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The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta (Italian: Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta), also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, is a Roman Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature. It is the world's oldest surviving order of chivalry. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is headquartered in Rome, and is widely considered a sovereign subject of international law.

SMOM is the modern continuation of the original medieval order of Saint John of Jerusalem, known as the Knights Hospitaller, a group founded in Jerusalem about 1050 as an Amalfitan hospital to provide care for poor and sick pilgrims to the Holy Land. After the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, it became a military order under its own charter. Following the loss of Christian held territories of the Holy Land to Muslims, the Order operated from Rhodes (1310-1523), and later from Malta (1530-1798), over which it was sovereign. Although this state came to an end with the ejection of the Order from Malta by Napoleon, the Order as such survived. It retains its claims of sovereignty under international law and has been granted permanent observer status at the United Nations.

Today the order has about 13,000 members; 80,000 permanent volunteers; and 20,000 medical personnel including doctors, nurses, auxiliaries and paramedics in more than 120 countries.[3] The goal is to assist the elderly, handicapped, refugeed, children, homeless, those with terminal illness and leprosy in five continents of the world, without distinction of race or religion. In several countries-including France, Germany and Ireland-the local associations of the Order are important providers of first aid training, first aid services and emergency medical services. Through its worldwide relief corps-Malteser International-the Order is also engaged to aid victims of natural disasters, epidemics and armed conflicts.

Name and insignia

The Order has a large number of local priories and associations around the world but there also exist a number of organizations with similar-sounding names that are unrelated, including numerous fraudulent (self-styled) orders seeking to capitalize on the name.

In the ecclesiastical heraldry of the Roman Catholic Church, the Order of Malta is one of only two orders (along with the Order of the Holy Sepulchre) whose insignia may be displayed in a clerical coat of arms. (Laypersons have no such restriction.) The shield is surrounded with a silver rosary for professed knights, or for others the ribbon of their rank. Members may also display the Maltese Cross behind their shield instead of the ribbon.


The birth of the Order dates back to around 1048. Merchants from the ancient Marine Republic of Amalfi obtained from the Caliph of Egypt the authorisation to build a church, convent and hospital in Jerusalem, to care for pilgrims of any religious faith or race. The Order of St.John of Jerusalem - the monastic community that ran the hospital for the pilgrims in the Holy Land - became independent under the guidance of its founder, Blessed Gérard. With the Bull of 15 February 1113, Pope Paschal II approved the foundation of the Hospital and placed it under the aegis of the Holy See, granting it the right to freely elect its superiors without interference from other secular or religious authorities. By virtue of the Papal Bull, the Hospital became an Order exempt from the Church. All the Knights were religious, bound by the three monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

The constitution of the Kingdom of Jerusalem regarding the crusades obliged the Order to take on the military defence of the sick, the pilgrims and the territories that the crusaders had conquered from the Muslims. The Order thus added the task of defending the faith to that of its hospitaller mission. As time went on, the Order adopted the white eight-pointed Cross that is still its symbol today.


When the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land fell in 1291, the Order settled first in Cyprus and then, in 1310, led by Grand Master Fra' Foulques de Villaret, on the island of Rhodes. From there, defense of the Christian world required the organization of a naval force; so the Order built a powerful fleet and sailed the eastern Mediterranean, fighting many famous battles for the sake of Christendom, including Crusades in Syria and Egypt.

In the early 14th century, the institutions of the Order and the knights who came to Rhodes from every corner of Europe were grouped according to the languages they spoke. The initial seven such groups, or Langues (Tongues) -- Provence, Auvergne, France, Italy, Aragon (Navarre), England (with Scotland and Ireland), and Germany -- became eight in 1492, when Castille and Portugal were separated from the Langue of Aragon. Each Langue included Priories or Grand Priories, Bailiwicks, and Commanderies.

The Order was governed by its Grand Master (the Prince of Rhodes) and Council. From its beginning, independence from other nations granted by pontifical charter and the universally recognised right to maintain and deploy armed forces constituted grounds for the international sovereignty of the Order, which minted its own coins and maintained diplomatic relations with other States. The senior positions of the Order were given to representatives of different Langues.


