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


Italian Minister of Defence received by Order of Malta’s Grand Master

Conferment of Insignia of Grand Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
Italian Minister of Defence received by Order of Malta’s Grand Master

Fra’ John Dunlap, Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta bestowed the insignia of Grand Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi on Guido Crosetto, Minister of Defence of the Italian Republic. The ceremony was held this morning in the Magistral Palace in Rome.

Awarded by virtue of shared Christian values, the Grand Master wanted to thank Minister Crosetto for his appreciation of the Order of Malta’s humanitarian commitment, for the constant support guaranteed by the Italian authorities and for allowing the flag with the eight-pointed white cross to be carried on board the International Space Station as part of the “Axiom 3” mission.

“There are multiple opportunities for us to work together, especially with the many projects our Military Corps carries out thanks to cooperation with the ministry you head. I am thinking for example of the series of initiatives that involved the Military Corps during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the Grand Master.

Topics discussed during the insignia award included migration, support for North African countries, rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea and the Order’s intention to expand its collaboration with Italy in assisting migrants and refugees.

Minister Crosetto expressed his sincere appreciation for the Order of Malta’s extensive humanitarian activities in the 120 countries in which it operates and his deep gratitude for its role as mediator in crisis areas, fundamental for international stability. The minister also emphasized the assistance to migrants in the Mediterranean Sea which, thanks to bilateral agreements with Italian institutions, the Order of Malta’s Relief Corps has been offering for over 15 years.

Finally, the Grand Master recalled the longstanding historical and religious roots that unite Italy and the Order of Malta, acknowledging the generous hospitality and valuable support that have enabled the Order to perform its medical and humanitarian mission nationwide for almost 200 years.

The fruitful collaboration with the Italian authorities and the many partnerships in the health, cooperation and development fields were also highlighted. No least of which is the bill for the ratification and implementation of the Bilateral Agreement, signed by the Government of the Italian Republic for entering the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps in the Italian Single National Register of the Third Sector.

The ceremony was attended by Grand Commander Fra’ Emmanuel Rousseau, Grand Chancellor Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, Grand Hospitaller Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis, the Receiver of the Common Treasure Fabrizio Colonna, some other members of the Sovereign Council and the Order of Malta’s Ambassador to Italy, Stefano Ronca. Also present was Msgr. Luis Manuel Cuña Ramos, Prelate of the Order of Malta.