Letter of Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu to the members of the Order
From the Vatican, 15 February 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
A few days having passed since my nomination as the Holy Father’s Special Delegate to your Order, I wish to offer each of you my cordial greetings. Above all, I convey to you the blessing of the Pope and the assurance that he has the good of the Order at heart, as well as its peace and spiritual renewal. For this he is praying ardently.
From the moment the Holy Father entrusted me with this appointment, I have sought to be close to you in prayer and to deepen my knowledge of your history and presence in the world today. Your witness to charity, which has shone forth since your founding, is truly edifying.
It is well known that, over the centuries, the Sovereign Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta has made invaluable contributions through hospital work, numerous humanitarian activities, admirable assistance to refugees and migrants, timely interventions following natural disasters, effective prevention of the spreading of epidemics, and social aid marked by protection of the weakest. The many aspects which have characterized and continue to characterize the Order’s mission in defence of human dignity, represent the greatest heritage of the Maltese Order, a heritage which must be protected and developed.
All the good you are carrying out reflects a true expression of your Constitutional Charter, whose purpose is thus summarized: “The promotion of the glory of God through the sanctification of its Members, service to the Faith and the Holy Father, and assistance to one’ s neighbour”.
I am convinced that “giving and promoting glory to God” must be the guiding star of our actions and the sole justification for being a member of the Order of Malta. All members are therefore invited, whatever their degree of membership in the Order, to give God first place in their personal and public life. When God is given first place we develop those attitudes that are most beneficial to us: a sincere conversion of heart; a commitment to questioning whether our every action is oriented towards giving glory to God; a personal and communitarian examination of conscience to determine whether we are able to put aside individual or group interests, so that the greater good of the Order may prevail.
My work, to be carried out in close collaboration with the Lieutenant ad interim, His Excellency the Venerable Bailiff Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein, seeks to benefit from the cooperation of everyone, and has -as the Holy Father requested of me -the goal of promoting harmony among the religious, clerical and lay constituents of the Order.
I am resolved, therefore, as a primary objective, to establish a constructive dialogue among all members, so that we can clearly see the problems needing to be resolved and can identify solutions in order to face the present situation in an atmosphere of serenity and dedicated cooperation.
To this end I will examine, with the Lieutenant ad interim, the appropriate steps to be taken, in which I intend to involve you.
In expressing these thoughts and intentions, I wish to thank you for your prayerful support, and I invite all of you to renew your shared and undivided confidence in the Lord, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and your Founder Blessed Gerard.