Sovereign Order of Malta

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Flag of the Order of Malta
coat of arms
Coat of arms of the Order of Malta

Slogan :
Tuitio fidei et obsequium Pauperum
( "witness to the faith and
help the needy")

Basic data
Official language Italian
status sovereign subject of international law
Seat Palazzo di Malta on
Via dei Condotti 68, Rome
Grandmaster Fra ' Marco Luzzago (Grand Master Governor
since November 8, 2020)
Grand Commander Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas
Grand Chancellor Albrecht von Boeselager
Large hospitalier Dominique de la Rochefoucauld-Montbel
receptor János Count Esterházy de Galántha
special envoy
Silvano Cardinal Tomasi CS
Cardinal patron Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
prelate Jean Laffitte (since 2015)
Members 13,500 knights and ladies
currency 1 scudo = 12 tari = 240 grani
Time zone UTC +1
License Plate SMOM
anthem Ave Crux Alba
(Greetings, white cross)
Order's message in Prague

The Sovereign Order of Malta (with full title: Sovereign Knight and Hospital Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta - formerly Jerusalem, called by Rhodes, called by Malta ) is a Roman Catholic religious order that was founded in Jerusalem in the 11th century founded and after the First Crusade was additionally to a spiritual knightly order . In addition to the more original name Johanniter , the name used today has appeared since the settlement on the island of Malta around 1530. In terms of international law , the Order, which has provided international humanitarian aid since its foundation , is still regarded today as a sovereign , non-state subject of international law . In this capacity, the order has z. B. also has its own government , sends ambassadors and has its own jurisdiction ( Magistral Courts of the Sovereign Order of Malta ). The aim of the order, which today has around 13,500 international members, is to provide charitable support to the elderly, the disabled, refugees, those suffering from fatal diseases and lepers - regardless of religion or origin - worldwide.

The order recognized papally in 1113 enjoys the same immediate papal recognition as the Teutonic Order and the Knightly Order of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem . All three are chivalric orders of the Catholic Church recognized by the Holy See . The Order of Malta has a special sovereignty relationship with the Holy See. All three orders did not owe their origin to a papal foundation, but the Order of Malta is not an order in the sense of the CIC . The Order of Malta is at the same time a subject of international law, an order of knights and an ecclesiastical order. He decides autonomously according to his own constitution and his code about the admission, the tasks, the rank and the distinction of his members and others who make merit in the work of the order. Many members of the order in Europe still come from former knight families , but the order has long since opened up to other candidates who are suitable according to the order's statutes, in view of its tasks and its internationality.

Structure of the order

The order has around 13,500 members ( knights and ladies ) worldwide . The grandmaster , who is actually elected for life, has the highest authority . These were / are recent

The order maintains diplomatic relations with 110 states (including Germany and Austria) and permanent representations in five other states (including Switzerland and Belgium); its own currency (1  Scudo = 12 Tarì = 240 Grani, the conversion rate to the European currency Euro is 1 Scudo = 0.24 Euro; and 1 Tarì = 0.02 Euro) with coinage (as sovereign of Malta until 1798, then again from 1961) and since 1966 also own postage stamps (bilateral postal agreements with currently 56 countries). The Order of Malta has permanent observer status at the UN and maintains permanent missions at UN locations in New York, Geneva, Rome, Vienna and Paris.

The Order has not been based in Malta since 1798 , but has maintained full diplomatic relations with the Republic of Malta since 1966. According to a state treaty dated December 1998 between the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Republic of Malta, the fortress of St. Angelo , which was the seat of the order on the island from 1530 until the relocation of the order's government to the newly built city of Valletta , was granted to the order for the long term 99 years for sole use. Since 1976 the order has also been represented on Rhodes again .

In the states in which the Order develops activities by virtue of its own rights or international agreements, its structure consists of Grand Priories, Priorities, Subpriorities and National Associations. The Order of Malta is active in charities in over 90 countries around the world. Many countries have their own aid organizations , subsidiary institutions of the order, which take on certain social tasks.

