Religious superior and Sovereign of the Order of Malta
The Grand Master is elected for life from the Professed Knights by the Council Complete of State.
According to the Constitution, as the religious Superior and Sovereign, he must fully dedicate himself to the development of the works of the Order and to set an example of living by Christian principles, to all the members of the Order.
He is vested with supreme authorities. Together with the Sovereign Council, the Grand Master issues the legislative measures not covered by the Constitution, promulgates government acts, manages Common Treasure assets, ratifies, international agreements and the summoning of the Chapter General.
The States with which the Order has diplomatic relations recognise the Grand Master with the prerogatives, immunities and honours reserved for Heads of State. The title of Most Eminent Highness is bestowed on the Grand Master and the Holy Roman Church confers him the rank of Cardinal.
The Grand Master resides at the Order’s seat of government the Magistral Palace in Rome.
From 29 April 2020, following the death of Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, the Sovereign Order of Malta is governed by a Lieutenant ad interim in the person of H.E. Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas. He will stay in office until the election of a new Grand Master.