After six months of siege and fierce combat against the fleet and army of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the Knights were forced to surrender in 1523 and left Rhodes with military honours. The Order remained without a territory of its own until 1530, when Grand Master Fra' Philippe de Villiers de l'Isle Adam took possession of the island of Malta, granted to the Order by Emperor Charles V with the approval of Pope Clement VII.

The Reformation which split Western Europe into Protestant and Roman Catholic states affected the Knights as well. In several countries, including England and Scotland, the Order was disestablished. In others, including the Netherlands and the Germanies, entire bailiwicks or commanderies (administrative divisions of the Order) experienced religious conversions. The "Johanniter orders" are the continuations of these converted divisions in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and other countries, including the United States and South Africa. It was established that the Order should remain neutral in any war between Christian nations.

Great Siege

In 1565 the Knights, led by Grand Master Fra' Jean de la Vallette (after whom the capital of Malta, Valletta, was named), defended the island for more than three months during the Great Siege by the Turks. The fleet of the Order, then one of the most powerful in the Mediterranean, contributed to the ultimate destruction of the Ottoman naval power in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

In exile

Two hundred years later, in 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte occupied the island for its strategic value during his Egyptian campaign. Because of the Order's Rule prohibiting them to raise weapons against other Christians, the knights were forced to leave Malta. Although the sovereign rights of the Order in the island of Malta had been reaffirmed by the Treaty of Amiens (1802), the Order was unable to return to Malta.


After having temporarily resided in Messina, Catania and Ferrara, in 1834 the Order settled definitively in Rome, where it owns, with extraterritorial status, the Magistral Palace in Via Condotti 68 and the Magistral Villa on the Aventine Hill.

The original hospitaller mission became once again the main activity of the Order, growing ever stronger during the last century, most especially because of the contribution of the activities carried out by the Grand Priories and National Associations in so many countries around the world. Large-scale hospitaller and charitable activities were carried out during World Wars I and II under Grand Master Fra' Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere (1931-1951). Under the Grand Masters Fra' Angelo de Mojana di Cologna (1962-1988) and Fra' Andrew Bertie (1988-2008), the projects expanded until they reached the furthermost regions of the planet.

Return to Malta

In 1998[12] due to an agreement made with the Maltese Government, the Order has returned to Malta. It once again has property in Malta, but its headquarters are still in Rome. This agreement grants the Order the exclusive use of Fort St Angelo in the town of Birgu, Malta. This agreement has a duration of 99 years.

International status of the Order

With its unique history and unusual present circumstances, the exact status of the Order in international law has been the subject of debate: it claims to be a traditional example of a sovereign entity other than a state. Its two headquarters in Rome - the Palazzo Malta in Via dei Condotti 68, where the Grand Master resides and Government Bodies meet, and the Villa Malta on the Aventine, which hosts the Grand Priory of Rome - Fort Saint Angelo on the island of Malta, the Embassy of the Order to Holy See and the Embassy of the Order to Italy have all been granted extraterritoriality.

However, unlike the Holy See, which is sovereign over Vatican City, SMOM has had no sovereign territory (other than Fort St Angelo in Malta and a few properties in Italy with extraterritoriality) since the loss of the island of Malta in 1798. The United Nations does not classify it as a "non-member state" but as one of the "entities and intergovernmental organizations having received a standing invitation to participate as observers." For instance, while the International Telecommunication Union has granted radio identification prefixes to such quasi-sovereign jurisdictions as the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority, SMOM has never received one. For awards purposes, amateur radio operators consider SMOM to be a separate "entity", but stations transmitting from there use an entirely unofficial callsign, starting with the prefix "1A". Likewise, for internet identification, the SMOM has neither sought nor been granted a top-level domain, while Vatican City uses its own domain (.va).

There are differing opinions as to whether a claim to sovereign status has been recognized. Ian Brownlie, Helmut Steinberger, and Wilhelm Wengler are among the experts who say that the claim has not been recognized. Even taking into account the Order's ambassadorial status among many nations, a claim to sovereign status is sometimes rejected. The Order maintains diplomatic missions around the world and many of the states reciprocate by accrediting ambassadors to the Order.

