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta settled definitively in Rome, where it owns, with extraterritorial status, the Magistral Palace in Via Condotti 68 and the Magistral Villa on the Aventine Hill.

The original hospitaller mission became the main activity of the order, growing ever stronger during the 20th century, most especially because of the contribution of the activities carried out by the Grand Priories and National Associations in many countries around the world. Large-scale hospitaller and charitable activities were carried out during World Wars I and II under Grand Master Fra' Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere (1931–1951). Under the Grand Masters Fra' Angelo de Mojana di Cologna (1962–88) and Fra' Andrew Bertie (1988–2008), the projects expanded.

Relations with the Republic of Malta

Flags of Malta and the SMOM on Fort St Angelo

Two bilateral treaties were concluded with the Republic of Malta. The first treaty is dated 21 June 1991 and is now no longer in force. The second treaty was signed on 5 December 1998 and ratified on 1 November 2001.

This agreement grants the Order the use with limited extraterritoriality of the upper portion of Fort St. Angelo in the city of Birgu. Its stated purpose is "to give the Order the opportunity to be better enabled to carry out its humanitarian activities as Knights Hospitallers from Saint Angelo, as well as to better define the legal status of Saint Angelo subject to the sovereignty of Malta over it".

The agreement has a duration of 99 years, but the document allows the Maltese Government to terminate it at any time after 50 years. Under the terms of the agreement, the flag of Malta is to be flown together with the flag of the Order in a prominent position over Saint Angelo. No asylum may be granted by the Order and generally the Maltese courts have full jurisdiction and Maltese law shall apply. The second bilateral treaty mentions a number of immunities and privileges, none of which appeared in the earlier treaty.

2010s

In February 2013, the order celebrated the 900th anniversary of its papal recognition with a general audience with Pope Benedict XVI and a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in Saint Peter's Basilica.

Crisis and constitutional reform

The Order experienced a leadership crisis beginning in December 2016, when Albrecht von Boeselager protested his removal as Grand Chancellor by Grand Master Matthew Festing. In January 2017 Pope Francis ordered von Boeselager reinstated and required Festing's resignation. Francis also named Archbishop Giovanni Becciu as his personal representative to the Order – sidelining the Order's Cardinal Patron Raymond Burke – until the election of a new Grand Master. The pope effectively taking control over the Order was seen by some as a break with tradition and the Order's independence.

In May 2017, the Order named Mauro Bertero Gutiérrez, a Bolivian member of the Government Council, to lead its constitutional reform process. And in May 2018 when a new Grand Master was elected, Francis extended Becciu's mandate indefinitely. In June 2017, in a departure from tradition, the leadership of the Order wore informal attire rather than formal wear full dress uniforms to their annual papal audience. When the Order's General Chapter met in May 2019, as it does every five years, the participants included women for the first time, three of the 62 participants.

On 1 November 2020, Pope Francis named Silvano Tomasi to replace Becciu as his Special Delegate to the Order, reiterating the responsibilities of that office as his sole representative.

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta
Coat of arms of the order
Awarded by Prince and Grand Master Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto
TypeSovereign order of chivalry
Established1099
CountrySovereign Military Order of Malta
Religious affiliationCatholic Church
Ribbon Black
MottoTuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum
Prince and Grand MasterGiacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto
ClassesThree
Statistics
Total inducteesc. 13,500

Ribbon bar

Governance

The proceedings of the Order are governed by its Constitutional Charter and the Order's Code. It is divided internationally into six territorial Grand Priories, six Sub-Priories and 47 national associations.

The six Grand Priories are:

  • Grand Priory of Rome
  • Grand Priory of Lombardy and Venice
  • Grand Priory of Naples and Sicily
  • Grand Priory of Bohemia
  • Grand Priory of Austria
  • Grand Priory of England

The supreme head of the Order is the Prince and Grand Master, who is elected for life by the Council Complete of State, holds the precedence of a cardinal of the Church since 1630 and received the rank of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1607. Fra' Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto was elected 80th Grand Master on 2 May 2018, a year after Fra' Matthew Festing resigned as Grand Master at the insistence of Pope Francis.

Electors in the Council Complete of State include the members of the Sovereign Council, other office-holders and representatives of the members of the Order. The Grand Master is aided by the Sovereign Council (the government of the Order), which is elected by the Chapter General, the legislative body of the Order.

The Chapter General meets every five years; at each meeting, all seats of the Sovereign Council are up for election. The Sovereign Council includes six members and four High Officers: the Grand Commander, the Grand Chancellor, the Grand Hospitaller and the Receiver of the Common Treasure.

The Grand Commander is the chief religious officer of the Order and serves as Lieutenant "ad interim" during a vacancy in the office of Grand Master. The Grand Chancellor, whose office includes those of the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is the head of the executive branch; he is responsible for the Diplomatic Missions of the Order and relations with the national Associations. The Grand Hospitaller's responsibilities include the offices of Minister for Humanitarian Action and Minister for International Cooperation; he coordinates the Order's humanitarian and charitable activities. Finally, the Receiver of the Common Treasure is the Minister of Finance and Budget; he directs the administration of the finances and property of the Order.

Patrons of the order since 1961

Cardinal Raymond Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta since 2014

The patron, who is either a cardinal when appointed by the pope or soon raised to that rank, promotes the spiritual interests of the Order and its members, and its relations with the Holy See.

  1. Paolo Giobbe (8 August 1961 – 3 July 1969)
  2. Giacomo Violardo (3 July 1969 – 17 March 1978)
  3. Paul-Pierre Philippe, O.P. (10 November 1978 – 9 April 1984)
  4. Sebastiano Baggio (26 May 1984 – 21 March 1993)
  5. Pio Laghi (8 May 1993 – 11 January 2009)
  6. Paolo Sardi (6 June 2009 – 8 November 2014)
  7. Raymond Burke (8 November 2014 – present; sidelined since 2017)

Prelate of the order

The pope appoints the prelate of the order to supervise the clergy of the order, choosing from among three candidates proposed by the Grand Master. On 4 July 2015 Pope Francis named as prelate Bishop Jean Laffitte, who had held various offices in the Roman Curia for more than a decade. Laffitte succeeded Archbishop Angelo Acerbi, who had held the office since 2001. Laffitte's appointment followed the traditional meeting between the pope and the Grand Master, and an audience with the Grand Chancellor and others as well, held on 24 June, the feast of St. John the Baptist.

Membership

A Knight of Grace and Devotion in contemporary church robes

Membership in the order is divided into three classes each of which is subdivided into several categories:

  • First Class, containing only one category: Knights of Justice or Professed Knights, and the Professed Conventual Chaplains, who take religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and form what amounts to a religious order. Until the 1990s membership in this class was restricted to members of families with noble lineages.[citation needed] There are also three surviving enclosed monasteries of nuns of the Order, two in Spain that date from the 11/12th centuries and one in Malta, whose members hold the same rank in the Order as chaplains.
  • Second Class: Knight and Dames in Obedience, similarly restricted until recently, these knights and dames make a promise, rather than a vow, of obedience. This class is subdivided into three categories, namely that of Knight and Dames of Honour and Devotion in Obedience, Knight and Dames of Grace and Devotion in Obedience, and Knight and Dames of Magistral Grace in Obedience.
  • Third Class, which is subdivided into six categories: Knights and Dames of Honour and Devotion, Conventual Chaplains ad honorem, Knights and Dames of Grace and Devotion, Magistral Chaplains, Knights and Dames of Magistral Grace, and Donats (male and female) of Devotion. All categories of this class are made up of members who take no vows and who grew to show a decreasingly extensive history of nobility. Knights and Dames of magistral grace need not prove any noble lineage and are the most common class of knights in the United States, where titles of nobility are not granted and the focus is upon "nobility of spirit and conduct."

