9-February-2013 -- Vatican Information Service |

Share |

Pope To Order Of Malta: Act With Faith And Charity For Renewal Of Hope

Vatican City, 9 February 2013 (VIS) - Members of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, whose Grand Master is Fra' Matthew Festing, have come to Rome on pilgrimage to celebrate the ninth centenary of the "Pie postulatio volutatis" privilege of February 15, 1113, by which Pope Paschal II placed the newly created "hospitaller fraternity" of Jerusalem, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, under Church protection, giving it sovereign status and constituting it as an Order in church law, with the faculty freely to elect its superiors without interference from other lay or religious authorities. This morning, Benedict XVI welcomed them to St. Peter's Basilica, thanking the Order for their offering, which will be destined to a work of charity. He also thanked Cardinal Paolo Sardi, patron of the Order, "for the care with which he strives to strengthen the special bond that joins you to the Catholic Church and most particularly to the Holy See".

"This important event," the Pope explained, "takes on a special meaning in the context of the Year of Faith, during which the Church is called to renew the joy and the commitment of believing in Jesus Christ, the one Saviour of the world. In this regard, you too are called to welcome this time of grace, so as to deepen your knowledge of the Lord and to cause the truth and beauty of the faith to shine forth, through the witness of your lives and your service, in this present time. Your Order, from its earliest days, has been marked by fidelity to the Church and to the Successor of Peter, and also for its unrenounceable spiritual identity, characterized by high religious ideals. Continue to walk along this path, bearing concrete witness to the transforming power of faith. ..."

"By faith, down the centuries, the members of your Order have given themselves completely, firstly in the care of the sick in Jerusalem and then in aid to pilgrims in the Holy Land who were exposed to grave dangers: their lives have added radiant pages to the annals of Christian charity and protection of Christianity. In the nineteenth century, the Order opened up to new and more ample forms of apostolate in the area of charitable assistance and service of the sick and the poor, but without ever abandoning the original ideals, especially that of the intense spiritual life of individual members. In this sense, your commitment must continue with a very particular attention to the religious consecration? of the professed members?which constitutes the heart of the Order."

"In this sense," the Pope emphasized, "your Order, compared with other organizations that are committed in the international arena to the care of the sick, to solidarity and to human promotion, is distinguished by the Christian inspiration that must constantly direct the social engagement of its members. Be sure to preserve and cultivate this your qualifying characteristic and work with renewed apostolic ardour, maintaining an attitude of profound harmony with the Magisterium of the Church. Your esteemed and beneficent activity, carried out in a variety of fields and in different parts of the world, and particularly focused on care of the sick through hospitals and health-care institutes, is not mere philanthropy, but an effective expression and a living testimony of evangelical love. ..."

"In Sacred Scripture, the summons to love of neighbour is tied to the commandment to love God with all our heart, all our soul and all our strength. Thus, love of neighbour?if based on a true love for God?corresponds to the commandment and the example of Christ. ... In order to offer love to our brothers and sisters, we must be afire with it from the furnace of divine charity: through prayer, constant listening to the word of God, and a life centred on the Eucharist."

The Pope concluded his address by inviting the members of the Order of Malta to "continue working in society and in the world along the elevated paths indicated by the Gospel?faith and charity, for the renewal of hope. Faith, as testimony of adherence to Christ and of commitment to the Gospel mission, which inspires you to an ever more vital presence in the ecclesial community and to an ever more conscious membership of the people of God; charity, as an expression of fraternity in Christ, through works of mercy for the sick, the poor, those in need of love, comfort and assistance, those who are afflicted by loneliness, by a sense of bewilderment and by new material and spiritual forms of poverty. These ideals are aptly expressed in your motto: "Tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum". These words summarize well the charism of your Order which, as a subject of international law, aims not to exercise power and influence of a worldly character, but in complete freedom to accomplish its own mission for the integral good of man, spirit and body, both individually and collectively, with special regard to those whose need of hope and love is greater.

To share this story with a friend, click on one of the share icons at the top of this page.


 

Back to List

EWTN Now Podcast Your Favorite EWTN Programs

 

 

HOME - EWTNews - FAITH - TELEVISION - RADIO - LIBRARY - MULTIMEDIA
WHAT'S NEW - GENERAL - RELIGIOUS CATALOGUE - PILGRIMAGES - ESPA´┐ŻOL

Terms of Use    Privacy Policy