Fra’ Marco Luzzago, the Sovereign Order of Malta’s Lieutenant of the Grand Master, visited Naples and Pompeii from 19 to 21 May, guest of the Grand Priory of Naples and Sicily.
Accompanied by Procurator Arturo Martucci di Scarfizzi, Fra’ Marco Luzzago first met the heads of the Grand Priory and Naples Delegation. He was later received by Archbishop Tommaso Caputo in the Marian Shrine of Pompeii. Together with the dames and knights of the Order of Malta’s Naples Delegation, Fra’ Marco Luzzago participated in the traditional pilgrimage to Our Lady of Pompeii.
After the pilgrimage, the lieutenant visited the soup kitchen dedicated to Pope Francis in the Pilgrim’s House in front of the shrine. Here, thanks to an agreement with the shrine and a team of some 75 volunteers, for almost a decade the Grand Priory has distributed over 130 meals to the needy every day. Archbishop Tommaso Caputo expressed his gratitude to the Lieutenant for the soup kitchen, calling it ‘an indispensable service for the local area that gives concrete help to many low-income families whose situation has worsened with the pandemic’.
Meeting the members and the volunteers, Fra’ Marco Luzzago thanked them for ‘this assistance that nourishes not only the body but also the spirit; together with the meals, you meet the many daily, material and spiritual needs of those who turn to you. A service that, in the last two long years of the pandemic, has been particularly difficult and burdensome for all of you and thus even more commendable’.
On Saturday 21 May, in the unique Basilica of Santa Chiara in Naples, the lieutenant, together with the heads of the Grand Priory, presided over the investiture of fifty new knights and dames, the first after the interruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Holy Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Beniamino Depalma, Chief Chaplain of the Grand Priory, who in his homily reminded the new members of the lifelong importance of the commitment they have made.
In Naples, Fra’ Marco Luzzago was able to visit the Veiled Christ, one of the world’s most remarkable and evocative marble sculptures, a treasure conserved in the Capella Sansevero.
Before returning to Rome, the Lieutenant of the Grand Master visited the Naples Delegation’s headquarters in Palazzo Battiloro.