In 1953, the aid organization Malteser Hilfsdienst (today simply Malteser ) was founded in Germany in cooperation with the German Caritas Association . The Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard , named after the founder of the Hospitaller Order , Brother Gerhard Tonque , was founded in South Africa in 1992 under the direction of the Benedictine Gerhard Lagleder, which is organized along the lines of the German Maltese.

In Germany one structure ( Ballei Brandenburg , originally based in Sonnenburg ) has had a largely autonomous status since 1382. Since the conversion of Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg to Lutheran teaching in 1538, this branch has been Protestant. In 1811 the Protestant branch of the Order of St. John was initially dissolved in its form as a knightly order and continued as the Prussian Order of Merit. In 1852 it was continued in continuity with the Balley by the knights still alive as an evangelical branch of the order of knights. Since then it has had the legal form of an association under the old law .

The Order of Malta recognizes the Evangelical Order of St. John in Germany, the Netherlands (Order of St. John in Nederland), Sweden (Order of St. John i Sverige) and Great Britain ( Venerable Order of Saint John ) , which have been amalgamated in the Alliance of Orders of St. John since 1961 with mutual recognition Knightly order of St. John with "common history and common mission", but separated from him by canon law . The Order of St. John sees itself in the tradition of the Brandenburg Balli of the old order, but without wanting to succeed it in the overall order.

The tongues of the Order

Since the relocation of the head office to Rhodes in the 14th century, the order has been subdivided into the so-called tongues . Initially there were seven, later eight tongues. As a result of the events of the Reformation, individual tongues were then thinned out so that their number had to be reduced. During the French Revolution in 1792, the Order's possession was confiscated in France and the tongues of Provence, Auvergne and France went under.

The Estates of the Order

The order members are divided into three classes:

First stand

Neck cross of the Knight of Honor and Devotion

The first estate is formed by the knights of justice, also called professed, and the professed conventual chaplains with religious vows ( O rdo S ancti J ohannis H ierosolymitani).

Knights and chaplains of the first estate take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and thus strive for evangelical perfection. They are religious with all the effects of canon law and are guided by the special regulations that concern them. Their canonical position corresponds to that of the monks of exempter orders. However, this applies with the special feature laid down in the constitution that professed knights do not have to live in a monastic community. They are also released from the vow of poverty, as the order cannot provide for the upkeep of the professed knights who are scattered around the world.

There are currently around 60 professed knights (2013) as well as aspirants and novices around the world who are preparing to take their vows. Since 2017, on the instruction of Pope Francis, no new professed knights have been allowed to take their vows as long as there has been no internal reform of the order.

Second stand

The second estate is made up of the members in obedience , who make the promess (religious promise) in accordance with Art. 9, § 2 of the constitution . The members of the second class undertake by virtue of their promess to strive for Christian perfection in accordance with the duties of their personal class in the spirit of the order. The second stand is divided into three categories:

  1. Honor and devotion knights and ladies in obedience
  2. Gratial and devotional knights and ladies in obedience
  3. Magistral knights and ladies in obedience

Third stand

The third estate consists of those members of the order who have taken neither vows nor promess, but live according to the norms of the church and are ready to stand up for the order and the church. The third stand is divided into six categories:

  1. Honor and devotion knights and ladies
  2. Honorary Conventual Chaplains
  3. Free and devotional knights and ladies
  4. Magistral plans
  5. Magistral Knights and Ladies
  6. Donates of devotion

It is incumbent on the Order members to lead their lives in an exemplary manner in accordance with the teachings and regulations of the Church and to devote themselves to the charitable works of the Order in accordance with the instructions of the Codex.

Functions and offices

The peculiarity of the “tiered membership” of the three estates means that certain functions and offices, such as those of the Grand Master and Grand Commander, are only assigned to professed knights with perpetual vows. The office of prior is given to a professed knight with perpetual or temporary vows. The high offices and dignities of the order leadership should primarily be held by professed knights. The same applies to the offices of chancellor, treasurer and hospitaller of the priories, as well as regents, governors, vicars and procurators. However, if obedience knights are elected due to their particular suitability, their election must be confirmed by the Grand Master.