Within each class and category of knights are ranks ranging from bailiff grand cross (the highest) through knight grand cross, and knight – thus one could be a "knight of grace and devotion," or a "bailiff grand cross of justice." The final rank of donat is offered to some who join the order in the class of "justice" but who are not knights. Bishops and priests are generally honorary members, or knights, of the Order of Malta. However, there are some priests who are full members of the Order, and this is usually because they were conferred knighthood prior to ordination. The priests of the Order of Malta are ranked as Honorary Canons, as in the Order of the Holy Sepulchre; and they are entitled to wear the black mozetta with purple piping and purple fascia.

Prior to the 1990s, all officers of the Order had to be of noble birth (i.e., armigerous for at least a hundred years), as they were all knights of justice or of obedience. However, Knights of Magistral Grace (i.e., those without noble proofs) now may make the Promise of Obedience and, at the discretion of the Grand Master and Sovereign Council, may enter the novitiate to become professed Knights of Justice.[citation needed]

Worldwide, there are over 13,000 knights and dames, of whom approximately 55 are professed religious. Membership in the Order is by invitation only and solicitations are not entertained.

The Order's finances are audited by a Board of Auditors, which includes a President and four Councillors, all elected by the Chapter General. The Order's judicial powers are exercised by a group of Magistral Courts, whose judges are appointed by the Grand Master and Sovereign Council.

Relationship with other mutually-recognised Orders of Saint John

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta has collaborated with other mutually-recognized Orders of Saint John; for example, the SMOM is a major donor of the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, which is primarily operated by the Venerable Order of Saint John.

Foreign relations with the SMOM:
Diplomatic relations
Other official relations
Former diplomatic relations
Coat of arms of the Knights of Malta from the façade of the church of San Giovannino dei Cavalieri, Florence, Italy

Vehicle registration plate of the Order, as seen in Rome, Italy
Flags of Knights Hospitaller in Saint Peter's Castle, Bodrum, Turkey.
Left to right:Fabrizio Carretto (1513–1514);
Amaury d'Amboise (1503–1512);
Pierre d'Aubusson (1476–1503);
Jacques de Milly (1454–1451).

SMOM has formal diplomatic relations with 110 states and has official relations with another five states and with the European Union. Additionally it has relations with the International Committee of the Red Cross and a number of international organizations, including observer status at the UN and some of the specialized agencies. Its international nature is useful in enabling it to pursue its humanitarian activities without being seen as an operative of any particular nation. Its sovereignty is also expressed in the issuance of passports, licence plates, stamps, and coins.

With its unique history and unusual present circumstances, the exact status of the Order in international law has been the subject of debate. It describes itself as a "sovereign subject of international law." Its two headquarters in Rome – the Palazzo Malta in Via dei Condotti 68, where the Grand Master resides and Government Bodies meet, and the Villa del Priorato di Malta on the Aventine, which hosts the Grand Priory of Rome – Fort St. Angelo on the island of Malta, the Embassy of the Order to Holy See, and the Embassy of the Order to Italy have all been granted extraterritoriality by Italy and Malta.

Unlike the Holy See, however, which is sovereign over Vatican City and thus has clear territorial separation of its sovereign area and that of Italy, SMOM has had no territory since the loss of the island of Malta in 1798, other than only those current properties with extraterritoriality listed above. Italy recognizes, in addition to extraterritoriality, the exercise by SMOM of all the prerogatives of sovereignty in its headquarters. Therefore, Italian sovereignty and SMOM sovereignty uniquely coexist without overlapping. The United Nations does not classify it as a "non-member state" or "intergovernmental organization" but as one of the "other entities having received a standing invitation to participate as observers." For instance, while the International Telecommunication Union has granted radio identification prefixes to such quasi-sovereign jurisdictions as the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority, SMOM has never received one. For awards purposes, amateur radio operators consider SMOM to be a separate "entity", but stations transmitting from there use an entirely unofficial callsign, starting with the prefix "1A". The SMOM has neither sought nor been granted a top-level domain or international dialing code.

There are differing opinions as to whether a claim to sovereign status has been recognized. Ian Brownlie, Helmut Steinberger, and Wilhelm Wengler are among experts who say that the claim has not been recognized. Even taking into account the Order's ambassadorial diplomatic status among many nations, a claim to sovereign status is sometimes rejected. The Order maintains diplomatic missions around the world and many of the states reciprocate by accrediting ambassadors to the Order (usually their ambassador to the Holy See).

Wengler – a German professor of international law – addresses this point in his book Völkerrecht (1964), and rejects the notion that recognition of the Order by some states can make it a subject of international law. Conversely, professor Rebecca Wallace – writing more recently in her book International Law (1986) – explains that a sovereign entity does not have to be a country, and that SMOM is an example of this. This position appears to be supported by the number of nations extending diplomatic relations to the Order, which more than doubled from 49 to 100 in the 20-year period to 2008. In 1953, the Holy See decreed that the Order of Malta's quality as a sovereign institution is functional, to ensure the achievement of its purposes in the world, and that as a subject of international law, it enjoys certain powers, but not the entire set of powers of sovereignty "in the full sense of the word." On 24 June 1961, Pope John XXIII approved the Constitutional Charter, which contains the most solemn reaffirmations of the sovereignty of the Order. Article 1 affirms that "the Order is a legal entity formally approved by the Holy See. It has the quality of a subject of international law." Article 3 states that "the intimate connection existing between the two qualities of a religious order and a sovereign order do not oppose the autonomy of the order in the exercise of its sovereignty and prerogatives inherent to it as a subject of international law in relation to States."

Currency and postage stamps

The SMOM coins are appreciated more for their subject matter than for their use as currency; SMOM postage stamps, however, have been gaining acceptance among Universal Postal Union member nations.

The SMOM began issuing euro-denominated postage stamps in 2005, although the scudo remains the official currency of the SMOM. Also in 2005, the Italian post agreed with the SMOM to deliver internationally most classes of mail other than registered, insured, and special-delivery mail; additionally 56 countries recognize SMOM stamps for franking purposes, including those such as Canada and Mongolia that lack diplomatic relations with the Order.

Military Corps of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, ACISMOM, in parade during Festa della Repubblica in Rome (2007)

The Order states that it was the hospitaller role that enabled the Order to survive the end of the crusading era; nonetheless, it retains its military title and traditions.

On 26 March 1876, the Association of the Italian Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (Associazione dei cavalieri italiani del sovrano militare ordine di Malta, ACISMOM) reformed the Order's military to a modern military unit of the era. This unit provided medical support to the Italian Army and on 9 April 1909 the military corps officially became a special auxiliary volunteer corps of the Italian Army under the name Corpo Militare dell'Esercito dell'ACISMOM (Army Military Corps of the ACISMOM), wearing Italian uniforms. Since then the Military Corps have operated with the Italian Army both in wartime and peacetime in medical or paramedical military functions, and in ceremonial functions for the Order, such as standing guard around the coffins of high officers of the Order before and during funeral rites.

I believe that it is a unique case in the world that a unit of the army of one country is supervised by a body of another sovereign country. Just think that whenever our staff (medical officers mainly) is engaged in a military mission abroad, there is the flag of the Order flying below the Italian flag.

Fausto Solaro del Borgo, President of the Italian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, stated in a speech given in London in November 2007.

Air force

Roundel of the air force of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

In 1947, after the post-World War II peace treaty forbade Italy to own or operate bomber aircraft and only operate a limited number of transport aircraft, the Italian Air Force opted to transfer some of its Savoia-Marchetti SM.82 aircraft to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, pending the definition of their exact status (the SM.82 were properly long range transport aircraft that could be adapted for bombing missions). These aircraft were operated by Italian Air Force personnel temporarily flying for the Order, carried the Order's roundels on the fuselage and Italian ones on the wings, and were used mainly for standard Italian Air Force training and transport missions but also for some humanitarian tasks proper of the Order of Malta (like the transport of sick pilgrims to the Lourdes sanctuary). In the early 1950s, when the strictures of the peace treaty had been much relaxed by the Allied authorities, the aircraft returned under full control of the Italian Air Force. One of the aircraft transferred to the Order of Malta, still with the Order's fuselage roundels, is preserved in the Italian Air Force Museum.

