His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received in audience at the Vatican, Fra’ Matthew Festing, Grand Master of the Order of Malta, accompanied by the members of the Sovereign Council. Following a long-established tradition, the audience was held on the occasion of the feast of St. John the Baptist, patron saint of the Order of Malta.
In the friendly private conversation between the Pope and the Grand Master a number of issues were discussed, including the Order’s current actions in developing the spiritual formation of its members, the initiatives taken in furthering ecumenical dialogue, the Order’s commitments in the Holy Land and Africa, as well as the programmes developed in several countries to assist immigrants. Pope Benedict XVI has made many appeals to the international community to assist immigrants and refugees: ‘How can we fail to help those who are weak, defenceless, insecure, marginalised and often excluded by society?’
Before the papal audience, the Grand Master and his delegation were received by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State.
The Holy Father with the Prince and Grand Master accompanied by:
S. Exc. le Vén. Bailli Fra’ Gherardo HERCOLANI FAVA SIMONETTI
S. Exc. le Bailli Grand-Croix d’Honneur et de Dévotion en Obédience Jean-Pierre MAZERY
S. Exc. le Bailli Grand-Croix d’Honneur et de Dévotion en Obédience Albrecht Freiherr von BOESELAGER
Receveur du Commun Trésor
S. Exc. le Bailli Grand-Croix d’Honneur et de Dévotion en Obédience Marquis Gian Luca CHIAVARI
Membres of the Sovereign Concil
S. Exc. Fra’ Carlo d’IPPOLITO di SANT’IPPOLITO, Grand-Croix de Justice
S. Exc. Fra’ John T. DUNLAP, Chevalier de Justice
S. Exc. Fra’ Duncan GALLIE, Chevalier de Justice
S. Exc. Fra’ Emmanuel ROUSSEAU, Chevalier de Justice
S. Exc. le Chevalier Grand-Croix de Grâce et de Dévotion en Obédience Antonio R. SANCHEZ-COREA, Jr.
S. Exc. le Bailli Grand-Croix d’Honneur et de Dévotion en Obédience Winfried Graf HENCKEL von DONNERSMARCK
The Ambassador of the Sovereign Order to the Holy See S. Exc. M. Alberto LEONCINI BARTOLI, Grand-Croix de Grâce et de Dévotion, Grand-Croix de l’Ordre “pro Merito Melitensi”
The Grand Master received by H.E. Bishop De Nicolò Regent of the Papal Household and Prince Windisch-Graetz Gentleman of the Holy Father
The Grand Master greets Prof. Alberto Bochicchio Gentleman of the Holy Father
Prince Windisch-Graetz escorts the Prince and Grand Master
Mr. Saverio Petrillo escorts the H.E. the Grand Commander – Prof. Bochicchio escorts H.E. the Grand Chancellor
The Prince and Grand Master with the Getleman of the Holy Father