The Sovereign Council of the Order of Malta assists the Grand Master in running the Order. The General Chapter of the Order of Malta is the highest order assembly and consists of representatives of the various orders. It is convened every five years and whenever the Grand Master, after hearing the Sovereign Council, deems it opportune or the majority of the Priories, Subpriorates and Associations so request the Grand Master.

The order in Germany

History of the Grand Priory of Germany

After the first order coming into being in Duisburg in 1154, the Grand Priory of Germany was founded around 1200. By papal decree , parts of the order came into the German lands of the Knights Templar, which was dissolved in 1312 . The Grand Priory had its seat in the rule of Heitersheim since 1428 . Since the elevation of George Schilling of Cannstatt (1490-1554), the Großbailli and Grand Prior of the Order of Malta, the princes of the Grand Prior of the Order of Malta since 1548 was nominally also of Imperial Prince . In 1382 the Ballei Brandenburg became largely independent through the Heimbach settlement and adopted the Protestant denomination in the course of the Reformation. This is considered to be the founding date of the Protestant Order of St. John . A formal separation of the Ballei from the order was ultimately never carried out. The Ballei continued to pay subsidies and reported the election of masters to the Order. With the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the order lost almost all of its possessions in the Protestant part of Germany. After the dissolution and abolition of the Jesuit order in 1773, Elector Karl Theodor von Bayern founded a Bavarian-English language of the Order of Malta with parts of his property to care for his natural son Karl August Friedrich Joseph von Bretzenheim in 1780.

While the order was even able to expand its possessions in the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss 1803, the Rhine Confederation states in 1806 caused the dissolution of the German Grand Priory and the expropriation of the entire order property in its member countries. The rule of Heitersheim , located in the Grand Duchy of Baden , was first mediatized, then secularized in 1806. The Kingdom of Bavaria initially took the Maltese holdings under its protection in 1806, but they too were secularized in 1808. In Prussia, the Protestant Brandenburg Ballei and the associated committees were repealed by an edict of October 30, 1810 and a document dated January 23, 1811, and their possessions were confiscated in the course of secularization . It was created in 1812 as the Order of Merit of the Royal Prussian Order of St. John . In 1852 the Order of St. John was re-established as a Protestant branch of the order in Prussia.

Re-establishment of the Order of Malta in Germany

August von Haxthausen in armor with a Maltese cross . Painting by Hugo Denz 1860.

From 1857 August von Haxthausen was the driving force behind the re-establishment of the Order of Malta in Germany, which in fact perished through secularization and whose Grand Magisterium was orphaned for decades. Formally, the order was led at this time by a Luogotenente del magisterio (governor of the Grand Magisterium) in Rome . As a representative of the Holy See led decades of Haxthausen, tough negotiations with the government of Prussia, 1859 establishing the cooperative RWTH Maltese Devotionsritter and 1867 establishing the Silesian Association Knights of Malta conducted as a public corporation.

Both associations performed medical services in wartime; In 1865 the first religious hospital, the St. Franziskus Hospital in Flensburg , was founded. The Maltese were called there as a medical service in the German-Danish War of 1864. During the time of National Socialism , the order's activities in Germany were only possible to a limited extent; from 1945 the restrictions were lifted again.

In 1993 the two German associations of the order merged to form the German Association with around 700 members today. The members of the three estates belong to an association. The President of the German Association is Erich Prinz von Lobkowicz . Vice-president is Clemens Graf Mirbach- Harff.

Works of the order in Germany

In Germany, works of the order are represented over 600 times, with several thousand full-time and volunteer helpers. These include facilities for refugee care, elderly care, hospitals and hospice work , youth welfare , first aid training, participation in disaster control and rescue services, outpatient care and support, youth work as well as youth and addiction aid and health promotion.

