Lieutenant of the Grand Master writes to Pope Francis on World Peace Day
The Lieutenant of the Grand Master Fra’ Marco Luzzago replies to Pope Francis’ message for the 55th World Day of Peace, to be celebrated today, 1 January 2022
Most Blessed Father,
At the end of this year, so difficult and distressing for a large part of the human family, you once again have given us your luminous message for the 55th World Day of Peace. For this reason, I want to express to Your Holiness the sincerest gratitude of every section of the Order of St John – professed and laity, healthcare staff and volunteers, employees and youth groups – present in 120 countries worldwide and committed to serving the less privileged, the sick and refugees. Committed also to seeking the most appropriate ways and means to adapt our almost millennial Order to the challenges posed by the 21st century and to Your Holiness’ teaching.
Your message – which we proposed to the Order of Malta’s 13,500 members and its over 100,000 volunteers and employees through the widespread means of communication – is a valuable incentive to intensify and render more effective our activities for the sick, refugees and the many forgotten people who live alongside us in our cities.
The World Day of Peace message tells us that peace in its highest and most complete expression is a gift of God; a gift that men and women must merit every day with their good works, as convinced artisans of peace. May peace today not only be the “tranquillitas ordinis” of the enlightened Augustine of Hippo, but also an environmental factor that brings well-being for all, but which must be sustained daily by countless positive energies of an intellectual, moral, spiritual and material nature. It is for this “dynamic tranquillitas” that the Order of St John has dedicated its best and deepest energies during these years.
Allow me, Holy Father, to express my most convinced support, and that of all our Order, in the assessments and priorities so clearly expressed in your message. I offer a particularly heartfelt prayer in response to your reflection on the increase in military expenditures, which contrasts so dramatically with the decline in government investment in education and training. I cannot fail to notice that the attention rightly and necessarily given to the fight against climate change is rarely matched by the same concern about rearmament and the regression of the arms control framework.
Please accept, Your Holiness, the expression of my devotion and that of the entire Order of St John of Jerusalem, with the assurance of my constant prayer, and that of the Community of the Grand Magisterium and the Order as a whole.
Fra’ Marco Luzzago