The meeting in the Vatican on the feast of St. John the Baptist
Pope Francis received the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing, accompanied by members of the Order’s Government. The audience took place in the Pontiff’s private study in the Vatican.
The economic and financial crisis and the humanitarian emergencies linked to ongoing conflicts, starting with the disturbing situation in Syria, were the main topics of the meeting with the Pope. The Grand Master illustrated the Order of Malta’s multiple humanitarian activities in assisting local populations fleeing from violence. Among the other topics discussed were the Order of Malta’s activities in the Middle East and in Africa as well as its commitment in South America to help the disadvantaged.
The meeting between the two Heads of State took place, as is the tradition, on the feast of the Sovereign Order of Malta’s patron, St. John the Baptist, celebrated on 24 June.