Logistics

The Military Corps has become known in mainland Europe for its operation of hospital trains, a service which was carried out intensively during both World Wars. The Military Corps still operates a modern 28-car hospital train with 192 hospital beds, serviced by a medical staff of 38 medics and paramedics provided by the Order and a technical staff provided by the Italian Army's Railway Engineer Regiment.

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Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Sovereign Military Order of Malta Language Watch Edit This article is about the modern Catholic military order For its medieval predecessor see Knights Hospitaller For the period of actual rule in Malta see History of Malta under the Order of Saint John Knight of Malta redirects here For other uses see Knight of Malta disambiguation Not to be confused with Malta The Sovereign Military Order of Malta SMOM officially the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta Italian Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta Latin Supremus Militaris Ordo Hospitalarius Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani Rhodiensis et Melitensis commonly known as the Order of Malta Malta Order or Knights of Malta is a Catholic lay religious order traditionally of a military chivalric and noble nature 4 Though it possesses no territory the order is a sovereign entity of international law and maintains diplomatic relations with many countries 5 Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of MaltaSovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta Italian Supremus Militaris Ordo Hospitalarius Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani Rhodiensis et Melitensis Latin Flag Coat of armsMotto Tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum Latin Defence of the faith and assistance to the poor Anthem Ave Crux Alba Latin Hail thou White CrossCapitalRome Palazzo Malta 41 54 19 N 12 28 50 E 41 90528 N 12 48056 E 41 90528 12 48056 Coordinates 41 54 19 N 12 28 50 E 41 90528 N 12 48056 E 41 90528 12 48056 and Villa del Priorato di Malta 41 53 01 N 12 28 39 E 41 88361 N 12 47750 E 41 88361 12 47750 Official languagesItalian 1 ReligionCatholicismGovernment Lieutenant of the Grand MasterFra Marco Luzzago Grand CommanderRuy Goncalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas Grand ChancellorAlbrecht von Boeselager Grand HospitallerDominique de La Rochefoucauld Montbel Receiver of the Common TreasureJanos Count Esterhazy de GalanthaSovereign subject of international law Establishment of the Knights Hospitallerc 1099 Papal recognition1113 Cyprus1291 1310 Rhodes1310 1523 Malta1530 1798 Sovereignty declared1753 Division1805 12 Seat in Rome1834 presentPopulation Estimate3 citizens 2 13 500 members 80 000 volunteers 42 000 employees note 1 3 CurrencyMaltese scudoaWebsite OrderOfMalta intEuro for postage stamps SMOM claims continuity with the Knights Hospitaller a chivalric order that was founded c 1099 by the Blessed Gerard in the Kingdom of Jerusalem 6 The order is led by an elected Prince and Grand Master 7 Its motto is Tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum defence of the faith and assistance to the poor The order venerates the Virgin Mary as its patroness under the title of Our Lady of Philermos Its modern day role is largely focused on providing humanitarian assistance and assisting with international humanitarian relations for which purpose it has had permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly since 1994 8 Contents 1 Name and insignia 2 History of the Order of Saint John 2 1 Summary 2 2 Founding 2 3 Cyprus 2 4 Rhodes 2 5 Malta Kingdom of Sicily 2 5 1 Protestant Reformation 2 5 2 Colonies in the Caribbean 2 5 3 Great siege of Malta 2 5 4 Battle of Lepanto 2 5 5 French occupation of Malta 2 6 Exile 3 History of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta 3 1 Relations with the Republic of Malta 3 2 2010s 3 3 Crisis and constitutional reform 4 Organisation 4 1 Governance 4 1 1 Patrons of the order since 1961 4 1 2 Prelate of the order 4 2 Membership 4 3 Relationship with other mutually recognised Orders of Saint John 5 International status 5 1 Currency and postage stamps 6 Military Corps 6 1 Air force 6 2 Logistics 7 Orders decorations and medals 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External linksName and insignia Edit Coat of arms of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta The order has a large number of local priories and associations around the world but there also exist a number of organizations with similar sounding names that are unrelated including numerous fraudulent self styled orders seeking to capitalize on the name 9 In the ecclesiastical heraldry of the Catholic Church the Order of Malta is one of only two orders along with the Order of the Holy Sepulchre whose insignia may be displayed in a clerical coat of arms Laypersons have no such restriction The shield is surrounded with a silver rosary for professed knights or for others the ribbon of their rank Some members may also display the Maltese cross behind their shield instead of the ribbon 10 In order to protect its heritage against fraud the order has legally registered 16 versions of its names and emblems in some 100 countries 11 History of the Order of Saint John EditMain article Knights Hospitaller This section needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed June 2021 Learn how and when to remove this template message Summary Edit The headquarters of the Order of Saint John or the Knights Hospitaller was located in Malta from 1530 until 1798 It was technically a vassal of the Kingdom of Sicily holding Malta in exchange for a nominal fee but declared independence in 1753 The Order of Saint John was expelled from Malta under the French occupation in 1798 and from 1805 to 1812 many of its possessions in Protestant Europe were confiscated resulting in the fragmentation of the order into a number of Protestant branches since 1961 united under the umbrella of the Alliance of the Orders of Saint John of Jerusalem The Congress of Vienna of 1815 confirmed the loss of Malta The seat of the order was moved to Ferrara in 1826 and to Rome in 1834 the interior of Palazzo Malta being considered extraterritorial sovereign territory of the order The grand priories of Lombardy Venetia and of Sicily were restored from 1839 to 1841 The office of Grand Master was restored by Pope Leo XIII in 1879 after a vacancy of 75 years confirming Giovanni Battista Ceschi a Santa Croce as the first Grand Master of the restored Order of Malta The Holy See was established as a subject of international law in the Lateran Treaty of 1929 In the following decades the connection between the Holy See and the Order of Malta was seen as so close as to call into question the actual sovereignty of the order as a separate entity This has prompted constitutional changes on the part of the Order which were implemented in 1997 Since then the Order has been widely recognized as a sovereign subject of international law in its own right 12 It maintains diplomatic relations with 110 states 5 enters into treaties and issues its own passports coins and postage stamps Its two headquarters buildings in Rome enjoy extraterritoriality citation needed similar to embassies and it maintains embassies in other countries The ANSA news agency has called it the smallest sovereign state in the world 13 The three principal officers are counted as citizens citation needed Although SMOM has been a United Nations General Assembly observer since 1994 5 14 this was granted in view of its long standing dedication in providing humanitarian assistance and its special role in international humanitarian relations 8 the same category is held by other non state entities such as the International Olympic Committee and International Committee of the Red Cross 15 The Order has 13 500 Knights Dames and auxiliary members A few dozen of these are professed religious Until the 1990s the highest classes of membership including officers required proof of noble lineage More recently a path was created for Knights and Dames of the lowest class of whom proof of aristocratic lineage is not required to be specially elevated to the highest class making them eligible for office in the order The order employs about 42 000 doctors nurses auxiliaries and paramedics assisted by 80 000 volunteers in more than 120 countries note 1 assisting children homeless handicapped elderly and terminally ill people refugees and lepers around the world without distinction of ethnicity or religion note 1 Through its worldwide relief corps Malteser International the order aids victims of natural disasters epidemics and war In several countries including France Germany and Ireland local associations of the order are important providers of medical emergency services and training Its annual budget is on the order of 1 5 billion euros largely funded by European governments the United Nations and the European Union foundations and public donors Founding Edit Blessed Gerard founder of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem Copper engraving by Laurent Cars c 1725 The birth of the Knights Hospitaller 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 that ran the hospital for the pilgrims in the Holy Land became independent under the guidance of its founder the religious brother Gerard With the Papal bull Pie postulatio voluntatis dated 15 February 1113 Pope Paschal II