On Friday 1st December 2023, an exhibition was launched at the National Library of Malta entitled ‘In the Footsteps of the Hospitallers: 900 years of chivalry, faith and charity’. The display mainly features documents from the Order’s archives conserved at the National Library as well as publications from the library’s collections.
Following a chronological sequence, it is divided into six main sections featuring the various places where the Knights had their headquarters throughout their history. Special emphasis is placed on maps, since the exhibition documents the itinerary followed by the Knights Hospitaller of St John throughout their 900-year history. Their role as a lay religious order and their dual mission of defending the Catholic faith and serving the needy are also highlighted.
The exhibition, which will remain open until 30 March 2024, was set up to commemorate the first anniversary of the passing of the Ven. Bailiff Fra’ John E. Critien on 3rd December 2022. Fra’ Critien, who was appointed Grand Prior of Rome a few months prior to his demise, was a regular researcher at the National Library. A section of the exhibition features personal memorabilia kindly loaned by his family.
The inauguration ceremony was attended mainly by Fra’ Critien’s family and friends. The guests were addressed by Ms Maroma Camilleri, Deputy Librarian and curator of the exhibition, who explained the background and the work involved in the preparation of the exhibition. This was followed by a brief speech of welcome by Ms Cheryl Falzon, CEO and National Librarian, who declared the exhibition open.