46th Ceremony of Investiture of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta (KMFAP) between 30 Sept. - 1 Oct. 2022 in Malta
 

The Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, Federation of the Autonomous Priories (KMFAP) held its largest International Knighthood Ceremony ever between 30 September – 1 October 2022 in Malta.

The outmost historic place for our Sovereign Order of Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem is the peninsula of Malta, which was donated by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (King Charles I of Spain), to the Order in 1530, thus it became the new homeland of the Knights (after being expelled from Jerusalem, Acre, Cyprus and Rhodes), and where they spent 268 glorious years until 1798, leaving behind a great and valuable heritage and have had a decisive impact in many aspects not only on the life of the Maltese islands, but also on Europe.



It is a great pleasure and honour to have the possibility to return to one of the roots of the Order and to host our knighthood ceremonies in Malta, in a truly unique and authentic place, at the former La Sacra Infermeria, the main hospital and medical facility built by the Knights in the 16th century in Valletta.
It was one of the leading hospitals in Europe until the 18th century, and it remained in use even until the beginning of the 20th century. Then this huge building received its worthy purpose of today: it was transformed into Mediterranean Conference Centre (MCC), with international prestige due to its high-level events. It is always an unforgettable experience to organise our solemn investitures of new knights and dames in this historical setting, where you can almost feel the presence of our predecessors, while admiring the intact walls, decorated with the beautiful flags of the Grand Masters.




We are very proud that in the very impressive La Valette Hall, which is an extraordinary and magnificent space, we had the chance to hold the 46th Knighthood Ceremony of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, Federation of the Autonomous Priories (KMFAP) organised by the International team of the Event Organising Committee of KMFAP.

 
    

On this occasion our knights, dames, postulants and guests were in attendance from 46 countries (Malta, Hungary, Portugal, USA, Angola, Slovakia, Italy, Austria, Türkiye, Albania, Switzerland, Congo-Brazzaville, France, China, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Lebanon, Iraq, Guinea-Bissau, Tunisia, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam, Australia, Kosovo, Brazil, Serbia, Czech Republic, Mexico, North Macedonia, South Africa, UK, Cabo Verde, Sweden, Netherlands, Slovenia, Ukraine, Ghana, Syria, Romania, ATF (French Southern Territories), Philippines, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Moldavia and Spain) of 5 Continents (Europe, Africa, America, Asia, Australia).
Postulants, members of the Order with their families and guests arrived on time to be present at this grand-scale event that consisted of different chapters.

Malta offered us a beautiful whether with 28-31 C temperature at the end of September, which is another attraction of this country of 9000-year amazing history and unique places to enjoy.

Day of Honour: 30th September 2022

The two-day event started on Friday with the “Day of Honour”, a meeting dedicated to the Postulants of the Order: the General Chapter of Knights, held at Grand Hotel Excelsior, located in Floriana. Based on our excellent experiences the Excelsior became our headquarters hotel in Malta for its unique location on the sea shore, near to Valletta centre, professional and kind services and hospitality by its staff. This first meeting was also attended by many members of the Order belonging to various national priories and langues, who were very happy to see their fellow knights and dames with extraordinary feeling of joy and freedom, in good health, a year later, after lifting restrictions due to the pandemic.

 
  • After the opening of the meeting and introducing the leaders of KMFAP, the Grand Master HMEH Prince José greeted the Postulants and the members of the Order.

  • Then Sir Mark Scicluna – a true connoisseur of the history of his home country, Malta – made a presentation created together with Sir Pierre Mallia, about the History of Sacra Infermeria, the venue of next day ceremony.

  • It was followed by the General Introduction of KMFAP, its leaders, institutions, foreign and diplomatic activity by H.G. George Popper, Lieutenant General, Prime Minister of the State of the Order.


Other presentations were made as well: such as FEMERAID International – Malta Unit, FEMERAID Air Rescue by Sir Nuno Cosmelli, briefing about the FEMERAID International Ambulance Service by Sir Kevin Martin Gauci, about FEMERAID Brasil by Prof. Thiago Santos, and the KMFAP Embassy activities in Congo-Brazzaville by Amb. Sir Henri Nsika.

    

It was a very important moment when the Postulants were introduced one-by-one, and afterwards they were given the Postulant Diploma, the “Code of Chivalry” and the 1 Tari coin in folder with Certificate.

            

The Grand Master asked the Postulants in which activities they wanted to be involved in after becoming members of the Order, emphasizing the importance of the humanitarian work of KMFAP, as a key activity of the knights and dames all over the world since the establishment of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.

