Knights of Malta Grand Master in official state visit to Malta tomorrow

The Birgu local council will name Fra' Matthew Festing an honorary citizen. 

Fra' Matthew Festing, Prince and Grand Master of the Order of St. John
Fra' Matthew Festing, Prince and Grand Master of the Order of St. John

Fra’ Matthew Festing, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitalier Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta will arrive in Malta on a state visit tomorrow.

During his three-day visit, Festing will meet Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil, President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, and Speaker Anglu Farrugia.

He will also visit the Cloistered Monastery of the Nuns of St. Ursula in Valletta, St. Paul’s Grotto in Rabat, and attend a pontifical mass in St. John’s Co-Cathedral by Archbishop Charles Scicluna.

He will also visit Birgu, where he will lay a wreath at the Great Siege Monument in the main square and where the town’s local council will name him an honorary citizen.

Festing, an Englishman, was elected as the 78th Grand Master of the Order in March 2008, succeeding Fra’ Andrew Bertie upon his death.

He became a member of the Sovereign Order of Malta in 1977, and took solemn religious vows in 1991, becoming a Professed Knight of the Order. Between 1993 and 2008, he was the Grand Prior of England. In this role, he led missions of humanitarian aid to Kosovo, Serbia and Croatia, and headed the British delegation at the Order’s annual international pilgrimage to Lourdes.

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