approved the foundation of the Hospital and placed it under the aegis of the Holy See granting it the right to freely elect its superiors without interference from other secular or religious authorities By virtue of the Papal Bull the hospital became an order exempt from the control of the local church All the Knights were religious bound by the three monastic vows of poverty chastity and obedience The constitution of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem during the Crusades obliged the order to take on the military defence of the sick the pilgrims and the captured territories The order thus added the task of defending the faith to that of its hospitaller mission As time went on the order adopted the white eight pointed Cross that is still its symbol today The eight points represent the eight beatitudes that Jesus pronounced in his Sermon on the Mount Cyprus Edit When the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land fell after the Siege of Acre in 1291 the order settled first in Cyprus Rhodes Edit In 1310 led by Grand Master Fra Foulques de Villaret the knights regrouped on the island of Rhodes From there the defense of the Christian world required the organization of a naval force so the Order built a powerful fleet and sailed the eastern Mediterranean fighting battles for the sake of Christendom including Crusades in Syria and Egypt In the early 14th century the institutions of the Order and the knights who came to Rhodes from every corner of Europe were grouped according to the languages they spoke The first seven such groups or Langues Tongues from Provence Auvergne France Italy Aragon Navarre England with Scotland and Ireland and Germany became eight in 1492 when Castile and Portugal were separated from the Langue of Aragon Each Langue included Priories or Grand Priories Bailiwicks and Commanderies The Order was governed by its Grand Master the Prince of Rhodes and its Council From its beginning independence from other nations granted by pontifical charter and the universally recognised right to maintain and deploy armed forces constituted grounds for the international sovereignty of the Order which minted its own coins and maintained diplomatic relations with other states The senior positions of the Order were given to representatives of different Langues In 1523 after six months of siege and fierce combat against the fleet and army of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent the Knights were forced to surrender and left Rhodes with military honours Malta Kingdom of Sicily Edit Bust portrait of a Knight of Malta Main article History of Malta under the Order of Saint John The order remained without a territory of its own until 1530 when Grand Master Fra Philippe de Villiers de l Isle Adam took possession of the island of Malta granted to the order by Emperor Charles V Holy Roman Emperor and his mother Queen Joanna of Castile as monarchs of Sicily with the approval of Pope Clement VII for which the order had to honour the conditions of the Tribute of the Maltese Falcon Protestant Reformation Edit The Reformation which split Western Europe into Protestant and Catholic states affected the knights as well In several countries including England Scotland and Sweden the order was dissolved In others including the Netherlands and Germany entire bailiwicks or commanderies administrative divisions of the order experienced religious conversions these Johanniter orders survive in Germany the Netherlands and Sweden and many other countries including the United States and South Africa It was established that the order should remain neutral in any war between Christian nations citation needed Colonies in the Caribbean Edit Map of the colonies of the order in the Caribbean during the 17th century Main article Hospitaller colonization of the Americas From 1651 to 1665 the Order of Saint John ruled four islands in the Caribbean On 21 May 1651 it acquired the islands of Saint Barthelemy Saint Christopher Saint Croix and Saint Martin These were purchased from the French Compagnie des Iles de l Amerique which had just been dissolved In 1665 the four islands were sold to the French West India Company Great siege of Malta Edit Main article Great Siege of Malta In 1565 the Knights led by Grand Master Fra Jean de Vallette after whom the capital of Malta Valletta was named defended the island for more than three months during the Great Siege by the Ottomans Battle of Lepanto Edit The Battle of Lepanto 1571 unknown artist late 16th century Main article Battle of Lepanto The fleet of the order contributed to the ultimate destruction of the Ottoman naval power in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 led by John of Austria half brother of King Philip II of Spain French occupation of Malta Edit Emperor Paul of Russia wearing the Crown of the Grand Master of the Order of Malta 1799 Main article French occupation of Malta Their Mediterranean stronghold of Malta was captured by the French First Republic under Napoleon in 1798 during his expedition to Egypt following the French Revolution and the subsequent French Revolutionary Wars Napoleon demanded from Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim that his ships be allowed to enter the port and to take on water and supplies The Grand Master replied that only two foreign ships could be allowed to enter the port at a time Bonaparte aware that such a procedure would take a very long time and would leave his forces vulnerable to British Admiral Horatio Nelson immediately ordered a cannon fusillade against Malta 16 The French soldiers disembarked in Malta at seven points on the morning of 11 June and attacked After several hours of fierce fighting the Maltese in the west were forced to surrender 17 Napoleon opened negotiations with the fortress capital of Valletta Faced with vastly superior French forces and the loss of western Malta the Grand Master negotiated a surrender to the invasion 18 Hompesch left Malta for Trieste on 18 June 19 He resigned as Grand Master on 6 July 1799 The knights were dispersed though the order continued to exist in a diminished form and negotiated with European governments for a return to power as part of the agreement between France and Holy Roman Empire during the German mediatisation The Russian Emperor Paul I gave the largest number of knights shelter in Saint Petersburg an action which gave rise to the Russian tradition of the Knights Hospitaller and the Order s recognition among the Russian Imperial Orders 20 The refugee knights in Saint Petersburg proceeded to elect Tsar Paul as their Grand Master a rival to Grand Master von Hompesch until the latter s abdication left Paul as the sole Grand Master Grand Master Paul I created in addition to the Roman Catholic Grand Priory a Russian Grand Priory of no fewer than 118 Commanderies dwarfing the rest of the Order and open to all Christians Paul s election as Grand Master was however never ratified under Roman Catholic canon law and he was the de facto rather than de jure Grand Master of the Order By the early 19th century the order had been severely weakened by the loss of its priories throughout Europe Only 10 of the order s income came from traditional sources in Europe with the remaining 90 being generated by the Russian Grand Priory until 1810 This was partly reflected in the government of the Order being under Lieutenants rather than Grand Masters in the period 1805 to 1879 when Pope Leo XIII restored a Grand Master to the order This signaled the renewal of the order s fortunes as a humanitarian and religious organization On 19 September 1806 the Swedish government offered the sovereignty of the island of Gotland to the Order The offer was rejected since it would have meant the Order renouncing their claim to Malta 21 Exile Edit The French forces occupying Malta expelled the Knights Hospitaller from their country 22 During the seventeen years that separated the seizure of Malta and the General Peace the formality of electing a brother Chief to discharge the office of Grand Master and thus to preserve the vitality of the Sovereign Institute was duty attended to 23 24 The office of Lieutenant of the Magistery and ad interim of Grand Master was held by the Grand Baillies Field Marshal Counto Soltikoff Giovanni Tommasi De Gaevera Giovanni y Centelles De Candida and the Count Colloredo 24 Their mandates complexively covered the period until the death of the Emperor Paul in 1801 24 The Treaty of Amiens 1802 obliged the United Kingdom to evacuate Malta which was to be restored to a recreated Order of St John whose sovereignty was to be guaranteed by all of the major European powers to be determined at the final peace However this was not to be because objections to the treaty quickly grew in the UK Bonaparte s rejection of a British offer involving a ten year lease of Malta prompted the reactivation of the British blockade of the French coast Britain declared war on France on 18 May 25 The 1802 treaty was never implemented The UK gave its official reasons for resuming hostilities as France s imperialist policies in the West Indies Italy and Switzerland 26 History of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Edit Palazzo Malta Rome Italy After having temporarily resided in Messina Catania and Ferrara in 1834 the precursor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta settled definitively in Rome where it owns with extraterritorial status the Magistral Palace in Via Condotti 68 and the Magistral