In detail these are:

  • the Malteser Hilfsdienst eV since 1953 (founded by the Cooperative of the Rhenish-Westphalian Maltese Knights of Devotion and the Association of the Silesian Maltese Knights, KöR with the Caritas Association, since 1955 eV)
  • Malteser Schwesternschaft e.V. V. since 1966 (re-establishment of the sisterhood, which was banned in 1933)
  • Malteser Deutschland gGmbH, here the Order of Malta bundles social entrepreneurial activities in Germany, according to the sponsorship of
    • 8 hospitals
    • 1 specialist clinic for naturopathic treatment
    • 36 care facilities for the elderly
    • 11 Facilities and services for hospice work and palliative medicine
    • 9 outpatient care services
  • Malteser Werke gGmbH
    • schools
    • Youth welfare institutions
    • Refugee care
  • the German Foundation for Patient Protection , formerly the German Hospice Foundation, for which the Order has not made any donations since 1998.
German subpriorate of St. Michael

In 1961 a German subpriorate was established, to which, according to the constitution of the order, the members of the first and second estate belong. On June 13, 2004 Johannes Freiherr Heereman was elected regent .

Lourdes health service

The German Association annually organizes 15 patient trains to the pilgrimage site of Lourdes in the south of France . Since the participation of sick people is only possible with financial support, the Maltese Lourdes Foundation was established in 2005. The Malteser Hilfsdienst organizes pilgrimages there in various regions of Germany.

Community of young Maltese

The Community of Young Maltese (GjM) sees itself as a spiritual community of young people in the spirit of the Order of Malta . Its members organize aid projects that primarily focus on serving people with disabilities, such as retreats and holiday camps for young people with disabilities abroad - especially in the Middle East. For its “Lebanon Project”, the GjM was awarded the International Peace Prize of Westphalia in 2008 and the Golden Victoria for Social Commitment from the Association of German Magazine Publishers in 2010 .

The order in Austria

Grand Priory of Austria

Stitch the Coming Mailberg

The Grand Priory of Austria has existed since the 12th century and currently has 420 members. Some Slovak and Liechtenstein members of the order are also looked after from Austria. Since the death of Prince Grand Prior Wilhelm von und zu Liechtenstein in 2006, the Grand Priory has been headed by Norbert Graf Salburg-Falkenstein as procurator . The members of the three estates belong to the Grand Priory.

Independent of the Grand Priory, the Order maintains a bilateral diplomatic mission in Austria, the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta Knights to the Republic of Austria . The embassy reports to the Grand Chancellor / Foreign Minister of the Order in Rome. The ambassador is Sebastian Prinz von Schoenaich-Carolath , Counselor is Constantin Ritter von Hempel-Hubersting (as of 2018). Conversely, Austria's diplomatic mission is accredited to the Order at its seat in Rome. The ambassador is Franziska Honsowitz-Friessnigg  (2019).

The Order also maintains two multilateral diplomatic missions in Vienna, namely at the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, and at the United Nations Industrial Development Agency, UNIDO.

The order has eight incorporated churches in Austria, a patronage church, two private elementary schools and with the Kommende Mailberg (1146) the oldest possession of the order worldwide. The coming ones are largely financed by income from a forest company near Ligist and a tourism company on the Hebalm in Styria.

Works of the Order in Austria
  • Retirement home House Malta (HM)
  • St John Community of the Sovereign Order of Maltese Knights (JG)
  • Malteser Hospitaldienst Austria (MHDA, MALTESER)
  • Malteser Care GmbH (MC)
  • Malteser Kinderhilfe (Hilde Umdasch House)

The order in Switzerland

The order has been represented in what is now Switzerland since 1180 at the latest ( Hohenrain , Münchenbuchsee ) and had around 20 comedians by 1456 . The order lost numerous comers due to the split in faith, the rest due to the secularization at the beginning of the 19th century, in 1825 the state of Friborg abolished the last comer in Switzerland.

Swiss Association of the Order of Malta

The Helvetic Association of the Sovereign Knights of Malta has existed since 1960 and is divided into delegations from German, French and Italian-speaking Switzerland. Martin von Walterskirchen zu Wolfsthal is the president of the Swiss Association .

Works of the Order in Switzerland

The Order's work in Switzerland is the Malteser Hospital Service Switzerland (MHDS), as well as the aid organization Aide et Assistance.

Chronology of management positions

The Order of Malta is now divided into 6 Grand Priories, 6 Subpriorates and 47 National Associations. Only the members of the first and second estate belong to a subpriorate.

