By Vatican News
In a telegramme of condolence to the Lieutenant ad interim of the order, Grand Commander Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas, the Pope described Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre as a zealous man of culture and faith and recalled his integral fidelity to Christ and the Gospel.
Pope Francis also paid tribute to his commitment to serve the Church and his dedication to the most vulnerable.
Concluding his message the Pope offered prayers for the late Grand Master’s family and the Order of Malta.
A life of service
The Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, died in Rome on Wednesday at the age of 75. He had been ill for some time.
Giacomo Dalla Torre was elected the 80th Grand Master of the Order in May 2018.
He was born in Rome on 9 December 1944. After graduating from the Sapienza University of Rome, he held academic positions at the Pontifical Urbaniana University.
He also published a range of academic articles and essays on aspects of medieval art history.
After being admitted to the Sovereign Order in 1985 as Knight of Honour and Devotion, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto took his solemn vows in 1993.
He was elected Grand Commander at the Chapter General of 2004. Upon the death of the 78th Grand Master, Fra' Andrew Bertie, in February 2008 he became Lieutenant ad interim.
Following the resignation of the 79th Grand Master, Fra' Matthew Festing, he was elected Lieutenant of the Grand Master for a year.
The Order of Malta said on Wednesday that Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto would be remembered as someone who assisted the disadvantaged, and for his cordial and affectionate manner.
Grand Commander Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas will carry out the functions of Lieutenant ad interim and will remain head of the Sovereign Order until the election of the new Grand Master.
Order of Malta’s mission
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta was founded in Jerusalem around the year 1048.
Today the Order of Malta is mainly active in health and social care and humanitarian aid, operating in over 120 countries. Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s special relief agency, operates on the front line in natural disasters and to alleviate the consequences of armed conflicts. The Order is currently engaged in the countries bordering Syria and Iraq providing aid to those fleeing from the violence.
It is a Permanent Observer to the United Nations and its specialised agencies, and has representatives to the main international organizations. Since 1834, the seat of the Order of Malta’s government has been in Rome.
This article has been updated