Wengler-a German professor of international law-addresses this point in his book Völkerrecht, and rejects the notion that recognition of the Order by some states can make it a subject of international law. Conversely, professor Rebecca Wallace -writing more recently in her book International Law-explains that a sovereign entity does not have to be a country, and that SMOM is an example of this. This position appears to be supported by the number of nations extending diplomatic relations to the Order, which more than doubled from 49 to 100 in the 20-year period to 2008. In 1953, the Holy See proclaimed that the Order of Malta was only a "functional sovereignty"-due to the fact that it did not have all that pertained to true sovereignty, such as territory.

SMOM has formal diplomatic relations with 104 states and has official relations with another six countries and the European Union. Additionally it has relations with the International Committee of the Red Cross and a number of international organizations, including observer status at the UN and some of the specialized agencies. Its international nature is useful in enabling it to pursue its humanitarian activities without being seen as an operative of any particular nation. Its claimed sovereignty is also expressed in the issuance of passports, licence plates, stamps, and coins. That Rome is the capital of the Italian Republic, the Holy See is located there as enclave and the extraterritorial Order of Malta headquarters are located there as well, leads to a high density of diplomatic instances in the city.

The SMOM coins are appreciated more for their subject matter than for their use as currency; SMOM postage stamps, however, have been gaining acceptance among Universal Postal Union member nations. The SMOM began issuing euro-denominated postage stamps in 2005, although the scudo remains the official currency of the SMOM. Also in 2005, the Italian post agreed with the SMOM to deliver internationally most classes of mail other than registered, insured, and special-delivery mail; additionally 56 countries recognize SMOM stamps for franking purposes, including those such as Canada and Mongolia that lack diplomatic relations with the Order.

Overview of international bilateral relations

The Order has established diplomatic relations with 104 sovereign states (including the Holy See, Monaco and Russia) and exchanges ambassadors with the European Union.

The Order has non-diplomatic official relations with 6 more states: France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Canada.

At least 5 other states maintain no relations with and do not recognize the passports of the Order: Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Greece.

Currently the Order has no established relations with:

  • Andorra, Denmark, United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Cyprus, Estonia, Turkey, Azerbaijan
  • Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Israel
  • Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
  • Djibouti, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho
  • Mongolia (accepts its stamps),[23] Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan
  • China, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives
  • Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu, Palau, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa
  • United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Barbados, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago
  • any of the states with limited recognition listed here.

Governance of the Order

The proceedings of the Order are governed by its Constitutional Charter and the Order's Code. It is divided internationally into six territorial Grand Priories, six Sub-Priories, and 47 national associations.

The supreme head of the Order is the Grand Master, who is elected for life by the Council Complete of State, holds the precedence of a cardinal of the Church since 1630, and received the rank of Reichsfürst (Prince of the Holy Roman Empire) in 1607. Fra' Matthew Festing was elected by the Council as 79th Grand Master on 11 March 2008, succeeding Fra' Andrew Bertie, who was Grand Master until his death on 7 February 2008. Electors in the Council include the members of the Sovereign Council, other office-holders and representatives of the members of the Order. The Grand Master is aided by the Sovereign Council (the government of the Order), which is elected by the Chapter General, the legislative body of the Order. The Chapter General meets every five years; at each meeting, all seats of the Sovereign Council are up for election. The Sovereign Council includes six members and four High Officers: the Grand Commander, the Grand Chancellor, the Grand Hospitaller and the Receiver of the Common Treasure. The Grand Commander is the chief religious officer of the Order and serves as "Interim Lieutenant" during a vacancy in the office of Grand Master. The Grand Chancellor, whose office includes those of the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is the head of the executive branch; he is responsible for the Diplomatic Missions of the Order and relations with the national Associations. The Grand Hospitaller's responsibilities include the offices of Minister for Humanitarian Action and Minister for International Cooperation; he coordinates the Order's humanitarian and charitable activities. Finally, the Receiver of the Common Treasure is the Minister of Finance and Budget; he directs the administration of the finances and property of the Order.

Patrons of the Order of Malta since 1961

The patron, who is always a cardinal, has the task of promoting the spiritual interests of the Order and its members, and its relations with the Holy See.

