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Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta
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An ecumenical celebration in Berlin for the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Johanniter Order after 900 years of shared history


To celebrate the 900 years of the “Pie Postulatio Voluntatis” promulgated by Pope Paschal II in 1113, on 7 September last an ecumenical celebration was held in the Berlin cathedral in the presence of the President of the German Federal Republic, Joachim Gauck.

The celebration, bringing together 800 members of the Sovereign Order of Malta and the German Johanniter Order, was led by the Bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg–Silesia, Markus Dröge, and by the Archbishop of Berlin,  Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, who gave the homily. The Herrenmeister of the Johanniterorden, Prince Oskar of Prussia, and the Grand Hospitaller of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, attended.

The relief corps of the German Association of the Sovereign Order of Malta, the  Malteser Hilfsdienst e.V., founded in 1953, and the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V., founded in 1952, are the largest humanitarian service organizations working in Germany. Under the symbol of the octagonal cross, they provide a variety of health and social services and manage assistance facilities for children and young people as well as hospitals and schools.

Together the two corps can count on some 2,540,000 volunteers and supporters.  They provide services for the disadvantaged in 1,200 places in Germany thanks to some 51,000 full-time employees.  There have numerous joint projects in Germany and are both extensively engaged in other countries, especially in crisis and war zones.

In the presence of the Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, the Sovereign Order of Malta’s German relief corps,  Malteser Hilfsdienst e.V., celebrated sixty years of activities with a series of events from 20 to 22 September.

an ecumenical celebration in berlin

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

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