Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta


The Grand Master received in audience by Pope Francis

Fra' John Dunlap illustrated to the Holy Father the Order of Malta's main commitments throughout the world
Udienza Papa

The Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Fra’ John Dunlap, was received in audience this morning at the Vatican by Pope Francis. The meeting – as per tradition – took place a few days after the feast of St. John the Baptist, patron saint of the Order of Malta, which is celebrated on June 24.

Characterized by great cordiality, the meeting was an opportunity to illustrate to the Holy Father the main activities in the spiritual, humanitarian and diplomatic fields carried out by the Order of Malta over the past year in the 120 countries in which it operates, through its network of 13,500 members, 100,000 volunteers, 52,000 employees and more than 100 diplomatic missions.

The focus was on interventions in support of the Ukrainian population, from medical and social assistance to the distribution of meals and medicines, from transportation and accompaniment to reception points situated in various locations in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

The talks were also concentrated on the Order of Malta’s presence in the Holy Land. In addition to running the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem that has seen the birth of more than 100,000 children since 1990, a few weeks ago the Order launched an aid program for the population of Gaza in collaboration with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

The Grand Master presented the Holy Father with a medal depicting the effigy of Our Lady of Mount Philermos, a symbol par excellence of the Order of Malta’s Marian spirituality.

At the end of the audience Pope Francis received the Sovereign Council and the Ambassador of the Order of Malta to the Holy See Antonio Zanardi Landi. Afterwards, His Most Eminent Highness the Grand Master and the Grand Chancellor Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo held talks with Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher, Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States and International Organisations.

Photo-credit: © Vatican Media

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