  • Paolo Cardinal Giobbe (8 August 1961 - 3 July 1969)
  • Giacomo Cardinal Violardo (3 July 1969 - 17 March 1978)
  • Paul-Pierre Cardinal Philippe, O.P. (10 November 1978 - 9 April 1984)
  • Sebastiano Cardinal Baggio (26 May 1984 - 21 March 1993)
  • Pio Cardinal Laghi (8 May 1993 - 11 January 2009)
  • Paolo Cardinal Sardi (6 June 2009 - present)


Membership in the order is divided into several classes: knights of justice, or profess knights, who take religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and form what amounts to a religious order (until the 1990s membership in this class was restricted to members of families with noble titles); knights of obedience (similarly restricted, these knights make a promise, rather than a vow, of obedience); knights of honour and devotion, knights of grace and devotion, and knights of magistral grace, all classes made up of members who take no vows and who had to show a decreasingly extensive history of nobility (knights of magistral grace need not prove any noble lineage and are the commonest class of knights in the United States). Within each class of knights are ranks ranging from bailiff grand cross (the highest) through knight grand cross, knight commander, knight officers, and knight - thus one could be a "knight commander of grace and devotion," or a "bailiff grand cross of justice." A final rank of donat is offered to some who join the order in the class of "justice" but who are not knights.

Prior to the 1990s, all officers of the Order had to be of noble birth (i.e., armigerous for at least a hundred years), as they were all knights of justice or of obedience. However, Knights of Magistral Grace (i.e., those without noble proofs) now may make the Promise of Obedience and, at the discretion of the Grand Master and Sovereign Council, may enter the novitiate to become professed Knights of Justice.

Worldwide, there are over 13,000 knights and dames, a small minority of whom are professed religious. Membership of the Order is by invitation only and solicitations are not entertained.

The Order's finances are audited by a Board of Auditors, which includes a President and four Councillors, all elected by the Chapter General. The Order's judicial powers are exercised by a group of Magistral Courts, whose judges are appointed by the Grand Master and Sovereign Council.

Military Corps of the Order

The Order states that it was the hospitaller role that enabled the Order to survive the end of the crusading era; nonetheless, it retains its military title and traditions. On March 26, 1876 the Association of the Italian Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (ACISMOM) formed a Military Corps to provide medical support to the Italian Army, that on April 9, 1909 did officially become a special auxiliary volunteer corps of the Italian Army under the name Corpo Militare dell'Esercito dell'ACISMOM (Army Military Corps of the ACISMOM), wearing Italian uniforms. Since then the Military Corps have operated with the Italian Army both in wartime and peacetime in medical or paramedical military functions, and in ceremonial functions for the Order, such as standing guard around the coffins of high officers of the Order before and during funeral rites. Fausto Solaro del Borgo, President of the Italian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, stated in a speech given in London in November 2007:

I believe that it is a unique case in the world that a unit of the army of one country is supervised by a body of another sovereign country. Just think that whenever our staff (medical officers mainly) is engaged in a military mission abroad, there is the flag of the Order flying below the Italian flag.

Hospital trains

The Military Corps has become known in mainland Europe for its operation of hospital trains, a service which was carried out intensively during both World Wars. The Military Corps still operate a modern 28 cars hospital train with 192 hospital beds, serviced by a medical staff of 38 medics and paramedics provided by the Order and a technical staff provided by the Italian Army Railway Engineers Regiment.

Order of Malta aircraft

As the post-World War II peace treaty forbade Italy to own or operate bomber aircraft, and a limited number of transport ones, in 1947 the Italian Air Force opted to transfer some of its SM.82 aircraft to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, pending the definition of their exact status (the SM.82 were properly long range transport aircraft that could be adapted for bombing missions). These aircraft were operated by Italian Air Force personnel "on loan" to the Order, carried the Order's roundels on the fuselage and Italian ones on the wings, and were used mainly for standard Italian Air Force training and transport missions but also for some humanitarian tasks proper of the Order of Malta (like the transport of sick pilgrims to the Lourdes sanctuary). In the early '50, when the strictures of the peace treaty had been much relaxed by the Allies authorities, the aircraft returned under full control of the Italian Air Force. One of the aircraft transferred to the Order of Malta, still with the Order's fuselage roundels, is preserved in the Italian Air Force Historical Museum.