Grand Priories
  • Grand Priory of Rome
Grand Prior
  • Grand Priory of Lombardy and Venice (Venice) (founded 1839/41)
Grand Prior
  • Giovanni Antonio Cappellari della Colomba (1839-1870)
  • Pietro Alvise Mocenigo (1870–1876)
  • Cesare Antonio Altan (1876-1884)
  • Guido Sommi Picenardi (1884-1915)
  • Antonino Casati (1915-1923)
  • Lorenzo Cusani Visconti Botta Adorno (1923-1925)
  • Carlo Torrigiani (1925-1931)
  • Luigi del Drago (1931-1937)
  • Alessandro da Porto (1937-1958)
  • Nicola Galleani d'Agliano (1958-1969)
  • Luigi Rolandi Ricci del Carretto (1969–1977)
  • Luigi Boschi (1977-1980)
  • Marco Celio Passi (1980-1984)
  • Gherardo Hercolani Fava Simonetti (1984-1994)
  • Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto (1994-1999)
  • Roggero Caccia Dominioni (1999-2009)
  • Silvio Goffredo Martelli (2009-2016)
  • Clemente Riva di Sanseverino (since 2016)
  • Grand Priory of Naples and Sicily (Naples) (founded 1839)
Grand Prior
  • Grand Priory of Bohemia (Prague)
Grand Prior
  • Grand Priory Austria (founded 1938)
Grand Prior
  • Grand Priory of England (founded 1993)
Grand Prior
  • Matthew Festing (1993-2008)
  • Fredrik Crichton-Stuart (2008-2011)
  • Ian Scott (since 2011)
  • German Subpriorate of St. Michael (Cologne) (founded 1961)
  • Irish Subpriorate Saint Oliver Plunkett (Dublin)
  • Subpriorate of St. George and St. James (Madrid)
  • Notre Dame subpriorate of Philermos (San Francisco)
  • Notre Dame subpriorate of Lourdes (New York)
  • Subpriory of the Immaculate Conception (Melbourne)

Maltese International

Malteser International is the order's worldwide humanitarian aid organization with around 200 projects in over 20 countries. 19 national associations of the Order currently bundle their humanitarian aid here.

Corpo Militare dell'ACISMOM (Italy)

The Voluntary Special Aid Corps Army of the Association of Italian Knights of the Sovereign Order of Malta ( Corpo EI-SMOM for short ) is a voluntary service of the Italian Army that is entrusted with medical and humanitarian aid .

Seat of the Order (Grand Magisterium)

License Plate

The seat of the Order of Malta has been in Rome since 1834 ( Palazzo di Malta in Via dei Condotti 68 and Villa del Priorato di Malta on the Aventine in Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta 4) and has had extra-territorial status since 1869 .

Palazzo di Malta

The Magistral Palace of the Order of Malta in Rome, also known as Palazzo dell'Ordine di Malta , was built from ashlar in the 17th century and has a cornice . The Order of Malta moved into the palace in 1629, and since 1834 it has been the government building of the Order of Malta. The building housed the Order of Malta's embassy to the Holy See until 1834 . Between 1889 and 1894 the building was renovated and rebuilt. Large parts of the government and administration of the order are located in the building.

In the courtyard there is a pavement with a large Maltese cross.

Villa del Priorato di Malta

At the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta 4 are the Magistral Villa and the order church Santa Maria del Priorato , also called Santa Maria de Aventino (German: Sankt Maria auf dem Aventin ). The Magistral Villa, the actual "Villa di Malta", has several functions. The Order's Embassy to the Italian Republic and the Order's Embassy to the Holy See are on the ground floor. The representation rooms are located above. On the second floor are the rooms of the Grand Priory of Rome and z. B. the Chapter House, where the General Chapter meets every five years and the Grand Master and the Order's government are also elected.

The church got its name Santa Maria in Aventino because it was built on the spot where an image of the Mother of God is said to have been found. Odo von Cluny had it built there in 936. It is also known as S. Maria del Priorato. In addition to Mary, the religious saint John the Baptist and St. Basil are venerated in the church. In 1765 it was renovated according to plans by Giovanni Battista Piranesi . It is his only completed church project.


