They came to Rome from three continents to participate in another Blessed Gerard Retreat. Organized for the Order of Malta’s young members and volunteers, the retreat had the purpose of bringing the younger generations closer to the Order’s spirituality and its central structures, besides giving them the possibility of getting to know each other.
Under the guidance of the Order’s Prelate, Msgr. Jean Laffitte, with sermons by Professed Chaplain Fra’ Georg von Lengerke, the young people spent four, spiritually intense days, obeying the rule of silence.
At the end of the retreat on Sunday 17 February, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto joined the participants for mass in the Church of St. Mary on the Aventine. Afterwards, during an almost two-hour meeting, the Grand Master asserted that “the strengthening of our faith is an extremely important element for our Order. How can we follow the charism of Tuitio Fidei and consquently that of Obsequium Pauperum if we do not maintain our faith alive and strong within us?”
Continuing his speech, the Grand Master stressed that “there are numerous challenges and tasks awaiting us. There are innumerable people in the world who need assistance. We should be grateful that our possibilities of alleviating their suffering have increased over the last decades. In many parts of the world our white, eight-pointed cross represents a sign of hope. Our efforts to expand our assistance must never diminish”.
After having replied to numerous questions, the Grand Master concluded the meeting by giving them a task: “You are not only participants in this meeting. I am also asking you to be witnesses and spokespeople in your Grand Priories and Associations. I hope that an even greater number of young people can attend with enthusiasm”.
The next Blessed Gerard Retreat will be held in February 2020, again in Rome.