Medals, awards and Orders of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

First Class (Knights of Justice and Conventual Chaplains)

SMOM-s.svg Venerable Bailiff Knights Grand Cross of Justice Professed of Solemn Vows
SMOM-s.svg Knights Grand Cross of Justice Professed of Solemn Vows
SMOM.svg Commanders of Justice Professed of Solemn Vows
SMOM.svg Knights of Justice Professed of Solemn Vows
SMOM.svg Knights Grand Cross of Justice Professed of Simple Vows
SMOM.svg Knights admitted to the Novitiate
SMOM-f.svg Conventual Chaplains Grand Cross Professed of Solemn Religious Vows
SMOM.svg Conventual Chaplains Professed of Solemn Religious Vows
SMOM.svg Conventual Chaplains Professed of Simple Religious Vows

Second Class (Knights and Dames in Obedience Cavalieri)

SMOM-gs.svg Bailiff Knights Grand Cross in Obedience
SMOM-gs.svg Knights and Dames Grand Cross in Obedience
SMOM-g.svg Knights and Dames in Obedience
SMOM-d.svg Donatus of Justice

Third Class - First Category (Knights and Dames of Honour and Devotion)

SMOM-gcs.svg Bailiff Knights Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion with Profession Cross ad honorem
SMOM-gcs.svg Bailiff Knights Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion
SMOM-gcs.svg Knights and Dames Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion
SMOM-gc.svg Knights of Honours and Devotion owner of Commandery of Family Patronage
SMOM-gc.svg Knights and Dames of Honour and Devotion
SMOM-gcs.svg Bailiff Knights Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion for Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Third Class - Second Category (Conventual Chaplains ad honorem)

SMOM-cf.svg Conventual Chaplians Grand Cross Cappellano ad honorem
SMOM-c.svg Conventual Chaplains ad honorem

Third Class - Third Category (Knights and Dames of Grace and Devotion)

SMOM-gcff.svg Knights Grand Cross of Grace and Devotion with Sash
SMOM-gcf.svg Knights and Dames Grand Cross of Grace and Devotion
SMOM-gc.svg Knights and Dames of Grace and Devotion

Third Class - Fourth Category (Magistral Chaplains)

SMOM-c.svg Magistral Chaplains

Third Class - Fifth Category (Knights and Dames of Magistral Grace)

SMOM-cff.svg Knights Grand Cross of Magistral Grace with Sash
SMOM-cf.svg Knights and Dames Grand Cross of Magistral Grace
SMOM-c.svg Knights and Dames of Magistral Grace

Third Class - Sixth Category (Donatus of Devotion)

SMOM-d1.svg Donatus of Devotion I class
SMOM-d2.svg Donatus of Devotion II class
SMOM-d3.svg Donatus of Devotion III class

Order pro Merito Melitensi

Collar of the Order pro Merito Melitensi

OPMM-colX.svg Pro Merito Melitensi Collar - Military Class
OPMM-co.svg Pro Merito Melitensi Collar - Civilian Class
Single grade, usually bestowed only upon Heads of State.

Cross of the Order pro Merito Melitensi

Military Class
OPMM-gcsX.svg Grand Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi - special class
OPMM-gcX.svg Grand Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
OPMM-guX.svg Grand Officer Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
OPMM-cX.svg Commander Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
OPMM-uX.svg Officer Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
Ordine al merito melitense BAR.svg Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
Civilian Class - Gentlemen
OPMM-gcs.svg Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi - special class
OPMM-gc.svg Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi
OPMM-gu.svg Grand Officer Cross pro Merito Melitensi
OPMM-c.svg Commander Cross pro Merito Melitensi
OPMM-u.svg Officer Cross pro Merito Melitensi
MelitenseMilitare.png Cross pro Merito Melitensi
Civilian Class - Ladies
  • Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi - special class
  • Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi
  • Cross pro Merito Melitensi with Badge
  • Cross pro Merito Melitensi with Crown
  • Cross pro Merito Melitensi with Shield
  • Cross pro Merito Melitensi
Ecclesistics Class
OPMM-gcr.svg Grand Cross pro Piis Meritis Melitensi
OPMM-r.svg Cross pro Piis Meritis Melitensi