Established in the Middle East

First Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1187)

The Order of the Hospital of St. John in Jerusalem (known as Johanniter or Hospitaller ) was founded in 1048 and confirmed by the Pope in 1113 . It emerged from a pilgrim hospital that was founded by merchants from Amalfi long before the first crusade and was consecrated to John the Baptist , from which the name Johanniter is derived. The founder of the order is the Blessed Gerhard Tonque (Blessed Gerhard, * between 1035 and 1040 in Scala , Amalfi, † 1120 in Jerusalem). He reorganized the great pilgrim hospital in Jerusalem and provided effective military protection. In the "Xenodochium" (guest house, hostel for foreigners) attached to the church, he practiced religious tolerance and took in both Jewish and Muslim sick people and those in need. It goes back to him that those admitted were treated as "the sick gentlemen", to whom the brotherhood had to look after their worldly masters like servants. Even before the first crusade, he founded a religious community, which he led according to the rules of St. Augustine himself. During the siege of Jerusalem in 1099, all of the city's residents were forced to defend the city walls. It is narrated that Bl. Instead of stones, Gerhard threw small loaves of bread to the hungry besiegers. After taking the city, Gerhard served the masses of the wounded, sick and dying. Many of the crusaders put down the sword to follow his example. At the time the order was founded, the hospital in Jerusalem was able to accept around 2,000 pilgrims .

Second Kingdom of Acre (1191–1291)

After the reconquest of Acre in 1191, this port city became the capital of a rump crusader state that tried to recapture Jerusalem and the former territory by military means, but which never succeeded until it was finally broken up in 1291. In this kingdom the Hospitallers also re-established their headquarters in Acre , and from here, as before, they were instrumental in the military and political affairs of the state.

Order costume

Initially, the Johanniter wore a simple black monk's habit. When the original hospital service was increasingly supplemented by the armed protection of pilgrims and the struggle in crusade areas, from the 13th century they initially wore a black overcoat with a white cross on it that ended in eight points. From the middle of the 13th century it became customary for knights to wear a red coat with a white cross in times of war. The shape of the cross is now known as the Maltese cross . Belvoir Castle, built in the 12th century, and Krak des Chevaliers Castle, which was taken over in 1142, are impressive testimonies to the history of the Hospitaller Order in the Holy Land . In addition to the noble knights of the order, a large number of non-nobles also served the order. These so-called sergeant brothers were not fully subject to the religious vows and entry requirements and were also differentiated in uniform and equipment; so they wore z. B. in the early days brown instead of black coats.

Relocation to Cyprus, Rhodes and Malta

Malta, Valletta, St. John's Co-Cathedral : detail of the grave slab of a knight

After the expulsion from Palestine in 1291 the seat of the order was moved from Jerusalem to Cyprus , 1310 to Rhodes and after the conquest of the island by the Ottomans (1522) and for several years with temporary domicile in Candia , Messina , Viterbo and Nice (1527–1529) finally moved to Malta in 1530 . Since then, the name "Order of Malta" has been used for the Order of St. John. During this time the order regularly organized the "Corso", a hunt for Muslim ships in the Mediterranean. The Muslims captured in these raids were enslaved . Malta was one of the largest Christian slave markets of the early modern period .

After the dissolution of the Knights Templar (1312), its ownership was often passed to the Order of St. John.

Expelled from Malta and moved to Rome

Of Napoleon , the Order was expelled from Malta on 12 June 1798th In order to avoid a bloodbath (the Knights of Malta were not allowed to “raise the sword” according to their own rules against other Christians ) and since the majority of the knights themselves were French, the then Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim handed the island over to Napoleon without resistance and laid it down a little later resigned from office. The French troops looted the churches and monasteries. The Knights of Malta left the island and mostly emigrated to Russia , where on December 16, 1798 they elected Tsar Paul I , who gave them large estates, as the new Grand Master. With his death in the spring of 1801, the Order transferred the right to appoint the Grand Master to the Pope.

The return of Malta to the Order, promised by England in the Treaty of Amiens on March 27, 1802 , was not kept.

On February 9, 1803, Pope Pius VII appointed the Sicilian Giovanni Battista Tommasi as Grand Master with his seat in Catania . After his death on June 13, 1805, there was no further election or appointment of a grand master for 75 years, but the order was led by a Luogotenente del magisterio (governor of the grand magisterium).