Villa on the Aventine Hill The original hospitaller mission became the main activity of the order growing ever stronger during the 20th century most especially because of the contribution of the activities carried out by the Grand Priories and National Associations in many countries around the world Large scale hospitaller and charitable activities were carried out during World Wars I and II under Grand Master Fra Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere 1931 1951 Under the Grand Masters Fra Angelo de Mojana di Cologna 1962 88 and Fra Andrew Bertie 1988 2008 the projects expanded Relations with the Republic of Malta Edit Flags of Malta and the SMOM on Fort St Angelo Two bilateral treaties were concluded with the Republic of Malta The first treaty is dated 21 June 1991 and is now no longer in force 27 The second treaty was signed on 5 December 1998 and ratified on 1 November 2001 28 This agreement grants the Order the use with limited extraterritoriality of the upper portion of Fort St Angelo in the city of Birgu Its stated purpose is to give the Order the opportunity to be better enabled to carry out its humanitarian activities as Knights Hospitallers from Saint Angelo as well as to better define the legal status of Saint Angelo subject to the sovereignty of Malta over it 29 The agreement has a duration of 99 years but the document allows the Maltese Government to terminate it at any time after 50 years 30 Under the terms of the agreement the flag of Malta is to be flown together with the flag of the Order in a prominent position over Saint Angelo No asylum may be granted by the Order and generally the Maltese courts have full jurisdiction and Maltese law shall apply The second bilateral treaty mentions a number of immunities and privileges none of which appeared in the earlier treaty 27 28 2010s Edit In February 2013 the order celebrated the 900th anniversary of its papal recognition with a general audience with Pope Benedict XVI and a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in Saint Peter s Basilica 31 Crisis and constitutional reform Edit The Order experienced a leadership crisis beginning in December 2016 when Albrecht von Boeselager protested his removal as Grand Chancellor by Grand Master Matthew Festing In January 2017 Pope Francis ordered von Boeselager reinstated and required Festing s resignation 32 33 34 35 36 Francis also named Archbishop Giovanni Becciu 37 as his personal representative to the Order sidelining the Order s Cardinal Patron Raymond Burke until the election of a new Grand Master 38 39 40 The pope effectively taking control over the Order was seen by some as a break with tradition and the Order s independence 41 In May 2017 the Order named Mauro Bertero Gutierrez a Bolivian member of the Government Council to lead its constitutional reform process 42 43 44 And in May 2018 when a new Grand Master was elected Francis extended Becciu s mandate indefinitely 45 46 In June 2017 in a departure from tradition the leadership of the Order wore informal attire rather than formal wear full dress uniforms to their annual papal audience 47 When the Order s General Chapter met in May 2019 as it does every five years the participants included women for the first time three of the 62 participants 48 On 1 November 2020 Pope Francis named Silvano Tomasi to replace Becciu as his Special Delegate to the Order reiterating the responsibilities of that office as his sole representative 49 Organisation Edit Fra Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto 80th Prince and Grand Master Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta Coat of arms of the orderAwarded by Prince and Grand Master Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di SanguinettoTypeSovereign order of chivalryEstablished1099Country Sovereign Military Order of MaltaReligious affiliationCatholic ChurchRibbon BlackMottoTuitio fidei et obsequium pauperumPrince and Grand MasterGiacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di SanguinettoClassesThreeStatisticsTotal inducteesc 13 500 Ribbon barGovernance Edit Further information List of Princes and Grand Masters of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta The proceedings of the Order are governed by its Constitutional Charter and the Order s Code It is divided internationally into six territorial Grand Priories six Sub Priories and 47 national associations The six Grand Priories are Grand Priory of Rome Grand Priory of Lombardy and Venice Grand Priory of Naples and Sicily Grand Priory of Bohemia Grand Priory of Austria Grand Priory of England 50 The supreme head of the Order is the Prince and Grand Master who is elected for life by the Council Complete of State holds the precedence of a cardinal of the Church since 1630 and received the rank of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1607 51 52 Fra Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto was elected 80th Grand Master on 2 May 2018 a year after Fra Matthew Festing resigned as Grand Master at the insistence of Pope Francis 53 Electors in the Council Complete of State include the members of the Sovereign Council other office holders and representatives of the members of the Order The Grand Master is aided by the Sovereign Council the government of the Order which is elected by the Chapter General the legislative body of the Order The Chapter General meets every five years at each meeting all seats of the Sovereign Council are up for election The Sovereign Council includes six members and four High Officers the Grand Commander the Grand Chancellor the Grand Hospitaller 54 and the Receiver of the Common Treasure 55 The Grand Commander is the chief religious officer of the Order and serves as Lieutenant ad interim during a vacancy in the office of Grand Master The Grand Chancellor whose office includes those of the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the head of the executive branch he is responsible for the Diplomatic Missions of the Order and relations with the national Associations The Grand Hospitaller s responsibilities include the offices of Minister for Humanitarian Action and Minister for International Cooperation he coordinates the Order s humanitarian and charitable activities Finally the Receiver of the Common Treasure is the Minister of Finance and Budget he directs the administration of the finances and property of the Order Patrons of the order since 1961 Edit Cardinal Raymond Burke Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta since 2014 The patron who is either a cardinal when appointed by the pope or soon raised to that rank 56 promotes the spiritual interests of the Order and its members and its relations with the Holy See Paolo Giobbe 8 August 1961 3 July 1969 57 Giacomo Violardo 3 July 1969 17 March 1978 58 Paul Pierre Philippe O P 10 November 1978 9 April 1984 59 Sebastiano Baggio 26 May 1984 21 March 1993 60 Pio Laghi 8 May 1993 11 January 2009 61 Paolo Sardi 6 June 2009 8 November 2014 62 Raymond Burke 8 November 2014 present sidelined since 2017 63 Prelate of the order Edit The pope appoints the prelate of the order to supervise the clergy of the order choosing from among three candidates proposed by the Grand Master On 4 July 2015 Pope Francis named as prelate Bishop Jean Laffitte who had held various offices in the Roman Curia for more than a decade Laffitte succeeded Archbishop Angelo Acerbi who had held the office since 2001 Laffitte s appointment followed the traditional meeting between the pope and the Grand Master and an audience with the Grand Chancellor and others as well held on 24 June the feast of St John the Baptist 64 Membership Edit A Knight of Grace and Devotion in contemporary church robes Membership in the order is divided into three classes each of which is subdivided into several categories 65 First Class containing only one category Knights of Justice or Professed Knights and the Professed Conventual Chaplains who take religious vows of poverty chastity and obedience and form what amounts to a religious order Until the 1990s membership in this class was restricted to members of families with noble lineages citation needed There are also three surviving enclosed monasteries of nuns of the Order two in Spain that date from the 11 12th centuries and one in Malta whose members hold the same rank in the Order as chaplains 66 Second Class Knight and Dames in Obedience similarly restricted until recently these knights and dames make a promise rather than a vow of obedience This class is subdivided into three categories namely that of Knight and Dames of Honour and Devotion in Obedience Knight and Dames of Grace and Devotion in Obedience and Knight and Dames of Magistral Grace in Obedience Third Class which is subdivided into six categories Knights and Dames of Honour and Devotion Conventual Chaplains ad honorem Knights and Dames of Grace and Devotion Magistral Chaplains Knights and Dames of Magistral Grace and Donats male and female of Devotion All categories of this class are made up of members who take no vows and who grew to show a decreasingly extensive history of nobility Knights and Dames of magistral grace need not prove any noble lineage and are the most common class of knights in the United States where titles of nobility are not granted and the focus is upon nobility of spirit and conduct 67 Within each class and category of knights are ranks ranging from bailiff grand cross the highest through knight grand cross and knight thus one could be a knight