Medal of the Order pro Merito Melitensi

Old style (1920-1960)
SMOM-meritAU.svg Gold Medal pro Merito Melitensi
SMOM-meritAG.svg Silver Medal pro Merito Melitensi
SMOM-meritBZ.svg Bronze Medal pro Merito Melitensi
Military Class
MOPMM-oX.svg Gold Medal with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
MOPMM-aX.svg Silver Medal with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
MOPMM-bX.svg Bronze Medal with Swords pro Merito Melitensi
Civilian Class
MOPMM-o.svg Gold Medal pro Merito Melitensi
MOPMM-a.svg Silver Medal pro Merito Melitensi
MOPMM-b.svg Bronze Medal pro Merito Melitensi

Other Medals

SMOM-terrAG.svg Silver Medal for the Calabria and Sicily earthquake (april 24th 1912)
SMOM-terrBZ.svg Bronze Medal for the Calabria and Sicily earthquake (april 24th 1912)
SMOM-terrAG.svg Silver Medal for the Turkey War (april 24th 1912)
SMOM-terrBZ.svg Silver Medal for the Turkey War (april 24th 1912)
NOT-AVAILABLE-RIBBON.svg Merit Medal for assistance to the 1940-1945 War Veterans
SMOM-Hun.png Silver Medal for assistance to the Hungarian Refugees
SMOM-Hun.png Bronze Medal for assistance to the Hungarian Refugees
NOT-AVAILABLE-RIBBON.svg Medal for relief activities in Vietnam

Malteser International

NOT-AVAILABLE-RIBBON.svg Malteser International Medal of Merit in Gold
NOT-AVAILABLE-RIBBON.svg Malteser International Medal of Merit in Silver
NOT-AVAILABLE-RIBBON.svg Malteser International Medal of Merit in Bronze
NOT-AVAILABLE-RIBBON.svg Malteser International Medal of Committment "St.Martin 2007"
Medagli malteser servizio.png Malteser International Service Medal

Emergency Corps of the Order of Malta

Ecom.png ECOM Medal for Kosovo 1999
Ecom.png ECOM for Rwanda 2002

Medal and awards of the Knights of Malta National Associations

Malteser Hospitaldienst Austria

SMOM-AUSau.svg Merit Medal in Gold
SMOM-AUSag.svg Merit Medal in Silver
SMOM-AUSbz.svg Merit Medal in Bronze
SMOMkosovovg.svg Medal for the relief of the Kosovo refugees (1999)
SMOM-AUSeu08au.svg Euro 2008 Medal in Gold
SMOM-AUSeu08ag.svg Euro 2008 Medal in Silver

Malteser in Deutschland - Malteser Hilfsdienst e.V. (Germany)

Malteser.png Memorial Medal for the Malteser Hilfsdienst 50th Anniversary Jubilee
SMOM-GERau.svg Thanks and Gratitude Medal in Gold
SMOM-GERag.svg Thanks and Gratitude Medal in Silver
SMOM-GERbz.svg Thanks and Gratitude Medal in Bronze

Order of Malta Irish Association and Ambulance Corps (Eire)

SJA-stripes.svg Merit Medal
SJA-green.svg Long Service Medal (10 years)
SJA-blue.svg Long Service Medal (20 years)
NO-RIBBON.svg War Service Medal (1916) of the St.John Ambulance Brigade

Associazione dei Cavalieri Italiani del Sovrano Ordine di Malta e Corpo Militare dell'Esercito dell'ACISMOM (Italy)