In large parts of Germany, Spain, Italy and Russia, the entire possessions of the order were confiscated between 1805 and 1811. The Grand Priory in Bohemia-Austria remained, however, which ensured the continued existence of the order in these difficult times.

The Congress of Vienna in 1815 confirmed that Malta would remain with England. The Treaty of Verona of 1822 ensures the continued existence of the order as a sovereign state. In 1826 the order moved to Ferrara in the Papal States and finally to Rome in 1834 . At the insistence of the Austrian Emperor Ferdinand I , several of its possessions in Italy were returned to the Order of Malta and the Grand Priory of Lombardy-Veneto and Sicily were restored in 1839/41. Pope Leo XIII. restored the dignity of the Grand Master by a bull dated March 28, 1879. Fra Johann Baptist Ceschi a Santa Croce , elected Luogotenente on February 14, 1872 , was formally Grand Master.

At the turn of the year 2016/2017 there was a constitutional crisis of the Order of Malta, which was triggered by a legally controversial dismissal of the Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager by the incumbent Grand Master Matthew Festing . The impeachment had to be withdrawn at the request of Pope Francis in January 2017. On January 25, 2017, the Vatican announced that Grand Master Festing had submitted his resignation at an audience with Pope Francis. In its meeting on January 28, 2017, the Sovereign Council of the Order of Malta then accepted the resignation of the Grand Master and the rehabilitation of Boeselagers, ordered by the Pope, who had to be reinstated in his previous offices and took part in the deliberations of the Council.

See also

Portal: Order of Malta  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the Order of Malta


  • Georg Bernhard Hafkemeyer: The legal status of the Sovereign Order of Maltese Knights as a subject under international law without territorial sovereignty. Hamburg 1955.
In Florence
  • Arthur C. Breycha-Vauthier: Considerations on the renewal of the Order of Malta. In: International Law and the Legal Worldview. Springer, Vienna 1960, pp. 77-85
  • Statute : Carta costituzionale del Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme detto di Rodi detto di Malta. [1961]
    • Attachments:
The 1966 Code. Regolamento per i membri della terza classe approvati dal Capitolo Generale Speciale 27-28 ottobre 1969.
Regolamenti e commenti approvati dal Capitolo Generale Speciale 27-28 ottobre 1969.
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  • Jürgen Sarnowsky: The spiritual orders of knights. Beginnings - structures - effects . (History of the Christian Order). Kohlammer, Stuttgart 2018, ISBN 978-3-17-022579-4 .
  • Michael Autengruber, Klaus H. Feder: Bavaria and Malta. The Grand Priory of Bavaria of the Bavarian Tongue of the Sovereign Order of Malta and its insignia (1782–1808) . Phaleristischer Verlag, Konstanz 2002, ISBN 3-936529-00-0 .
  • Claude Petiet: Le Roi et le Grand Maître. L'Ordre de Malte et la France au XVIIe siècle , Éd. Paris Méditerranée, Paris 2002, ISBN 2-84272-147-0 .
  • Alain Demurger: Chevaliers du Christ, les ordres religieux-militaires au Moyen Age , Seuil 2002, ISBN 2-02-049888-X .
  • Ernst Staehle: The Hospitallers in the Kingdom of Jerusalem - Your cultural revolution and defense of the heritage in the Kingdom of Jerusalem , (History of the Johanniter and Maltese, Volume 1) A - Gnas: Weishaupt - Verlag, 1st edition 2002
  • Ernst Staehle: Die Johanniter von Rhodos - fighters against Islamic terrorism - (History of the Johanniter and Maltese, Volume 2) A - Gnas: Weishaupt - Verlag, 1st edition 2002
  • Ernst Staehle: The Knights of Malta - Shield of Christendom in the Mediterranean - (History of the Johanniter and Maltese, Volume 3) A - Gnas: Weishaupt - Verlag, 1st edition. 2002
  • Thomas Freller: The Epitome of Europe. The image of Malta and the Order of St. John in the travel literature of the early modern period. Peter Lang, Frankfurt / Main 2002, ISBN 3-631-38618-4
  • Bertrand Galimard Flavigny: Histoire de l'ordre de Malte , Perrin, Paris 2006, ISBN 2-262-02115-5 .
  • Alan Walker: Die Münzen der Johanniter In: MünzenRevue 10/2006, pp. 101–110, German translation by Ursula Kampmann, H. Gietl Verlag Regenstauf 2006, the complete English text is in 2006 auction catalog 99 of the Numismatic Department of Bank Leu in Zurich (LHS Numismatics) under the title: "An important private collection of the coins and medals of the hospitallers, or knights of St. John: October 24, 2006, Hotel Savoy - Baur en Ville, Zurich".
  • Romina Spina, Rome: Knights and ladies in action for the community - On the air - Mission in transition - The Sovereign Order of Malta between traditionalism and modernization . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), Zurich 2013, international edition, No. 122 of May 30, 2013, p. 7 (international)
  • Ernst Staehle: The Johanniter and Maltese of the German and Bavarian tongue: international and supraregional (History of the Johanniter and Malteser, Volume 4 A- Gnas)
  • Ernst Staehle: Johanniter and Templer - history, secrets and present - A - Gnas: Weishaupt Verlag, 2nd ed.
  • Rodney Stark: God's Warriors, The Crusades in a New Light , Haffmans Tolkemitt GmbH, Berlin, August 2014, ISBN 978-3-942989-85-5 .

