Our Grandmaster Cardinal Foley appointed Bailiff of the Order of Malta – April 2010

The Grand Master of the Order of Malta Fra’ Matthew Festing conferred the insignia of Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion on Cardinal John Patrick Foley, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem . Receiving Cardinal Foley in the Magistral Palace in Rome with Fra’ Matthew Festing were the Pro Patron, Archbishop Paolo Sardi and members of the Order of Malta’s government.

In welcoming the 75-year-old cardinal, head of the ancient institution occupied in welfare work and charitable aid for Catholics in the Holy Land, Fra’ Matthew Festing stressed the especially close relations between the two Orders which “for ten centuries have been serving the universal Church, on the solid basis of the Christian principles of love and charity towards all. In particular our two Orders,” recalled Grand Master Festing, “are both occupied in different ways in the Holy Land, the focus of every Christian’s sentiments and hopes. I hope that in future our Order can unite forces to assist the Christian population in this blessed region”.

In his speech, Fra’ Matthew Festing wanted to “grasp this opportunity to express, on behalf of all the Order of Malta’s members, our profound respect and affection towards the Holy Father Benedict XVI, as well as our gratitude for his valiant defence of the inviolable dignity of each and every person, his respect of fundamental human rights and the apostolic dedication with which he indefatigably serves the Church”.

In conferring the rank of Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion on Cardinal Foley, former chaplain of the Order of Malta since 2002, Grand Master Festing wanted to express the Order’s appreciation for “the concern, consideration and esteem” that the high prelate has always demonstrated towards the Order of Malta in supporting “with devotion our joint efforts in the pastoral work of promoting the Petrine ministry”.

Cardinal Foley was accompanied by the Order of the Holy Sepulchre’s highest authorities: Lieutenant General Peter Wolff Metternich zur Gracht, Governor General Agostino Borromeo and Vice Governor General Adolfo Rinaldi.

The Knights of the Holy Sepulchre support the training of new leaders in the Holy Land

August 23, 2010. The Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the top Catholic organizations helping the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Agostino Borromeo, the Governor General of the Order monitors the activities of the Knights and assesses the needs and assistance that can be provided in the Holy Land.

Agostino Borromeo
Governor General, Order of the Holy Sepulchre
“The Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has medieval origins. It is a lay Catholic association whose superior is a Cardinal Grand Master, appointed by the Pope. The Order has around 27,000 members worldwide, dedicated to helping promote Catholic support and development initiatives in the Holy Land.”

Christians are a minority in the Holy Land, numbering around 400,000 of its 16 million inhabitants. And given the diminishing numbers of Christians in Israel and Palestine, those left behind often prefer to emigrate to countries with greater economic and social stability.

As a minority, Christians have almost no representation in civilian life. Therefore, the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre work especially in supporting Christians in the Holy Land, especially through education and job creation to help develop and sustain a decent standard of living inspired by Christan values.

One of the main activities of the Order is to support Catholic schools. Institutions recognized for their quality as some of the best in the area include the Catholic University of Bethlehem and Catholic schools of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Agostino Borromeo
Governor General, Order of the Holy Sepulchre
“It’s important to know that there are also non-Christians who study in these schools. Sometimes there is a majority of Muslim students. These schools are places where people learn to dialogue and know each other better. Future leaders are formed inthis schools – both Christians and non-Christians who know each other and have to respect each other – a basis for working together to build a better future for all marked by justice and peace.”

In the last 10 years the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre have spent more than $ 60 million to support these educational projects. It’s an investment for a better and brighter future for Christians and non Christians alike in the Holy Land.

Cardinal Grand Master retires due to ill health

Cardinal Grand Master retires due to ill health

Dear Ladies and Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and friends of the Order, the Cardinal Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, John Patrick Foley has retired due to ill health.

In September 2009, he was diagnosed with leukemia and anemia. “It’s been getting progressively worse, and I get weaker,” Cardinal Foley said. “I didn’t have the energy to perform my duties.”

Please keep our former Cardinal Grand Master in your prayers.



Archbishop Emmanuel Gerada, Grand Prior Emeritus, returns to the heavenly Father’s house

ARCHBISHOP EMMANUEL GERADA, Grand Prior Emeritus, returns to the heavenly Father’s house

Vatican diplomat born in ¯ejtun, Mgr. Gerada studied at the Lyceum, the Seminary, and the RUM where he graduated BA (1939) and was awarded a licentiate in theology in 1946. Mgr. Gerada was ordained priest by Bishop Mgr. Emmanuel Galea on 1st August 1943. He pursued further studies at Nottingham University College in 1944.