SMOM-ACISMOM 1980.png Medal for the Southern Italy earthquake (1980)
NOT-AVAILABLE-RIBBON.svg Medal for the Northern Italy Emergency (2000)
Abruzzo-2009-SMOM.png Medal for the Abruzzo earthquake (1999)
NOT-AVAILABLE-RIBBON.svg Memorial Medal of the Redemption Jubilee Pilgrimage (1933)
Pelle75.png Merit Medal for assistance to the Holy Year pilgrims (1975)
NOT-AVAILABLE-RIBBON.svg Medal for the assistance to the Redemption Jubilee pilgrims (1983)
Pelle00.png Medal for the assistance to the Redemption Jubilee pilgrims (2000)
Lourdes.png Merit medals for the Lourdes Pilgrimages
Lourdes50.png Ribbon for the Malta Order Lourdes Pilgrimages 50th Anniversary
MelitenseMilitare.png Pilgrimages Memorial Medal
SMOM-ACISMOM Lourdes.png Lourdes Pilgrimages Memorial Medal
Friedrich Order.png Loreto Pilgrimages Memorial Medal
NO-RIBBON.svg Memorial Medal for the second millennium from the birth of Saint Paul Apostle of the People (november 21st 2009)
NO-RIBBON.svg Honour Merit Badge of the Military Corps of the order of Malta awarded in the Gold, Silver and Bronze classes.
Acismom 4045.png Memorial Medal of the 1915-1918 War
Acismom 4045.png Memorial Medal of the 1940-1945 War awarded in the Silver Class for officers and Bronze Class for other ranks.
Jugoslavia 222.png Memorial Medal for the operations in the former Yugoslavia (june 7th 1996)
Croce acismom.png Long Service Cross for managers and volunteer nurses (october 24th 1941)
Croce acismom.png Long Service Cross for NCOs and other ranks (october 24th 1941)

 Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller

Picture Name Time in office


Headquarters in Palestine

1. ++Gerard Tum, by Laurent Cars.jpg The Blessed Gerard 1099-1120
2. +Raymond du Puy, by Laurent Cars.jpg Raymond du Puy de Provence 1120-1160
3.   Auger de Balben 1160-1163
4.   Arnaud de Comps 1162-1163
5.   Gilbert d'Aissailly 1163-1170
6.   Gastone de Murols c. 1170-1172
7.   Jobert of Syria 1172-1177
8. Roger de MOULINS.JPG Roger de Moulins 1177-1187
9.   Armengol de Aspa 1187-1190
10. Blason Garnier de Naplouse.svg Garnier de Nablus 1190-1192
11.   Geoffroy de Donjon 1193-1202
12.   Afonso de Portugal 1203-1206
13.   Geoffrey le Rat 1206-1207
14.   Guérin de Montaigu 1207-1228
15.   Bertrand de Thercy 1228-1231
16.   Guerin de Montacute 1231-1236
17.   Bertrand de Comps 1236-1240
18.   Pierre de Vielle-Bride 1240-1242
19.   Guillaume de Chateauneuf 1242-1258
20.   Hugues de Revel 1258-1277
21.   Nicolas Lorgne 1277-1284


 Headquarters on Cyprus

22.   Jean de Villiers 1284-1294
23.   Odon de Pins 1294-1296
24. GuillaumeDeVillaret.jpg Guillaume de Villaret 1296-1305


Headquarters on Rhodes

25. Goyet-Foulques de Villaret.jpg Foulques de Villaret 1305-1319
26. HelionVilleneuve2.jpg Hélion de Villeneuve 1319-1346
27. SMOM 27. GM Dieudonné de Gozon Stich.jpg Dieudonné de Gozon 1346-1353
28. TombstonePierreDeCorneillan1355.jpg Pierre de Corneillan 1353-1355
29. Rhodos431.JPG Roger de Pins 1355-1365
30. Rhodos434.JPG Raymond Berengar 1365-1374
31. Rhodos437.JPG Robert de Juilly 1374-1376
32. Juan Fernández de Heredia.jpg Juan Fernández de Heredia 1376-1396
33. Rhodos439.JPG Riccardo Caracciolo 1383-1395
34. Rhodos440.JPG Philibert de Naillac 1396-1421
35. Rhodos441.JPG Antoni Fluvià 1421-1437
36. Rhodos442.JPG Jean de Lastic 1437-1454
37. TombstoneJacquesDeMilly1461.jpg Jacques de Milly 1454-1461
38. Rhodos445.JPG Pere Ramon Sacosta 1461-1467
39. Rhodos446.JPG Giovanni Battista Orsini 1467-1476
40. Pierre daubusson.jpg Pierre d'Aubusson 1476-1503
41. Emery d' Amboise0002.jpg Emery d'Amboise 1503-1512
42. Rhodos449.JPG Guy de Blanchefort 1512-1513
43. Rhodos450.JPG Fabrizio del Carretto 1513-1521

