43rd Ceremony of Investiture of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta (KMFAP) between 8-9 October 2021 in Malta

Following a forced pause due to the pandemic restrictions and lockdown all over the world it was an extraordinary feeling of joy and freedom that the 43rd International Knighthood Ceremony of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, Federation of the Autonomous Priories (KMFAP) could be held in Valletta, Malta, co-organised by the Hungarian and the Maltese Grand Priories.
On this occasion our knights, dames, postulants and guests were in attendance from 32 countries (Malta, Hungary, USA, Portugal, Angola, Slovakia, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Albania, Ghana, Switzerland, Sweden, Iraq, Germany, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Brazil, South Africa, Moldavia, Netherlands, St. Kitts and Nevis, France, Finland, North Macedonia, Ukraine and China) of 4 continents of the world.

Members of the Order with their families and guests arrived on time to be present at this special event that consisted of different chapters.

Day of Honour: 8th October 2021

The two-day event started on the 8th of October with the “Day of Honour”, a meeting dedicated to the Postulants: the General Chapter of Knights was held at Grand Hotel Excelsior, located in Floriana, attended by members of the Order belonging to various priories and langues. Based on our excellent experiences in many aspects the Excelsior became our headquarters hotel in Malta for its unique location on the sea shore and professional, kind services by its staff.
• 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 Pierre Mallia, Minister of Health and Hospitaller Affairs – a true connoisseur of the history of his home country, Malta – made a presentation about the History of KMFAP, emphasising the 268-year long period of time that the Order spent in Malta.
• 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 and Briefing about the FEMERAID International Ambulance Service by Sir Kevin Martin Gauci.

It was a very important moment when the Postulants introduced themselves one-by-one, which was accompanied by great interest from those present, as always.
The Grand Master asked the postulants in which activities they wanted to be involved, encouraging, of course, the involvement in 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.
After the introduction, each postulant received the Postulant Diploma, the “Code of Chivalry” and the 1 Tari coin in folder with Certificate.

The meeting ended by an ancient and heartfelt knightly tradition dating back to the origins of the knighthood: the Watch of the Arms, when all the postulants got acquainted with the symbols 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 their future life and changes following this important event coming up: the Investiture.

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

Day of Investiture: 9th October 2021

This grand-scale investiture was hosted by the Mediterranean Conference Centre (MCC), the 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 who needed. 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.

Extracts from the History:

The 43rd Knighthood Ceremony was organised 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 historic venue, 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 Master of Ceremony, Sir Norbert Abonyi on the music of Mozart. It was followed by 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 Giulio Caccini – performed by Ms. Liza Veiga, famous international soprano from Portugal, enjoying her beautiful voice and show-like performing style during the whole ceremony. (She became a postulant for the next ceremony of investiture to be held in Malta in 2022.) 

During the Several Acts the following members received high recognitions for their outstanding performance:
• Sir George Popper (Hungary) – Cross of Honour of the Federation Class 5 - Gold with Diamonds
• Lady Anna Popper (Hungary) – Cross of Honour of the Federation Class 5 - Gold with Diamonds
• Sir Pierre Mallia (Malta) – Medal of Honour for Humanitarian Work

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. Blessing of the Insignia of the Order was performed by our Grand Master.
According to traditions, the inauguration took place in several parts with interruptions of classical music pieces by Ms. Yun Cai – piano and Mr. Volodymyr Baran – violin.


At this ceremony, the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta (KMFAP) received 14 new members, and the Sovereign Order of Cyprus received 1 new member, on the responsible recommendation of two knights / dames, who are considered as the godfathers / godmothers of the postulants.

As the final chapter of the ceremony, the Grand Master announced the Advancements to reward the merits and the remarkable work of the knights and dames, done for the benefit of the Order and to make a difference. The following members received promotions:
• Sir Alfred Galea (Malta) – Knight Grand Officer of Malta
• Sir Michael Armstrong (Turkey) – Knight Commander of Malta
• Lady Erika Macsári (Hungary) – Dame Grand Officer of Cyprus
• Sir János Hülber (Hungary) – Knight Commander of Cyprus
• Sir Szilveszter Tánczos (Hungary) – Knight Commander of Cyprus

Then we proceeded to another important segment: New appointments
• Lady Tatiana Carraca (Portugal) – State Counsellor for Legal Affairs and Deputy State Attorney, Magisterial Decree 02/2021
• Sir Marjan Molek (Slovenia) – Deputy Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Cooperation, Magisterial Decree 04/2021
• Lady Sanga De Almeida (Angola) – Consul General to the Republic of Angola, Magisterial Charter 05/2021

The ceremony of investiture was closed by the official photo session at the La Valetta Hall of MCC. Then all the participants returned to the hotel to join the closing 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 (tuxedo or 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 (unfortunately no dancing was permitted that time because of the pandemic restrictions still in force), while other knights used the services of the Cigar Club being at their disposal.

We truly wish and hope to meet you all again in Malta in 2022.

20th October 2021