Yesterday afternoon, in the garden of the Magistral Villa in Rome, there was a short but intense encounter between the Lieutenant ad interim, Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas, and a delegation of Order of Malta members, doctors, paramedics and volunteers.
As soon as circumstances permitted, the Lieutenant had wanted to express in person – together with Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager and Grand Hospitaller Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel, also present – his heartfelt gratitude to all those who during the past months of the Covid-19 pandemic have helped others worldwide under the symbol of the white octagonal cross.
“It is impossible to list,” said Fra’ Ruy Villas Boas, “all that has been achieved in these last difficult months by the three Grand Priories and their delegations, the Italian Association, the Military Corps, the Italian Relief Corps, the St. John Baptist hospital, the clinic in Via delle Carrozze and the First Aid Post in St. Peter’s Square. The list is extremely long and this in itself is already significant.”
“In your eyes,” he continued, “I can see the dedication and love with which thousands of members and volunteers in our Grand Priories, National Associations, delegations and Order of Malta relief corps worldwide have brought aid and assistance to the sick, to their families, to the isolated elderly, to the poor and to the marginalized.” The Lieutenant also urged everyone “to continue to have courage in fighting this battle, conscious that our strength lies in our faith”.
In recalling the recent passing, on 29th April last, of Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, the Lieutenant hoped that “the example of the Grand Master and his goodness can continue to guide our actions”. Together with those present, Fra’ Ruy Villas Boas, the Order of Malta’s highest spiritual authority, offered a prayer in memory of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the pandemic, “that it may be of comfort to all those who have lost their dear ones and all the sick who are still suffering the consequences”.
At the end of the meeting, the Lieutenant in interim prayed before the Grand Master’s tomb in the church of St. Mary on the Aventine.