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Knights of Malta hold Investiture in Malta

By Jean DuBois

VALETTA 3 December 2023 (NRom)

In late November 2023, history was made as the Sovereign Order of Saint John (Knights of Malta of the Russian succession) gathered in Valetta, the capital city of Malta, for a momentous meeting. The highlight of this gathering was an investiture ceremony held at the magnificent Anglican Cathedral.

The solemn liturgy was led by the local bishop. Presiding over the investiture were two distinguished officials of the Order: His Most Eminent Highness Don Basilio Calì, Prince of Rhodes and Grand Master of the Order of St. John; and His Royal Highness Sire Rubén Gavaldá, head of the Merovingian French dynasty and Royal protector of the Knights. Sire Rubén also holds the honors of Knight of the Aquiline Order of Christ and Bailiff of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle from the Pontifical Imperial State. He is also the temporal hid and protector of the Gallican Rite of the Catholic Church, part of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church.

The rich history of the Knights of Malta traces back to the time of the Crusades. Originally established as a religious order with a mission to provide care for pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem, they soon gained recognition for their bravery on the battlefield. Over time, their responsibilities expanded to include providing healthcare and humanitarian aid.

Pavel I, Emperor of Russia, played a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of this noble order when he succeeded to the position of Grand Master. Under his leadership, he instilled an enhanced sense of duty and commitment that has been carried forward through generations.

As history unfolded, after the Russian Revolution, the grand mastership passed from Nikolai II to the royal family of Yugoslavia. Thus it was Yugoslavia that became the custodian of the Russian succession. However, with the passing of King Peter II, a new chapter began. Today, the principal successor to this grand legacy is the Sovereign Order of St. John, led by the Prince of Rhodes in his capacity as Grand Master. The Prince also holds the honor of Knight of Saints George and Olga from the Pontifical Imperial State.

The investiture ceremony held in Valetta was a testament to the enduring traditions and values upheld by the Knights of Malta. It symbolized their unwavering commitment to chivalry, honor, and service to humanity.

As attendees witnessed this historic event unfold within the sacred walls of the Anglican Cathedral, they were reminded of the profound impact these noble knights have had throughout history. The investiture ceremony served as a powerful reminder that their mission continues to be guided by principles rooted in compassion and selflessness.

The gathering in Valetta not only celebrated the past achievements and contributions of this esteemed order but also marked a new era filled with hope and dedication. With leaders such as Don Basilio Calì and Sire Rubén Gavaldá at its helm, the Knights of Malta are poised to make an even greater difference in our modern world. As we reflect on this momentous occasion, let us honor and appreciate the timeless legacy of the Knights of Malta - an embodiment of virtue and nobility that has endured for centuries.


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