Tag Archives: Order of Malta

Order of Malta in Lourdes, France –a pilgrimage with the sick

sick person cared for Malta Lourdes.jpg

The 55th International Pilgrimage of the Order of Malta Lourdes, France has finished. It is reported that 6,500 people from 35 different countries –members of the Order of Malta, volunteers and pilgrims– went to take care of 1,300 who live with illness as part of their daily life. The American Association has participated in the Annual Order of Malta Pilgrimage to Lourdes since 1986.

The official title of the Order of Malta is The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta – founded in Jerusalem on 15 February 1113 with a bulla from Pope Paschal II – is a sovereign subject of international law and a lay religious order of the Catholic Church. Matthew Festing is the 79th leader of the Order. The Order maintains bilateral diplomatic relations with more than 100 States, 18 official representations and permanent observer status at the United Nations, the European Union and numerous international organizations. 

The Order of Malta is active in 120 countries, with 12 Grand Priories and Sub-Priories and 47 national Associations, as well as numerous hospitals, medical centers, day-care centers, first-aid corps and specialist foundations. The American Association is headquartered in New York City, and founded in 1927.

I have great affection for the Order of Malta, their history and the work they do for the faith and the sick. Each year people seek divine help through a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes to pray, to go into the healing baths and to enjoy the friendship of others living with illness. The witness of these people, the healthy and the ill, is a tremendous boost to my own struggles in life. Friends of mine in the Order give good example of what it means to live the Beatitudes and the Works of Mercy, spiritual and corporal.

The American Association of the Order of Malta, like their counterparts in other parts of the world, take time for their own conversion, learning the Catholic faith, helping the ill, bringing Holy Communion to the hospitals, prison ministry, working their parishes, and healthcare work in other countries like Haiti.

Our Lady of Philermo, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Blessed Gerard Tongue, pray for us.

Portsmouth Abbey monks dedicate Lourdes Grotto

Magnificat, anima mea Dominum!

Caedmon Holmes blesses Grotto.jpg

Earlier today my friend Peter and I journeyed to Portsmouth Abbey and School for the blessing of the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto.  An outdoor shrine to dedicated to the Virgin Mary who appeared in Lourdes France in the 19th century. Abbot Caedmon led the blessing and School choir sang the traditional hymns to Our Lady.
Abbot Caedmon drew our attention to the humility of Mary appearing to Saint Bernadette asking her to tell the world of the need for prayer and penance. A message clearly consistent with the Gospel of Christ. It is Mary, the Mother of God, Mother of the Church who calls us to greater fidelity to her Son and Our Savior, Jesus. And so the Gospel and Our Lady of Lourdes, so with us today.
The Grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes on the west side of the Portsmouth Abbey campus is the generous gift of an anonymous former student and benefactor of Portsmouth. The generosity of this man is borne of his desire to make the Virgin Mary of Lourdes known and to inspire among those connected with Portsmouth the enduring commitment of faith, reason and service for one’s salvation and the salvation of the world. A significant example of this witness is that the Abbey School, for the last 34 years, has joined with the Ampleforth Abbey Pilgrimage (England) for a service to trip to assist the sick on pilgrimage seeking a divine healing and cure at the great Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France in July.
The stone for the Grotto was harvested from the Abbey property (as was the stone used for the Abbey Church) and a local landscaping crew did the labor. Benedictine Brother Joseph contributed his expertise to the project.

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Fra’ Andrew Bertie’s study in the cause for beatification opened

Andrew Bertie.jpgThe Grand Magistry of the Order of Malta has informed
its members that the process to study toward the
beatification of the former Grand Master and Prince, Fra’ Andrew Willoughby
Ninian Bertie

His Most Eminent Highness, Fra’ Andrew died in Rome on February 7, 2008 at 78
years (he was born May 15, 1929). Berite was admitted to the Order in 1956 and
was the 78th head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the successor of Blessed Gerard. Fra’ Andrew was the
youngest son of the 7th Earl of Abigngdon; both sides of his family has royal
ties through the centuries. Bertie was educated at Ampleforth Abbey School,
Christ Church, Oxford and at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the
University of London. He taught French and Spanish for 23 years at the Worth
Abbey School, run by the Benedictine monks.

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In April 1988, Andrew Bertie was
elected the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Fra’ Angelo de Mojana di
Cologna. It is long known that Fra’Andrew was followed closely the official
motto of the order is Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum, “Defense of the Faith
and Service of the Poor.” 

Several years ago the Order of Malta was credited to
having about 13, 000 Knights and Dames, 80,000 volunteers (15,000 trained as doctors and nurses), and a presence in 200 hospitals. The Order has an official presence in 120
countries. I am sure the data could be updated.

Fra’ James-Michael von Strobel has been charged to compile a list of
persons in the United States who knew Fra’ Andrew and would support favorably
this cause.

Please contact Fra’ James-Michael if you care to give support in
this endeavor. jmvonstroebel@hotmail.com 

Pope Benedict XVI spoke of Fra’ Andrew and praised “the work of this man of
culture and of his generous commitment in the fulfillment of his high office,
especially in favor of those most in need, and for his love for the Church and
for his luminous testimony of the principles of the Gospel.”

Fra’ Andrew was succeeded by Fra’ Matthew Festing.
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ExCons need Christian charity for conversion, new life

chained prisoner Goya.jpgPrograms for prisoner reentry into society is crucial in keeping people clean, working, and being a good citizens. “Do-good-ing” is not a Catholic principle. We have plenty of good people doing good all the time. In fact, my heart is really moved by those who don’t have a faith tradition to call their own and are motivated to act charitably toward those in need. Living a life of virtue and prayer are Catholic ways of proceeding. Showing mercy is what we are called to live in concrete ways. Helping the excon get on his or her feet again and walking with them is Jesus-inspired act.

Faith-based community projects, church-based communities of faith, Catholic groups like the Order of Malta and Catholic dioceses are among those who are doing good work to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith-based communities have compassion as part of their mission and many are facing compassion fatigue. Money and red-tape are real obstacles to living the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.
“… I was in prison and visited me” (Matthew 25:36)

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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