Mgr. Gerada obtained his doctorate in canon law from the Gregorian University in 1952 and pursued a course leading to diplomatic service with the Holy See at the Pontificia Accademia Ecclesiastica in Rome. He was appointed attaché to the apostolic internunciature in Egypt in 1952 and private chamberlain to the Pope in 1953. He was transferred as secretary to the apostolic internunciature in India, and appointed secretary to the nunciature in Dublin in 1956 – on the death of the nuncio, he also performed the duties of chargé d’affaires. His next appointments were that of auditor of the nunciature and chargé d’affaires in Tokyo (1960 – 64). He was later posted to the apostolic delegation in Mexico.

In 1965 Mgr. Gerada was appointed counsellor of the nunciature and domestic prelate by Paul VI and in 1966 chargé d’affaires at Kigali, Rwanda.

On 18 June 1967, Mgr. Gerada was consecrated titular bishop of Nomentum by Archbishop Mgr. Michael Gonzi and appointed as his auxiliary. After a year, Mgr. Gerada was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Malta.

In 1973 Mgr. Gerada resumed his career in the Holy See’s diplomatic service; on his appointment as apostolic nuncio to El Salvador and Guatemala.

Mgr. Gerada’s next postings were those of apostolic nuncio to Pakistan (1980) and Ireland (1989). He retired in Malta in 1995 and was appointed the first Grand Prior of the Maltese Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.  He passed away on the 21st January 2011.


New Knights & Dames invested at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mdina

The 26 February 2011 was a very special day for our Lieutenancy. We had our Investiture where three new members, a Knight, a Dame and an Ecclesiastic, were admitted into the Order. His Eminence the Cardinal Grand Master delegated the Most Reverend Tommaso Caputo, Apostolic Nuncio to Malta, as his personal representative for this occasion. We also had the pleasure of having amongst us several foreign guests from various countries.

A number of members were also promoted during the these festivities. These important and most successful celebrations, ended on a high note the following Sunday, where we celebrated the Holy Eucharist at the Russian Chapel within the private residence of President George Abela, at the Palace San Anton, Attard.

On the eve of the Investiture, we had our Vigil. The Vigil is a special service that is held especially for the new members on the eve of their Investiture. During the Vigil, the Confreres and Consoeurs pray together for the new brothers and sisters who will be joining the Order, that our Lord Jesus Christ will strengthen them in their path and their mission in the Order. The new members take the opportunity to prepare themselves for this mission and the great honour that will be bestowed on them through the Investiture as a Knight and Dame of the Holy Sepulchre of our Lord.

Photos from these celebrations will be posted on this website shortly.

Council & Foreign Dignitaries visit Archbishop Cremona – 25 February 2011

Council & Foreign Dignitaries visit Archbishop Cremona – 25 February 2011
On the occasion of the last Investiture held at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mdina, Council Members of the Maltese Lieutenancy led by the Lieutenant H.E. Knight of the Grand Cross Victor Licari, together with a number of foreign dignitaries, paid a courtesy visit on the Archbishop of Malta, Mons. Paul Cremona, OP.  Mons. Cremona is the Grand Prior of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in Malta.



The Lieutenancy of Malta gets its own Amateur Radio Call Sign

Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a hobby and a service in which participants, called “hams”, use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with each other. An estimated two million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio.

Special Call Signs

In many countries special call sign allocations may be made to commemorate a special event. These special event call signs usually have an unusual prefix so that the station using the call will be easily recognized.

In Malta we have very few Operators who have a Special Call sign. Recently a very good friend of mine was given a Special Call sign to commemorate the Pauline Year Second Millennium and His Call sign was 9H9PYSM. A Special Call sign 1A0A which belongs to the SMOM – Sovereign Military Order of Malta is one of the most sought after contacts.

As a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, I felt that the Lieutenancy of Malta too should have its own Call sign. When I received the Licence from the MCA, I started to call with the Call sign that was allocated to us – 9HOHSJ and in just 3 days I am proud to say that I have almost worked 500 Stations from all over the world. Many of them knew about the Knights of Malta, but not about our Order.

Till this present day I have worked more than 1500 Stations altogether. I would also like to add that general information about the Order could be found in QRZ.COM Amateur Radio Callsign database (http://www.qrz.com/db/9HOHSJ).

Chevalier James Borg, KHS


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this fifth Sunday of Easter, God has offered us the gift of his Word in order that it may enlighten us, at a moment when, as Catholics, we are called upon to make a choice in favour of our Lord Jesus Christ: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; No one comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14, 6).

