In the 11th century the Knights of Malta, known then as ‘Knights Hospitaller’, established a hospital in Jerusalem to care for pilgrims of any religious faith or race. The work of the hospitallers grew in fame and in 1113 Pope Paschal II officially recognised the monastic community as a lay religious order. The Pope identified the Hospitaller Gerard as the Order’s founder, together with an established group of monks – the ‘Professed’ – who are still at the heart of the Order of Malta today.
Today, the Order of Malta is active in 120 countries caring for people in need through its medical, social and humanitarian works. It remains a lay religious order of the Catholic Church since 1113 and is a subject of international law, with diplomatic relations with over 100 states and the European Union, and permanent observer status at the United Nations. It is neutral, impartial and apolitical.
Day-to-day, the Order of Malta provides a broad spectrum of social projects and support for forgotten or excluded members of society. 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 basic equipment for survival. Across the world, the Order of Malta is dedicated to the preservation of human dignity and the care of all those in need, regardless of their race or religion.
The Order of Malta operates through 12 Priories, 47 national Associations, 133 diplomatic missions, 1 worldwide relief agency and 33 national volunteer corps, as well as numerous hospitals, medical centres and specialist foundations. It does not pursue any economic or political goal and does not depend on any other state or government.
Learn more about the Order of Malta and its charitable works by visiting www.orderofmalta.int
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