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

Funeral of H.M.E.H the Grand Master, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto

Cardinal Becciu: “Example for the Order’s professed and members worldwide”

Rome, 5 May 2020 – Today the funeral was celebrated of the Prince and 80th Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, who passed away on 29th April in Rome after an incurable disease.

In compliance with the restriction measures for COVID-19, the funeral was celebrated in a limited form so it could be repeated four times over the same day to allow relatives, the Order’s government, the closest collaborators, a diplomatic mission as well as the doctors who had treated Fra’ Giacomo over the past months and some of the Order of Malta volunteers to pay their last respects.

Officiating the funeral, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the Pope’s Special Delegate to the Sovereign Order of Malta, recalled the heartfelt message Pope Francis had sent when he learnt of the Grand Master’s death, remembering him as a “zealous man of culture and faith”.

In his homily, Cardinal Becciu said that Fra’ Giacomo will remain an example for all Order of Malta members, stressing his humanity and generosity that had so profoundly marked his life under the banner of self-sacrifice and service to the poor and the sick: “I like to remember the empathy of his cordial and sincere conduct in human relations; his meekness and acceptance; the deep faith animating all his actions; the love for the Pope and Church breathed since an early age in his family, always linked to the Holy See,” said Cardinal Becciu.

“This ecclesial sensitivity, combined with a great sense of duty, enabled him to perform his professional tasks with scrupulous fidelity, as well as the positions he progressively assumed within the Order, up to the highest position. He was always prepared to place the common good before other interests or aspirations; he made an effort to work with rectitude and generosity, thus earning respect and common appreciation”.

The Holy Father’s Special Delegate recalled Fra’ Giacomo’s interest in culture, and in particular art and Christian archaeology, and his long life within the Order of Malta that led him to be elected as head of the institution in May two years ago.

The funeral was broadcast live on the Order of Malta’s YouTube channel, allowing over 10,000 people worldwide to follow it. Thousands of messages have arrived over the past days expressing condolences for the passing of the Grand Master.

At the end of the masses, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, whose body rests in an olivewood coffin, will be buried in the crypt of St. Mary on the Aventine, alongside his predecessors, Fra’ Angelo de Mojana di Cologna and Fra’ Andrew Bertie.

According to article 17 of the Constitution of the Sovereign Order of Malta, the Grand Commander, Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas, has assumed the functions of Lieutenant ad interim and will remain head of the Sovereign Order until a new Grand Master is elected.