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


Message for Peace


The Prince and Grand Master replies to His Holiness John Paul II Message for Peace addressed to humanity.

Holy Father,

“On earth peace, goodwill toward men”. The angel’s announcement of 2000 years ago, accompanying the birth of the Son of Man, opens and spells out the Message that Your Holiness is addressing this year to the People of God for the celebration of the World Day of Peace. Peace, therefore. Peace, for ever!

Because it is very true that “with war it is humanity who loses” and, as bitter experience teaches us all, “wars are often the cause of other wars”, for the legacy of hate and evil that they never fail to leave behind them, a sad Inheritance. We have before our eyes and, even more, in all our hearts “the terrible scenes in which children, women and old people become innocent victims of the conflicts staining our epoch with blood”. But the common good of all humanity should – or better must – prevail in pursuing a common peace – enduring in its solidarity – for particular goods, whether they be political, racial or cultural. Because all humanity is called to rediscover its high vocation “of being a single family”, of becoming siblings once again, children of the Prince of Peace.

“At the beginning of a new century, the poverty of billions of men and women is something that, more than anything else, strikes our human and Christian conscience”. Our Common Father’s Word is admonition, teaching and exhortation as well as encouragement for all of us marked by the white, eight-pointed cross. All of us who, albeit within the limits of our possibilities, operate in many districts of the world, daily engaged in the battle of charity to relieve human suffering. With these sentiments, I would like to express to Your Holiness, also on behalf of the over eleven thousand of my Knights, Dames, Chaplains and Volunteers, my filial good wishes for the personal prosperity of Your Holiness, indefatigable worker for good, and for this Jubilee Year of metanoia!

In union of prayer, I am the most devoted son of Your Holiness,

Fra’ Andrew Bertie

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