of grace and devotion or a bailiff grand cross of justice The final rank of donat is offered to some who join the order in the class of justice but who are not knights Bishops and priests are generally honorary members or knights of the Order of Malta However there are some priests who are full members of the Order and this is usually because they were conferred knighthood prior to ordination The priests of the Order of Malta are ranked as Honorary Canons as in the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and they are entitled to wear the black mozetta with purple piping and purple fascia Prior to the 1990s all officers of the Order had to be of noble birth i e armigerous for at least a hundred years as they were all knights of justice or of obedience However Knights of Magistral Grace i e those without noble proofs now may make the Promise of Obedience and at the discretion of the Grand Master and Sovereign Council may enter the novitiate to become professed Knights of Justice citation needed Worldwide there are over 13 000 knights and dames of whom approximately 55 are professed religious 68 Membership in the Order is by invitation only and solicitations are not entertained The Order s finances are audited by a Board of Auditors which includes a President and four Councillors all elected by the Chapter General The Order s judicial powers are exercised by a group of Magistral Courts whose judges are appointed by the Grand Master and Sovereign Council Relationship with other mutually recognised Orders of Saint John Edit The Sovereign Military Order of Malta has collaborated with other mutually recognized Orders of Saint John for example the SMOM is a major donor of the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem which is primarily operated by the Venerable Order of Saint John 69 International status Edit Foreign relations with the SMOM Diplomatic relations Other official relations Former diplomatic relations Coat of arms of the Knights of Malta from the facade of the church of San Giovannino dei Cavalieri Florence Italy Vehicle registration plate of the Order as seen in Rome Italy Flags of Knights Hospitaller in Saint Peter s Castle Bodrum Turkey Left to right Fabrizio Carretto 1513 1514 Amaury d Amboise 1503 1512 Pierre d Aubusson 1476 1503 Jacques de Milly 1454 1451 Main article Foreign relations of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Further information List of Permanent Observers of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to the United Nations and List of diplomatic missions of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta SMOM has formal diplomatic relations with 110 states and has official relations with another five states and with the European Union 5 Additionally it has relations with the International Committee of the Red Cross and a number of international organizations including observer status at the UN and some of the specialized agencies 70 Its international nature is useful in enabling it to pursue its humanitarian activities without being seen as an operative of any particular nation Its sovereignty is also expressed in the issuance of passports licence plates 71 stamps 72 and coins 73 With its unique history and unusual present circumstances the exact status of the Order in international law has been the subject of debate It describes itself as a sovereign subject of international law Its two headquarters in Rome the Palazzo Malta in Via dei Condotti 68 where the Grand Master resides and Government Bodies meet and the Villa del Priorato di Malta on the Aventine which hosts the Grand Priory of Rome Fort St Angelo on the island of Malta the Embassy of the Order to Holy See and the Embassy of the Order to Italy have all been granted extraterritoriality by Italy and Malta 74 Unlike the Holy See however which is sovereign over Vatican City and thus has clear territorial separation of its sovereign area and that of Italy SMOM has had no territory since the loss of the island of Malta in 1798 other than only those current properties with extraterritoriality listed above Italy recognizes in addition to extraterritoriality the exercise by SMOM of all the prerogatives of sovereignty in its headquarters Therefore Italian sovereignty and SMOM sovereignty uniquely coexist without overlapping 75 The United Nations does not classify it as a non member state or intergovernmental organization but as one of the other entities having received a standing invitation to participate as observers 76 For instance while the International Telecommunication Union has granted radio identification prefixes to such quasi sovereign jurisdictions as the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority SMOM has never received one For awards purposes amateur radio operators consider SMOM to be a separate entity but stations transmitting from there use an entirely unofficial callsign starting with the prefix 1A 77 The SMOM has neither sought nor been granted a top level domain or international dialing code There are differing opinions as to whether a claim to sovereign status has been recognized Ian Brownlie Helmut Steinberger and Wilhelm Wengler are among experts who say that the claim has not been recognized Even taking into account the Order s ambassadorial diplomatic status among many nations a claim to sovereign status is sometimes rejected 78 The Order maintains diplomatic missions around the world and many of the states reciprocate by accrediting ambassadors to the Order usually their ambassador to the Holy See Wengler a German professor of international law addresses this point in his book Volkerrecht 1964 and rejects the notion that recognition of the Order by some states can make it a subject of international law Conversely professor Rebecca Wallace writing more recently in her book International Law 1986 explains that a sovereign entity does not have to be a country and that SMOM is an example of this 79 This position appears to be supported by the number of nations extending diplomatic relations to the Order which more than doubled from 49 to 100 in the 20 year period to 2008 80 In 1953 the Holy See decreed that the Order of Malta s quality as a sovereign institution is functional to ensure the achievement of its purposes in the world and that as a subject of international law it enjoys certain powers but not the entire set of powers of sovereignty in the full sense of the word 81 On 24 June 1961 Pope John XXIII approved the Constitutional Charter which contains the most solemn reaffirmations of the sovereignty of the Order Article 1 affirms that the Order is a legal entity formally approved by the Holy See It has the quality of a subject of international law Article 3 states that the intimate connection existing between the two qualities of a religious order and a sovereign order do not oppose the autonomy of the order in the exercise of its sovereignty and prerogatives inherent to it as a subject of international law in relation to States 75 Currency and postage stamps Edit See also Postage stamps and postal history of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta The SMOM coins are appreciated more for their subject matter than for their use as currency SMOM postage stamps however have been gaining acceptance among Universal Postal Union member nations The SMOM began issuing euro denominated postage stamps in 2005 although the scudo remains the official currency of the SMOM Also in 2005 the Italian post agreed with the SMOM to deliver internationally most classes of mail other than registered insured and special delivery mail additionally 56 countries recognize SMOM stamps for franking purposes including those such as Canada and Mongolia that lack diplomatic relations with the Order 82 Military Corps Edit Logotype of the Military Corps of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Military Corps of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta ACISMOM in parade during Festa della Repubblica in Rome 2007 The Order states that it was the hospitaller role that enabled the Order to survive the end of the crusading era nonetheless it retains its military title and traditions On 26 March 1876 the Association of the Italian Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Associazione dei cavalieri italiani del sovrano militare ordine di Malta ACISMOM reformed the Order s military to a modern military unit of the era This unit provided medical support to the Italian Army and on 9 April 1909 the military corps officially became a special auxiliary volunteer corps of the Italian Army under the name Corpo Militare dell Esercito dell ACISMOM Army Military Corps of the ACISMOM wearing Italian uniforms 83 Since then the Military Corps have operated with the Italian Army both in wartime and peacetime in medical or paramedical military functions and in ceremonial functions for the Order such as standing guard around the coffins of high officers of the Order before and during funeral rites 84 I believe that it is a unique case in the world that a unit of the army of one country is supervised by a body of another sovereign country Just think that whenever our staff medical officers mainly is engaged in a military mission abroad there is the flag of the Order flying below the Italian flag Fausto Solaro del Borgo President of the Italian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta stated in a speech given in London in November 2007 83 Air force Edit Roundel of the air force