Order of Malta elects Lieutenant of the Grand Master
By Vatican News staff writer
Fra’ Marco Luzzago has been elected, with a large majority, Lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Order of Malta. The elections took place in one of the Order of Malta’s two institutional seats over the weekend. The Order’s electoral body, known as the Council Complete of State, met over the 7 and 8 of November in the Magistral Villa in Rome.
As Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Luzzago will serve a term of one year with all of the prerogatives of the Grand Master until the next election. This will allow the Order of Malta to continue its ongoing process of constitutional reforms.
Of the 56 members entitled to the vote, 44 were present. They came to Rome from Argentina, Peru, the United States, Lebanon, France, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Holland, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Malta and Italy.
On its website, the Sovereign Order of Malta has released a statement explaining that “The newly elected head of the Sovereign Order of Malta swore his oath before the members of the Council Complete of State and the Pope’s Special Delegate, cardinal-designate Silvano Maria Tomasi.”
Fra’ Marco Luzzago succeeds Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, Prince and 80th Grand Master, who died on 29 April last.
In the statement, the Order says that Pope Francis was informed of the election by letter. “The Lieutenant of the Grand Master addressing the members of the Council Complete said: ‘the Holy Spirit has graciously turned his gaze to me. I thank each one of you for placing your trust in me and for showing by your presence here today a great love and a great dedication to our Order. For my part, I can only assure you of my maximum commitment to address the challenges that lie ahead of us in the coming months. First of all, the reform of the Constitutional Charter and the Code carried on with such fervour by our late Fra’ Giacomo, whom at this moment I remember with emotion.”
The Sovereign Order of Malta is a lay religious order of the Catholic Church since 1113 and a subject of international law. It has diplomatic relations with over 100 states and the European Union, and permanent observer status at the United Nations. Today, the Order of Malta is active in 120 countries caring for people in need through its medical, social and humanitarian works. It is especially involved in helping people living in the midst of armed conflicts and natural disasters by providing medical assistance, caring for refugees, and distributing medicines and humanitarian aid.