Origins of the Order of Malta: The Hospital of St John in Jerusalem
Serving the needy with generosity in over 100 countries on 6 continents.
“To reduce the misery of the world” - Blessed Fra’ Gerard
“To reduce the misery of the world”
- Blessed Fra’ Gerard
As members of a religious Order, we live out the Gospels through our service in communion with the Holy See. We are an active and dynamic worldwide charity led by prayer and supported by tens of thousands of donors and volunteers.
The members of the Order of Malta strive to aid the neediest and most desperate because in them they see the face of Jesus. Through face-to-face service, they preach the gospel of Jesus Christ by actions, not words.
The Order of St. John of Jerusalem was recognized by Pope Paschal II and placed under the protection of the Holy See in 1113. The original papal declaration still exists and is on display at the National Library in Valletta, Malta.
As a religious Order, it is loyal to the Holy See but is also a sovereign subject of international law due to over 500 years of political independence. The Grand Master is simultaneously the head of a sovereign State, the head of a religious Order, and a prince of the Roman Catholic Church. He is assisted by ten knights elected for limited terms on the Sovereign Council.
The Grand Master is elected for life from among the Professed Knights by the Council Complete of State. According to the Constitution, as the religious Superior and Sovereign, he fully dedicates himself to develop the works of the Order and to set a Christian example to all members of the Order.
The Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law.
The Order – which has its seat of government in Rome – has:
From its beginning in the 11th Century, the Order of Malta has served the poor and sick. The Order has cared for the vulnerable of all ages through the centuries, and renews that commitment today.