Links between Malta and the Knights Sovereign Order explored in symposium organised by President George Vella

The ties between Sovereign Order and Malta were renewed during the second symposium from a series of Presidential cultural symposiums.

President George Vella said the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Republic of Malta still have the potential to increase on their historical ties and work together to maintain the presence of the Order in Malta.

The ties, still maintained today, are those of one of the oldest institutions in Christian civilisation and every nook and cranny reflects these ties in the history and culture that the Order instilled in Malta even though the Order had to depart from the country in 1798.

Nowadays the Order has a Diplomatic Mission in the country and an Association for those members of the Order and Knights still resident here – such as Fra John Critien who resides at Fort St Angelo.

The Ambassador of the Order in Malta, Prince Augusto Ruffo di Calabria, said that links with Malta comprise 120 countries where the Order is active and strong and continues to move forward.

“There is a very strong link because for us, Knights of Malta, the state of Malta is very important, in the same way everything remembers the old days when the Knights of Malta were staying here, ruling the island, I think that we will have many plans together. I plan to do something very special for the National Day, I rented a theatre in Valletta… there will be an exhibition of a very important artist, and it will be open to the public.”

The Order’s links with Malta has meant that the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem is now known as the Malta order.

President George Vella said it is this legacy that links the two tom work for further strong relations between them.

He said the Order controlled Malta between the 16th and 18th Centuries – a period of 250 years and this had an enormous influence on the culture and the politics as well as the adoption of clothing and there are still many persons  elaborating on the links and the influence of the Order on Malta.

President Vella said since their departure from Malta, the Order has become recognised worldwide particularly for its support to the sick and vulnerable and in Mata itself the Order is still supporting persons with disabilities, single parents and persons in need.