Grand Masters of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

Picture Name Time in offic3


Headquarters on Malta

44. Villiers de l Isle-Adam.jpg Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam 1521-1534
45. GM Piero de Ponte.jpg Piero de Ponte 1534-1535
46. SMOM 46. GM Didier de Saint-Jaille Stich.jpg Didier de Saint-Jaille 1535-1536
47. SMOM 47. GM Jean de Homedes.jpg Juan de Homedes y Coscon 1536-1553
48. SMOM 48. GM Claude de la Sengle.jpg Claude de la Sengle 1553-1557
49. Jean-parisot-de-la-valette.jpg Jean Parisot de la Valette 1557-1568
50. Pietro del Monte.gif Pierre de Monte 1568-1572
51. Cassiere.jpg Jean de la Cassière 1572-1581
    Mathurin Romegas 1581-1581
52. Hugues Loubenx de Verdala Provence.gif Hugues Loubenx de Verdalle 1581-1595
53. Martin Garzes.gif Martin Garzez 1595-1601
54. Alof de Wignancourt official portrait.jpg Alof de Wignacourt 1601-1622
55. Luis Mendes de Vasconcellos.jpg Luís Mendes de Vasconcellos 1622-1623
56.   Antoine de Paule 1623-1636
57.   Jean Baptiste de Lascaris
de Castellar
58.   Martin de Redin 1657-1660
59. Annet de Clermont-Gessant.jpg Annet de Clermont-Gessant 1660-1660
60.   Raphael Cotoner 1660-1663
61. NicolasCotoner.jpg Nicolas Cotoner 1663-1680
62. 19-1680 Gregoire Carafa Italy.gif Gregorio Carafa 1680-1690
63. Adrien de Wignacourt.gif Adrien de Wignacourt 1690-1697
64. Raimondo Perellos y Roccafull.jpg Ramon Perellos y Roccaful 1697-1720
65. Marc Antoine Zondadari.gif Marc'Antonio Zondadari 1720-1722
66. AntonioManuelVilhena.jpg António Manoel de Vilhena 1722-1736
67. Ramon Despuig.gif Ramon Despuig 1736-1741
68. Emmanuel Pinto de Fonseca.jpg Manuel Pinto da Fonseca 1741-1773
69. Francisco Ximenes de Texada.gif Francisco Ximenes de Texada 1773-1775
70. Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc.jpg Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc 1775-1797
71. Fra Ferdinand von Hompesch G.M. Palace .jpg Ferdinand von Hompesch
zu Bolheim


Headquarters in Saint Petersburg

72. Paul i russia.jpg Paul I of Russia 1798-1801
  Saltykov Nikolay Ivanovich.jpg Nikolay Saltykov 1801-1803


Headquarters in Messina - Catania and in Ferrara

73. SMOM 73. GM Giovanni Battista Tommasi.jpg Giovanni Battista Tommasi 1803-1805
    Innico Maria Guevara-Suardo 1805-1814
    Andrea Di Giovanni y Centellés 1814-1821
    Antoine Busca 1821-1834


Headquarters in Rome

    Carlo Candida 1834-1845
    Philippe di Colloredo-Mels 1845-1864
    Alessandro Borgia 1865-1871
  Jean-Baptiste Ceschi a Santa Croce.jpg Giovanni Battista Ceschi
a Santa Croce
74. Giovanni Battista Ceschi
a Santa Croce
75. Galeazzo von Thun und Hohenstein.jpg Galeas von Thun und
76. Prince chigi.jpg Ludovico Chigi Albani
della Rovere
    Antonio Hercolani Fava
    Ernesto Paternó Castello
di Carcaci
77.   Angelo de Mojana di Cologna 1962-1988
    Jean Charles Pallavicini 1988-1988
78.   Andrew Bertie 1988-2008
    Giacomo dalla Torre del
Tempio di Sanguinetto
79. Grand Master Matthew Festing prayer 20100409.jpg Matthew Festing 2008-Present

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