Fra’ Marco Luzzago has been elected with a large majority Lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta. The Council Complete of State, the electoral body, met on 7 and 8 November in the Magistral Villa in Rome, one of the Order of Malta’s two institutional seats. All phases of the election were caried out in full compliance with anti-Covid measures.
There were 44 participants at the Council Complete of State out of the 56 entitled to vote. They came to Rome from Argentina, Peru, the United States, Lebanon, France, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Holland, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Malta and Italy.
The newly elected head of the Sovereign Order of Malta swore his oath before the members of the Council Complete of State and the Pope’s Special Delegate, cardinal-designate Silvano Maria Tomasi.
Fra’ Marco Luzzago succeeds Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, Prince and 80th Grand Master, who died on 29 April last.
Pope Francis was informed of the election by letter. Subsequently all the Order of Malta’s Grand Priories, Sub-Priories and National Associations worldwide were informed, together with the 110 states with which the Sovereign Order of Malta entertains diplomatic relations.
The Lieutenant of the Grand Master – who will remain in office for one year – when addressing the members of the Council Complete said: ‘the Holy Spirit has graciously turned his gaze to me. I thank each one of you for placing your trust in me and for showing by your presence here today a great love and a great dedication to our Order. For my part, I can only assure you of my maximum commitment to address the challenges that lie ahead of us in the coming months. First of all, the reform of the Constitutional Charter and the Code carried on with such fervour by our late Fra’ Giacomo, whom at this moment I remember with emotion.
Profile of Lieutenant
Fra’ Marco was born 1950 in Brescia. He completed a scientific high school degree at the institute of the Franciscans in Brescia, before studying medicine for a number of years at the Universities of Padua and Parma. He was then asked to manage his family’s property interests. This led on to business activities in the consumer industry and large-scale retail distribution, an area in which he continued to be involved in for many years.
Fra’ Marco joined the Sovereign Order of Malta in 1975 in the Grand Priory of Lombardy and Venice and took his Solemn religious Vows in 2003. He began attending the Order of Malta’s international pilgrimages to Lourdes and the national pilgrimages to Assisi and Loreto. Since 2010 he has dedicated his life completely to the Order of Malta, moving to the Marches to care for one of the Order’s Commanderies.
Since 2011 he has been Commander of Justice in the Grand Priory of Rome, where he holds the position of Delegate of the Northern Marches and head of the library. Since 2017 he has been Councillor of the Order of Malta’s Italian Association. Fra’ Marco Luzzago is related to Pope Paul VI.
The Lieutenant of the Grand Master
According to the Order of Malta’s Constitution, the Lieutenant of the Grand Master remains in office for one year with the same powers as the Grand Master. The Lieutenant of the Grand Master has to reconvene the Council Complete of State before the end of his mandate.
The Lieutenant of the Grand Master must devote himself fully to the development of the Order’s works and be an example for all members in religious observance. He has supreme authority. Together with the Sovereign Council, he issues the legislative provisions not provided for by the Constitutional Charter, promulgates the acts of the government and ratifies international agreements.
The Lieutenant of the Grand Master resides in the Order of Malta’s seat, the Magistral Palace in Rome.