Australian Order of Malta delegates are among 4,000 international delegates currently in Rome to celebrate the 900 year anniversary of the issue of the papal bull Pie postulatio voluntatis by Pope Paschal II on Friday, reports the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.
The papal decree, addressed to founder Blessed Gerard, gave ecclesiastical approval for the Hospital of St John, which is today the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.
To mark the occasion, robed Members of the Order from across the globe, including a group of 15 representatives from the Australian Association, are currently gathered in Rome for an International Working Conference. The conference started on Wednesday and the celebrations culminated in a Pontifical High Mass at St Peter’s Basilica on Saturday.
The Australian delegates include Australian Ambassadors of the Order of Malta James Dominguez, David Scarf, Michael Mann and Michael’s wife Monique and daughter Alexandra; the Australian President Tony Macken AM, son Antony and daughter Venetia, both members of the Order; Victorian Order Members Colonel Anthony Heath and Damian Benson; from London Josh Puls; from Queensland Dr Ian Marshall AM and Judith Marshall (Dr Marshall is the National Hospitaller of the Order of Malta in Australia); and from Sydney Frank Testa and his mother Mary Testa.
While the papal decree was issued 900 years ago, the Hospital of St John began operating in Jerusalem in about 1048, 65 years earlier. It was founded by Blessed Gerard to provide care for poor, sick or injured pilgrims to the Holy Land.
FULL STORY Australians gather in Rome for Order of Malta celebrations (CAM)