Our Lord is telling us that our desire to go to God the Father must be intrinsically bound to the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For the Christian, there can be no other road which leads to the Father. Each and every one of us must choose Jesus as the Truth: His words bear the real value of everything that surrounds us. We must look through His eyes. We must choose Jesus as the Path which leads us to this Truth. Other paths will not lead us there! Once we make such choices, we come to realize that we are savouring the true Life which is intended for mankind.

We hope that even with regard to the Divorce Referendum, which is actually a referendum on marriage, we will be guided by the words of Jesus.

In this respect, prior to the Referendum, we wish to offer you this Pastoral Letter.

Through the Referendum which will take place in a few days’ time, we are being called upon as citizens, to express – through our vote – our convictions with regard to marriage.

This call should not fall upon deaf ears. We cannot remain indifferent. The Referendum deals with a very important matter and any person who may decide not to participate will show a lack of civil and religious maturity.

Marriage and the family are very close to our hearts and, in our society, there is a general consensus on the need to invest further so that these may be strengthened. Marriage and the family form the natural core which is essential for a person to live and grow within an atmosphere of genuine love, as well as for the building of a strong society. Experience has shown us that this is what is required in order for human dignity to be upheld.

For this reason, Jesus Christ teaches us that marriage, which goes hand in hand with the dignity of mankind, should, by its very nature, be a permanent bond.

When the experience of love in marriage and the family fails, wounds are opened up: such wounds take a long time to heal. We all know of people who are wounded because their marriages have failed. As your Spiritual Shepherds, we can assure you that we feel these cries within our hearts, just as God feels them within his own heart. At the same time, one must acknowledge that when these separated persons speak about their experience, they admit that they feel extremely saddened that their marriage has failed. These people, who are wounded and hurt, show us that, as a nation, we should continue to cherish true marriage. As a gesture of love towards those who are suffering, and towards future generations, we must together try and improve the conditions of marriage and the family in order that these hurts may be diminished.

The question posed by the Referendum – whether we desire for divorce legislation to be introduced in our country – is a question which shall have a direct effect upon marriage itself and which impinges upon our conduct as citizens, as well as on the common good of our country. The citizen is called upon to respond to this question in the light of reason.

Within this context, the Catholic citizen has a particular contribution to make. The teachings of Jesus Christ, expressed through the moral law of the Church, leave no doubt that divorce is the wrong solution – a solution upon which a stable society cannot be built. A society which builds upon a foundation of stable marriage means there will be less people who suffer in the future; it is a sign of love towards future generations. Hence our Christian beliefs shed further light upon the truth surrounding the true nature of marriage.

In the light of all this, therefore, it is our duty as your Spiritual Shepherds to remind the people of God and all people of good will that every time the citizen is called upon to express his opinion, through his vote, as in the case of the Referendum, it is his moral obligation to fulfill his duty. This moral obligation becomes greater when the decision involves values which we cannot refute, as in the case of permanent marriage.

Our choice in the Referendum demands much reflection because it carries a great responsibility. It is a decision which will affect not only the present, but also the future. By his vote, the citizen will either build or destroy. A choice in favour of permanent marriage is an act of faith in the family, built upon a bond of love which cannot be severed; whereas a choice in favour of divorce leads to the further destruction of marriage and the family and, as a consequence, the destruction of values and the quality of life. We all shoulder the responsibility for the consequences of our decision.

Faced with this Referendum, the Christian cannot avoid posing some fundamental questions that he or she needs to take into consideration when making important decisions, and this with reference to our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Baptism, the Christian belongs to Jesus and chooses to follow Him. Therefore:

The Christian must always act with reference to our Lord Jesus Christ and his teachings. In taking his decision on how to vote, he must bear in mind that he shall be accountable to Jesus for his choice;
The Christian must always act in the light of the mission he has embraced, together with other Christians, and which was given by the Lord Jesus: “Go to the ends of the earth and spread the Good News” Every action of the Christian should serve as an opportunity to offer his or her contribution in order that the teachings of Jesus may inspire the society of mankind which God so loves. Therefore, each and every Christian is called upon to view his or her vote as an occasion to participate in the mission of Jesus Christ with respect to marriage and the family. We should not miss this opportunity because we are uninterested or due to lack of enthusiasm.

We recommend that every Christian prays for divine inspiration. We pray for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Queen of the Family, so that in this important hour, during which we are called upon to consolidate the future of marriage and the family, we shall make our choice in accordance with the will of the God.

We impart upon you God’s blessings.


Archbishop of Malta


Bishop of Gozo


Titular Bishop of Aradi