The funeral of Venerable Bailiff Fra’ John Edward Critien, Grand Prior of Rome, who died on 3 December at the age of 73, took place this afternoon, in the Church of St. Mary on the Aventine in Rome.
In the presence of the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ John Dunlap, the funeral ceremony was celebrated by Monsignor Andrea Ripa, Chief Chaplain of the Grand Priory of Rome and concelebrated by the Prelate of the Order of Malta, Msgr. Jean Laffitte and Fra’ Giovanni Scarabelli, Professed Conventual Chaplain Grand Cross.
Fra’ John’s brother, sister-in-law and two nephews, recently arrived in Rome, were able to pay their last respects in prayer with the entire Sovereign Council. The funeral was attended by many Professed, the personnel of the Grand Magistry, the heads of the Grand Priory of Rome and its delegations, representatives of the other two Grand Priories and the Italian Association, the president of the Maltese Association, representatives of the Order of Malta’s diplomatic missions and other civil and religious authorities.
In his homily Fra’ Giovanni Scarabelli recalled – not without a certain emotion – his 45 years of friendship and shared commitment in the Order of Malta describing, while recounting some episodes in his life, Fra’ John Critien’s profound faith and love for the Order. “God is love because he gave us the exemplarity of a confrere such as Fra’ John,” said Fra’ Giovanni Scarabelli. “The decades of his militancy in the Order of Malta are a distinguished and captivating testimony.”
Before the funeral began, Msgr. Jean Laffitte read a message of condolence from Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome.
The body of Fra’ John Edward Critien will now be taken to Malta, to be buried in the family tomb in the Santa Maria Addolorata cemetery in Paola (Raħal Ġdid) in the south of the island.