The meeting ended by an ancient knightly tradition dating back to the origins of the knighthood: the Watch of the Arms, when all the Postulants got acquainted with the procedure of the knighting, symbols of the Order and their meanings: the 8-pointed white cross, the red cape (that they receive when being knighted, and wearing according to the occasions), the knighting sword, the spur and other customs and rules of knights that they must respect, obey and preserve, while meditating on the change in their life following this important event coming up: the Investiture.

  

The day was topped and ended in conformity with the old chivalric traditions: with a nice dinner with large selection of dishes and beverages, the Official Banquet, spent in friendly mood by the postulants, knights, dames and guests at the Restaurant of the Grand Hotel Excelsior.

             

Day of Investiture: 1st October 2022

This grand-scale investiture with more than 200 attendees was hosted by the Mediterranean Conference Centre (MCC), the former Sacra Infermeria in Valletta. It has been one of the most prestigious buildings in Malta, built in the 16-17th centuries as a hospital and operated by the Knights of Saint John, that time it was famous for being the best hospital in whole Europe. We are very proud of its history, and we recalled the memory of our brave knights and great predecessors serving in the hospital and providing excellent medical care to all those in need. There is a very interesting and comprehensive museum about the history of the former hospital and the work of the care-giving knights and dames, as medical staff.


The 46th Knighthood Ceremony was held in the beautifully decorated La Valette Hall of MCC, full of families and guests waiting for the ceremony, as a great privilege for all attendees to be present at this magnificent space, dominated by red, the colour of KMFAP.

At the fanfare sound the ceremony started with the Processional Entrance of the postulants, members of the Order, priors, grand priors, government members, and the grand knighting officials under the guidance of the Masters of Ceremony: Sir Zolt├ín Hossó and Sir Norbert Abonyi on the music of Mozart. It was followed by the Greeting the Investing Sword, and Saluting the Flags while the Anthems of Malta and the KMFAP were played.

In Perpetuam Rei Memoriam: to our moral tradition, we remembered our deceased Knights and Great Predecessors and prayed for the health of our ill members and we listened Ave Maria by the Italian composer Macagni, performed by Lady Lívia Ághova, famous international soprano from the Czech Republic, enjoying her beautiful voice during the whole ceremony.

During the Several Acts the following members received high recognitions for their outstanding performance:
- Appointment of Sir Jason Pisani, Knight of Cyprus (Malta) to Colonel of the Magisterial State Guard and Commander of its Maltese Unit
- Medal of Honour for Humanitarian Work to Sir Kevin Gauci, Knight of Malta (Malta) for his brilliant work
- Letter of Thanks to MCC - to Rosette Micallef and Brian Cassar for their continuous assistance


Before starting the act of official investiture, the Grand Master delivered his Speech to the Postulants as follows:


After placing the prie-dieu to the stage, the most substantial part of the event began, the Knighthood Ceremonial – Investiture of the postulants.

According to traditions, the inauguration took place in two major parts interrupted by a 30 minutes’ pause serving café, snacks, canapés and beverages. During the ceremony, classical music pieces were played by two young and very talented Maltese musicians: Ms. Eliza Melillo – violin and Ms. Analise Mifsud – piano. The audience highly appreciated their performance.

At this grand ceremony, the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta (KMFAP) received 35 new members, on the responsible recommendation of two knights / dames, who are considered as the godfathers / godmothers of the postulants.

The very last moment of the knighting act was the investiture of a Squire, whose father has been our Knight.

As the final chapter of the ceremony, the Grand Master announced the Advancements to reward the merits and remarkable work of the knights and dames, done for the benefit of the Order and to make a difference. The following member received promotion:
- Sir Alfred Galea (Malta) received the Grand Cross Knight of Malta decoration


The closing music this time was a special joy for the whole audience, performed by Lady Liza Veiga, an International soprano from Portugal, just after being invested as a Dame of Malta, singing Nessun Dorma from Turandot by Puccini, with her extraordinary voice and show-like performing style.


The ceremony of investiture was closed by the Ceremonial Marching Out with the music of Dance of Blessed Spirit by Glück. It was followed by the official Photo Session at the La Valetta Hall. Then all the participants returned to the hotel to join the Gala Dinner and Ball.


Ball of Knights and Dames
The two-day event came to an end with a gorgeous Ball in honour of our new knights, members of the Order, their families, friends, invited guests, in elegant evening look, wearing tuxedo and long dresses enjoying the excellent dinner in festive ambience, topped by the music of the Maltese Group: Speed of Sound, that lasted till late at night with dances, while other knights joined the Cigar Club being at their disposal.


Dear Knights and Dames, let us continue this beautiful tradition to meet again in Malta in 2023!

Lady Anna Popper
President of the International Organising Committee of the Magisterial House

30th October 2022