H.E. Fenech Pace succeeds Comm. Victor Licari KGCHS, who has now been conferred with the rare accolade of Lieutenant of Honour. Both these appointments were made in October 2011 and were approved by the new Pro-Grand Master of the Order, Archbishop Mons. Edwin O’Brian – to be elevated to Cardinal in the next Consistory as proclaimed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem is a major Catholic Order of Knighthood under the direct protection of the Holy See. This privileged recognition is shared with only one other Catholic Chivalric Order, namely the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Knights of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem have been present in Malta as early as the mid-18th century but they were not constituted as an official body existing simply on their own personal merit. In 1994 Chev Louis Gera Lauron dei Marchesi Testaferrata, a member of the Order embarked on a project to set up an official jurisdiction of the Order in Malta. With the assistance of other members of the Order, this project finally came to fruition through the intervention of the late Mgr. Emmanuel Gerada, titular Archbishop of Nomentum, former Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland and who retired and settled in Malta in 1995.
The Magistral Delegation of Malta was installed by the then Grand Master His Eminence Cardinal Caprio by decree of the 10th March 1996.
On the 14th September 1996 the first investiture of the Magistral Delegation of Malta was held at the church of Holy Mary of Jesus in Valletta by His Eminence Carlo Cardinal Furno, Grand Master at the time. On the 25th May 2000 the Magistral Delegation of Malta was elevated to a Lieutenancy by decree of His Eminence Carlo Cardinal Furno.
The present Grand Master of the Order is H.E. Mons Edwin O’Brian, who was appointed last year after his predecessor, Cardinal Patrick Foley, retired due to ill health. Cardinal Foley succumbed to his illness just recently. Archbishop Paul Cremona OP, is the current Grand Prior of the Maltese Lieutenancy and has the rank of Knight Grand Officer of the Order.