Pope Francis receives Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto and the Sovereign Council
This morning Pope Francis received in the Vatican Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, Lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, accompanied by the Sovereign Council. This was the first audience with the Pope since Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto was elected on April 29. “I follow you, I pray for you, proceed along this path,” were the Pope’s words at the end of the 35-minute meeting with the Lieutenant of the Grand Master. “The Holy Father was very affectionate and paternal and very attentive to the human and spiritual aspects of our work,” said Fra’ Giacomo.
One issue discussed during the audience was the reform of the Constitutional Charter, launched to bring the Order of Malta more in line with the requirements of an institution that, in recent years, has expanded and significantly increased its global presence.
The Lieutenant of the Grand Master illustrated to Pope Francis the Order of Malta’s main projects for assisting and supporting the host of refugees, displaced persons and migrants all over the world, not only in the areas involved in the serious humanitarian crises such as the countries bordering Syria, including Lebanon and Turkey, but also in the African countries devastated by conflicts and famine, such as South Sudan, not to mention the countries of migrant transit and arrival, including Italy and Germany. With its 120,000 volunteers and operators and over 2000 projects in 120 countries, the Order of Malta provides health, social and psychological care to the most fragile and vulnerable. Alongside the emergency projects to rescue communities in difficulty, the Order of Malta’s traditional mission of health and social care continues.
During the meeting, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre also described the Order’s activities in the diplomatic sphere for promoting the respect of international humanitarian laws with the participation in numerous summits, such as the Global Forum on Migration and Development, opening in Berlin next week.
At the end of the audience the Pope received the Order’s Sovereign Council.
Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre presented the Pope with a specially minted silver medal commemorating the Order of Malta’s 59th international pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Afterwards, the delegation led by Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre was received by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
By tradition, the meeting with the Pope was on the occasion of the feastday of St. John the Baptist, patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta, celebrated on June 24.