of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta SMOM Savoia Marchetti SM 82 at the Italian Air Force Museum In 1947 after the post World War II peace treaty forbade Italy to own or operate bomber aircraft and only operate a limited number of transport aircraft the Italian Air Force opted to transfer some of its Savoia Marchetti SM 82 aircraft to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta pending the definition of their exact status the SM 82 were properly long range transport aircraft that could be adapted for bombing missions These aircraft were operated by Italian Air Force personnel temporarily flying for the Order carried the Order s roundels on the fuselage and Italian ones on the wings and were used mainly for standard Italian Air Force training and transport missions but also for some humanitarian tasks proper of the Order of Malta like the transport of sick pilgrims to the Lourdes sanctuary In the early 1950s when the strictures of the peace treaty had been much relaxed by the Allied authorities the aircraft returned under full control of the Italian Air Force One of the aircraft transferred to the Order of Malta still with the Order s fuselage roundels is preserved in the Italian Air Force Museum 85 Logistics Edit The Military Corps has become known in mainland Europe for its operation of hospital trains 86 a service which was carried out intensively during both World Wars The Military Corps still operates a modern 28 car hospital train with 192 hospital beds serviced by a medical staff of 38 medics and paramedics provided by the Order and a technical staff provided by the Italian Army s Railway Engineer Regiment 87 Orders decorations and medals EditMain article Orders decorations and medals of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Order pro Merito MelitensiSee also EditKnights Hospitaller Territorial possessions of the Knights Hospitaller Order of Malta Ambulance Corps Ireland Notes Edit a b c The order s website says its programmes include medical and social assistance disaster relief in the case of armed conflicts and natural catastrophes emergency services and first aid corps help for the elderly the handicapped and children in need and the provision of first aid training and support for refugees and internally displaced persons regardless of race origin or religion References Edit Article 7 of the Constitutional Charter and Code Archived 18 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine Sack John 1959 Report from Practically Nowhere Harper p 140 as part of the bargain only three men the grand master the lieutenant grand master and the chancellor could be citizens there The other S M O M ians were to be citizens of the country they lived in Italy Knights of Malta rejects alleged link to military action Adnkronos Religion Adnkronos com 7 April 2003 Archived from the original on 12 April 2010 Retrieved 17 March 2010 Sovereign Order of Malta Orderofmalta int Archived from the original on 20 July 2008 Retrieved 12 April 2016 a b c d Sovereign Order of Malta Orderofmalta int Archived from the original on 9 March 2018 Retrieved 23 April 2018 Sainty Guy Stair ed World Orders of Knighthood and Merit Burke s August 2006 Keating Joshua E 19 January 2011 Who Are the Knights of Malta and What Do They Want Foreign Policy Archived from the original on 30 August 2018 Retrieved 29 August 2018 a b United Nations General Assembly Session 48 Resolution 265 Observer status for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in the General Assembly Archived 2017 02 26 at the Wayback Machine accessed 24 February 2017 Pseudo Orden und ihr Auftreten in Osterreich 1996 2008 Malteserorden at Archived from the original on 14 March 2013 Retrieved 13 November 2014 Noonan 1996 Names of the Order Sovereign Order of Malta Archived from the original on 28 January 2017 Retrieved 25 January 2017 On account of some arguments presented in the 1950s to the effect that the ties with the Holy See in a constitutional and international law context were so close and frequent that the true sovereignty of the Order could be called in question constitutional changes were made by the Order These were established in 1997 While the previous constitution laid down that the Order of Malta was a legal entity solemnly recognised by the Holy See this formulation has now been removed from the Order s constitution The previous constitution prescribed that after being elected the head of state of the Order of Malta that is to say the Grand Master must be approved by the Pope the new wording in the constitution only prescribes that after election the Grand Master shall inform the Pope of his election The requirement of approval has gone and is replaced by a simple communication on the part of the Grand Master Changes have been implemented throughout to show that the Order is independent of the Holy See from the constitutional and international law perspective Bo J Theutenberg The Holy See the Order of Malta and International Law Archived 21 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine 2003 ISBN 91 974235 6 4 Pope Francis to receive Knights of Malta grand master Thursday Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata 21 June 2016 Retrieved 16 October 2019 Malta Permanent Mission to the United Nations Un int Archived from the original on 22 April 2016 Retrieved 12 April 2016 Intergovernmental and Other Organizations Cole Juan 2007 Napoleon s Egypt Invading the Middle East Palgrave Macmillan pp 8 9 Cole Juan 2007 Napoleon s Egypt Invading the Middle East Palgrave Macmillan p 9 Cole Juan 2007 Napoleon s Egypt Invading the Middle East Palgrave Macmillan p 10 Whitworth Porter A History of the Knights of Malta London Longman Brown Green 1858 p 457 Focus on Malta History Focusmm com Archived from the original on 4 March 2012 Retrieved 12 October 2008 Stair Sainty Guy 2000 From the loss of Malta to the modern era ChivalricOrders org Archived from the original on 6 March 2012 Pieces diverses relatives aux operations militaires et pol du gen Bonaparte in French Paris De l imprimerie de P Didot l aine 1800 p 32 Archived from the original on 10 November 2014 Retrieved 2 November 2017 Sir Richard Broun K T Bart G C J J 1857 Synoptical Sketch of the Illustrious amp Sovereign Order of Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem and of the Venerable Langue of England london p 21 Archived from the original on 11 September 2020 a b c The order of St John of Jerusalem Notes and Queries s3 III Oxford University Press 4 April 1863 pp 270 273 doi 10 1093 nq s3 III 66 270d Archived from the original on 11 September 2020 The paper cited the Synoptical Sketch as the best source available for the subject matter The text was identically repeated in The Freemasons Monthly Magazine 18 April 1863 p 3 Pocock Tom 2005 The Terror Before Trafalgar Nelson Napoleon And The Secret War Annapolis MD Naval Institute Press ISBN 978 1 59114 681 0 OCLC 56419314 p 78 Illustrated History of Europe A Unique Guide to Europe s Common Heritage 1992 p 282 a b Archived copy Archived from the original on 19 November 2014 Retrieved 13 November 2014 CS1 maint archived copy as title link a b Archived copy Archived from the original on 19 November 2014 Retrieved 13 November 2014 CS1 maint archived copy as title link Agreement Between The Government of Malta and The Government of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta p 1093 Retrieved 20 June 2018 After Two Centuries the Order of Malta Flag Flies over Fort St Angelo beside the Maltese Flag Order of Malta 13 March 2001 Archived from the original on 16 September 2016 Retrieved 13 November 2014 Knights of Malta Catholic order celebrates 900 years BBC News 9 February 2013 Archived from the original on 9 February 2013 Retrieved 10 February 2013 Tornielli Andrea 26 January 2017 The Order of Malta s crisis La Stampa Archived from the original on 26 January 2017 Retrieved 26 January 2017 Vatican condom row pope prevails as Knights of Malta chief resigns The Guardian Reuters in Vatican City 24 January 2017 Archived from the original on 25 January 2017 Retrieved 24 January 2017 Pullella Philip 29 January 2017 The Knights of Malta Vatican feud a tale of chivalry and sovereignty Reuters Archived from the original on 29 January 2017 Retrieved 28 January 2017 Pope intervenes in Knights of Malta after head resigns under pressure Reuters 24 January 2017 Archived from the original on 25 January 2017 Retrieved 24 January 2017 Pentin Edward 26 January 2017 Pope Francis Declares All of Festing s Recent Acts Null and Void National Catholic Register Archived from the original on 27 January 2017 Retrieved 26 January 2017 Allen J John L 13 May 2011 A triptych on Benedict s papacy and hints of what lies beyond National Catholic Reporter Archived from the original on 12 June 2017 Retrieved 8 February 2017 Becciu was Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State a position akin to that of a papal chief of staff Lettera Pontificia al Sostituto per gli Affari Generali della Segreteria di Stato per la nomina a Delegato Speciale presso il Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta in Italian Holy See Press Office 2 February 2017 Archived from the original on 17 January 2018 Retrieved 16 May 2018 Lamb Christopher 30 January 2017 Cardinal Burke in Office but out of Power as Job Handed to Papal Delegate The Tablet Archived from the original on 30 January 2017 Retrieved 30 January 2017 O Connell Gerard 3 February 2017 Dust up with Order of Malta ends not