Web links

Commons : Sovereign Order of Malta  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. According to Article 7 of the Order's constitution, the official language is Italian
  2. - Knights of Malta
  3. a b c d e f g Constitution and Codex of the Order (PDF, 1.25 MB). Retrieved December 9, 2010.
  4. - Humanitarian & Medical Aid
  5. German Order - German Brethren Province. In: Retrieved April 23, 2019 .
  6. ^ Precisazione della Segreteria di Stato in merito agli Ordini Equestri , - The Vatican Today, October 16, 2012.
  7. together
  8. ↑ The Order of Malta has elected the new Grand Master , DOMRADIO, May 2, 2018
  9. Ordine di Malta, eletto il nuovo luogotenente Fra Marco Luzzago, informato Papa Francesco on of November 8, 2020 (it.)
  11. about the German embassy to the Holy See [1] ; official diplomatic relations since 2017
  12. The Order of Malta is designated by the UN together with the International Committee of the Red Cross as an entity, but not as a state. See Intergovernmental and Other Organizations… (at the bottom). Retrieved December 9, 2010.
  13. a b Constitution of the Order (PDF; 400 kB)
  14. German Association
  15. Who is who der ( Memento from April 28, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  16. ^ Website of the Maltese Sisterhood
  17. ^ Website of the Malteser Werke gGmbH
  18. How does the German Foundation for Patient Protection finance its work? In: Patient Protection Info Service. German Foundation for Patient Protection, accessed on June 24, 2018 .
  19. Election as regent
  20. Awards. In: Homepage of the Lebanon project. Community of Young Maltese, accessed April 24, 2016 .
  21. Search ( memento from May 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) → Malteser Ritterorden ,, Foreign Representations in Austria
  22. - Austrian Embassy to the Holy See
  23. - The churches
  24. - The economic enterprises
  25. a b The economic operations of the Sovereign Order of Maltese Knights. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
  26. Senior Citizen House Malta
  27. St. John Community
  28. Maltese Care Ring
  29. - organization
  30. ^ In Italian, Corpo speciale volontario ausiliario dell'Esercito dell'Associazione dei cavalieri italiani del sovrano militare ordine di Malta (ACISMOM) .
  31. Hauke ​​Friedrichs: On manhunt in the Mediterranean . In: Die Zeit from May 16, 2012, p. 20
  32. Comunicato della Sala Stampa, January 25, 2017 (B0057)
  33. Jörg Bremer : Power struggle in the Order of Malta. In: , January 25, 2017, accessed on January 26, 2017.
  34. ^ Andrea Tornielli : Malta, Boeselager torna Cancelliere. Accolta la rinuncia di Festing. In: La Stampa , January 28, 2017, accessed on the same day.