with a bang but a reinstatement America Magazine New York Archived from the original on 18 April 2017 Retrieved 17 April 2017 Francis made clear that the delegate would not have any role in the order s governance out of respect for the order s sovereignty Why the pope has taken control of the Knights of Malta The Economist 7 February 2017 Retrieved 8 May 2020 Arocho Esteves Junno 3 August 2017 Ancient order modern times Order of Malta focuses on renewal National Catholic Reporter Catholic News Service Archived from the original on 21 August 2017 Retrieved 21 August 2017 The Constitutional Reform of the Sovereign Order of Malta Order of Malta 28 June 2017 Archived from the original on 22 August 2017 Retrieved 21 August 2017 Working to update the Constitution of the Sovereign Order of Malta Order of Malta 17 November 2017 Archived from the original on 12 June 2018 Retrieved 7 June 2018 Letter of the Holy Father to the Special Delegate at the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta S M O M 04 05 2018 Press release Holy See Press Office 4 May 2018 Archived from the original on 5 May 2018 Retrieved 4 May 2018 up to the conclusion of the reform process and in any case until I consider it useful for the Order itself Brockhaus Hannah 4 May 2018 Pope Francis extends mandate of special delegate to Knights of Malta Catholic News Agency Archived from the original on 4 May 2018 Retrieved 4 May 2018 McElwee Joshua J 23 June 2017 New Knights of Malta leader genuflects before Francis in Vatican meeting National Catholic Reporter Archived from the original on 21 August 2017 Retrieved 21 August 2017 The Chapter General of the Sovereign Order of Malta has been held in Rome Order of Malta Retrieved 20 May 2019 Lettera Pontificia al Cardinale eletto Silvano Maria Tomasi per la nomina a Delegato Speciale presso il Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta 01 11 2020 Press release in Italian Holy See Press Office 1 November 2020 Retrieved 1 November 2020 National Institutions www orderofmalta int Order of Malta Archived from the original on 15 September 2016 Retrieved 2 September 2016 Sire H J A 1994 The Knights of Malta Yale University Press p 221 Noonan Jr James Charles 1996 The Church Visible The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church Viking p 135 ISBN 0 670 86745 4 Lamb Christopher 2 May 2018 Knights of Malta elect Fra Giacomo Dalla Torre as Grand Master The Tablet Archived from the original on 2 May 2018 Retrieved 3 May 2018 Grand Hospitaller Orderofmalta int Archived from the original on 23 June 2017 Retrieved 13 November 2017 Receiver of the Common Treasure Orderofmalta int Archived from the original on 23 June 2017 Retrieved 13 November 2017 The Order of Malta s patron Paolo Sardi has been created cardinal Sovereign Military Order of Malta 25 November 2010 Archived from the original on 6 February 2017 Retrieved 6 February 2017 Lentz III 2015 p 80 Lentz III 2015 p 198 Lentz III 2015 p 143 Lentz III 2015 p 17 Lentz III 2015 p 102 Cardinal Paolo Sardi former patron of Order of Malta dies at 84 La Croix 15 July 2019 Retrieved 15 July 2019 Rocco Francis X 10 November 2014 Pope removes Cardinal Burke from Vatican post National Catholic Reporter Catholic News Service Archived from the original on 6 February 2017 Retrieved 6 February 2017 Mgr Jean Laffitte prelat de l Ordre souverain militaire de Malte Zenit in French 4 July 2015 Archived from the original on 11 September 2016 Retrieved 4 September 2016 Knights of Malta Archived from the original on 3 January 2017 Retrieved 2 January 2017 The Nuns of the Order of Malta Archived from the original on 23 June 2017 Retrieved 22 November 2017 Knights of Malta Retrieved 7 July 2021 Sire H J A 2016 The Knights of Malta A Modern Resurrection London Third Millennium p 278 Jerusalem Scene The Newsletter of St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group Spring 2017 Funding Today PDF Saint John Eye Hospital Group 2017 Archived PDF from the original on 2 September 2018 Retrieved 1 September 2018 Sovereign Order of Malta Official site Orderofmalta int Archived from the original on 9 October 2011 Retrieved 21 August 2011 SMOM Plates Targheitaliane it 24 August 1994 Archived from the original on 19 July 2011 Retrieved 17 March 2010 Sovereign Order of Malta Official site Orderofmalta int Archived from the original on 23 February 2018 Retrieved 17 January 2018 The Coins of the Sovereign Order of Malta Orderofmalta int Archived from the original on 28 October 2017 Retrieved 17 January 2018 Paul Chevalier pseudonym of a French knight of the SMOM An Essay on the Order of St John S M O M Archived from the original on 2 July 2003 Retrieved 8 October 2012 Minuscule as it is the Order does also possess sovereign territory This consists of the land in Rome on which stands the Grand Magistracy in the Via Condotti and the Villa Malta a b Arocha Magaly May 1999 La Orden de Malta y su Naturaleza Juridica The Order of Malta and Its Legal Nature Caracas Distrito Capital Venezuela Analitica com Archived from the original on 1 August 2015 Retrieved 1 October 2012 UN Permanent Observers Un org Archived from the original on 4 April 2016 Retrieved 13 November 2014 ARRLWeb DXCC Entities List Current 1A0 9Z Arrl org 6 May 2008 Archived from the original on 11 October 2007 Retrieved 17 March 2010 The French Republic does not recognise the SMOM as a subject of international law see a statement by the spokesman of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Feb 7 1997 Heralda org Archived from the original on 26 October 2014 Retrieved 13 November 2014 Wallace Rebecca 1986 International law a student introduction 2nd ed Sweet amp Maxwell Ltd ISBN 0 421 33500 9 Mass commemorates knights leader BBC News 8 March 2008 Retrieved 2 May 2009 Tribunal e Cardinalizi O Costituto Con Pontificio Chirografo Del 10 Diciembre 1951 judgment dated 24 January 1953 PDF Acta Apostolicae Sedis in Italian The Holy See XLV 15 765 767 30 November 1953 Archived PDF from the original on 14 February 2015 Retrieved 13 February 2015 Associate Countries Archived from the original on 22 February 2018 Retrieved 22 January 2018 a b Solaro del Borgo Fausto 17 November 2007 Address to British Association SMOM by Fausto Solaro del Borgo President of the Italian Association London 17 November PDF Sovereign Military Order of Malta Archived from the original PDF on 27 June 2008 Retrieved 10 February 2013 This photograph shows four members of the Corps standing guard at the coffin of a deceased Grand Master of the Order Orderofmalta int Archived from the original on 6 November 2018 Retrieved 12 April 2016 Military Aircraft Insignia of the World by John Cochrane and Stuart Elliott published 1998 by Airlife Publishing Limited of Shrewsbury England illustrated ISBN 1 85310 873 1 Hospital train Archived from the original on 24 March 2012 Retrieved 24 May 2020 Ordine di Malta Treno Ospedale Attrezzato Per L Emergenza Orderofmalta int Archived from the original on 6 May 2012 Retrieved 13 November 2014 Further reading EditBurlamacchi Maurizio 2013 Nobility Honour and Glory A Brief Military History of the Order of Malta Olschki ISBN 978 88 222 6247 9 Cohen R 15 April 2004 1920 Knights of Malta 1523 1798 Julie Barkley Bill Hershey and PG Distributed Proofreaders Project Gutenberg Retrieved 29 May 2006 Colonna Marcantonio The Dictator Pope The Inside Story of the Francis Papacy Washington DC Regnery Publishing 2017 2018 von Guttner Sporzynski Darius 15 January 2013 2013 Evolution and Adaptation The Order of Saint John in War and Peace Ordines Militares Colloquia Torunensia Historica Retrieved 9 September 2014 Lentz III Harris M 11 July 2015 Popes and Cardinals of the 20th Century A Biographical Dictionary McFarland Publishing p 256 ISBN 9781476621555 Patrick Levaye Geopolitique du Catholicisme Editions Ellipses 2007 ISBN 2 7298 3523 7 Noonan Jr James Charles 1996 The Church Visible The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church Viking p 196 ISBN 0 670 86745 4 Read Piers Paul 1999 The Templars Imago p 118 ISBN 85 312 0735 5 Riley Smith Jonathan The Atlas of the Crusades Facts on File Oxford 1991 Santolaria de Puey y Cruells Jose Apeles 1997 Escuela Diplomatica Espanola ed Relaciones juridicas internacionales de la Soberana Orden de San Juan de Malta Google Docs Tyerman Christopher 2006 God s War A New History of the Crusades Allen Lane p 253 ISBN 0 7139 9220 4 Wallace R M M 1992 International Law Sweet and Maxwell p 76 External links EditSovereign Military Order of Maltaat Wikipedia s sister projects Media from Wikimedia Commons Texts from Wikisource Data from Wikidata Official website in English French German Italian and Spanish Constitution of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Permanent Observer Mission of the Order of Malta to the United Nations IAEA and CTBTO in Vienna Permanent Observer Mission of the Order of Malta to the United Nations in New York List of Italian knights of the Order of Malta from 1136 to 1713 Elenco dei cavaleri del S M Ordine di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme by Francesco Bonazzi Napoli 1897 List of Italian knights of the Order of Malta from 1714 to 1907 Elenco dei cavaleri del S M Ordine di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme by Francesco Bonazzi Napoli 1907 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Sovereign Military Order of Malta amp oldid 1049567361, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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